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#lake baikal

A circle of thinned ice on the southern end of Lake Baikal (Russia, April 2009), from the International Space Station.  The circle has a diameter of 4.4km.

Usually 5 – 7km in diameter, these mysterious ice circles were first reported in April 1999 near Cape Krestovsky, and assumed to be caused by methane emissions from the basin of the lake.  The circles appeared again in April 2003, 2005 and 2008 in the same place, as well as near the settlement of Turka in 2008.

The circles appear in the same locations, often near the Syvatoy Nos peninsula.  Here, anticyclonic eddies often occur, with warm water in their centre.  This causes the ice to become thinner.  The ice is then saturated with water, and sags a little.  Cracks appear. and the structure of the ice changes near the circle.

mostly-history
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Ice melting on Lake Baikal (May 4th, 2012), taken from the Aqua satellite.

Lake Baikal in Russia is covered by a thick layer of ice for several months every year.  The ice begins to form in late December, and by mid-January it usually covers the whole lake.  In spring [March – May], the ice begins to slowly melt.  Patches of open water appear in the southern part of the lake in early May (shown here), and move progressively northwards.  By late June, the northern part of the lake is finally clear of ice.

This image shows ice breaking up in the central part of the lake. Drifting ice and large patches of open water can be seen in the south.  Ice often lasts longer in the extreme south-eastern part of Lake Baikal, as that part of the lake is shallow.

Along the coasts is fast ice.  Fast ice is anchored or fastened to the shore, and doesn’t move with the winds or currents. It usually lasts longer than ice that forms over deeper water.

The village of Listvyanka, on the south-eastern coast of Lake Baikal, has kept records of ice formation and breakup since 1869.  These records show that ice break-up near the village occurs earlier now than in the past.  In the 1870s, thawing would begin around May 10th, but now it begins in late April.  The most rapid change was between 1869 and 1920, and the date of ice break-up has remained fairly constant at Listvyanka – however, ice formation begins later on in the winter than it used to, so the overall ice cover of the lake does not last as long as in the past.

Analysis of satellite data from 1992 to 2004 shows that in the northern and central part of the lake, ice has been breaking up later and lasting longer overall since 1992.  In the southern part of the lake, ice is forming later in the winter, but breaking up at around about the same time, which is consistent with the records from Listvyanka.

There are many factors that can affect how long Lake Baikal’s ice lasts.  These include air temperature, wind patterns, lake currents, clouds, the amount of snowfall, and the volume of river water discharged into the lake.

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Ice retreats from the south-western corner of Lake Baikal in Russia (May 29th, 2001).  The Angara River flows northwards from the south-western part of the lake.  Smoke and fires can be seen to the west, with the fires marked in red boxes.

Halfway down the lake, where the ice is beginning to melt, the Syvatoy Nos Peninsula sticks out from the east coast.  Syvatoy Noy means “Holy Nose”, and Russian explorers in the 1600s and 1700s used the word noy to mean “cape”.  Originally, Syvatoy Noy was used only for the south-western part of the cape of the peninsula, and a now-abandoned village on that cape.  Eventually the name was used for the entire peninsula.

The peninsula is called Hilmen Hushun (“sturgeon’s muzzle”) in the Buryat language.

The Syvatoy Nos Peninsula consists of two parts – a large rocky mountainous section (the “holy nose” proper), and the Chivyrkuisky Isthmus, which connects it to the shore.  This is a relatively recent development – the peninsula was an island just a few millennia ago.  Sediments from rivers on the mainland, as well as dust carried by the wind, formed the isthmus.  The strait between the island and the mainland was thus divided into two bays: Chivyrkuisky Bay to the north, and Barguzinsky Bay to the south of the isthmus.

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Lake Baikal. Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

Why is the water in a quarry so blue?The water’s striking blue color is caused by the limestone rocks surrounding the quarry. The limestone leaches calcite crystals into the water, turning it’s color a bright turquoise, even despite the amount of garbage, sewage, and rotting animal carcasses regularly dumped into its waters.

Is Lake Baikal always frozen?In Lake Baikal, the water temperature varies significantly depending on location, depth, and time of the year. During the winter and spring, the surface freezes for about 4–5 months; from early January to early May–June (latest in the north), the lake surface is covered in ice.

Hundreds of Buddhists from around the world, who participate in “Days of Buddhist Culture” in Russia, swim in near-freezing Lake Baikal with air temperatures dropping down to -25 degrees Celsius.

Baykal Gölü. Güneydoğu Sibirya'da yer alan, 3,15 milyon hektarlık Baykal Gölü, dünyanın en eski (25 milyon yıl) ve en derin (1,700 m) gölüdür. Dünyadaki toplam donmamış tatlı su rezervinin% 20'sini içerir.

Neden bir taş ocağındaki su bu kadar mavi? Suyun çarpıcı mavi rengi taş ocağını çevreleyen kireçtaşı kayalarından kaynaklanıyor. Kireçtaşı kalsit kristallerini suya akıtır, düzenli olarak sularına atılan çöp, lağım ve çürüyen hayvan karkaslarına rağmen rengini parlak bir turkuaz yapar.

Baykal Gölü her zaman donuyor mu? Baykal Gölü'nde, su sıcaklığı yılın konumuna, derinliğine ve zamanına bağlı olarak önemli ölçüde değişir. Kış ve ilkbahar aylarında, yüzey yaklaşık 4-5 ay donar; Ocak ayının başından Mayıs-Haziran ayının başlarına (en kuzeyde olan) gölün yüzeyi buzla kaplıdır.

Rusya'da “Budist Kültür Günleri” ne katılan dünyanın dört bir yanından yüzlerce Budist, -25 dereceye kadar düşen hava sıcaklıkları ile donmaya yakın Baykal Gölü'nde yüzüyor.

jagsey
jagsey
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What are frozen methane bubbles? The bubbles in the ice are the result of methane gas that is produced by algae.

Lake Baikal is about 600km (373 miles) in length. The thickness of the ice on top reaches 1.5-2 meters (5-6.5 feet)—at its thickest, it can tolerate vehicles of about 15 tonnes, but sometimes we saw cars that had been fallen down. But the ice isn’t just strong, it’s also gorgeous: displaying different patterns in different parts of the lake because the water freezes layer-by-layer. Baikal’s ice is also the most transparent in the world! You can see everything all the way to the bottom: fish, green stones, plants, and bluish gulf. The water in the lake is so clear that you can see various objects even as deep as 40 meters (130 feet). The bubbles in the ice are the result of methane gas that is produced by algae.


Dondurulmuş metan baloncukları nedir?Buzdaki kabarcıklar algler tarafından üretilen metan gazının bir sonucudur. 

Baykal Gölü yaklaşık 600km (373 mil) uzunluğundadır. Üstteki buzun kalınlığı 1,5-2 metreye (5-6,5 fit) ulaşır - en kalın olduğu zaman, yaklaşık 15 tonluk araçları tolere edebilir, ama bazen düşmüş arabaları gördük. Fakat buz sadece güçlü değil, aynı zamanda muhteşem: gölün farklı bölgelerinde farklı desenlerin gösterilmesi, çünkü su katman katman donuyor. Baykal’ın buzu da dünyanın en şeffafı! Her şeyi dibe kadar görebilirsin: balık, yeşil taşlar, bitkiler ve mavimsi körfez. Göldeki su o kadar temiz ki 40 metre (130 fit) kadar derin bile olsa çeşitli nesneleri görebiliyorsunuz. 

jagsey
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