Lake Baikal BY HEATHER O'NEILL. Origin of Lake Baikal  Legend says that a huge stone fell from the sky to create Lake Baikal. While it was falling it

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History of Lake Baikal  Many people had lived near Lake Baikal in ancient times when over 300 years ago, the first Russian explorers came across the lake. The first Russian exploration to Lake Baikal took place in 1643, by the Cossacks. The second expedition, which took place in 1647 was led by Vasily Kolesnikov. They reached the north coast of the lake where they built a fortress (strong castle). The data of Lake Baikal that Ivanov and Kolesnikov brought greatly strengthened the geographic knowledge of the lake at that time.  Lots of the lake's facts have not been discovered yet. They are completely hidden from science, and scientists attempt to dig deeper into the mysterious lake.

Text of Lake Baikal BY HEATHER O'NEILL. Origin of Lake Baikal  Legend says that a huge stone fell from...

Lake Baikal BY HEATHER O'NEILL Origin of Lake Baikal Legend says that a huge stone fell from the sky to create Lake Baikal. While it was falling it became red hot, then when it hit the earth there was a great rainfall. Earth, stone, and water came to a boil and in that Lake Baikal had begun. Geologists believe that Lake Baikal already existed. Its origination started no less than millions years ago. Even in the beginning of formation, the basins of Lake Baikal represented beds of more large lakes, connected by rivers. History of Lake Baikal Many people had lived near Lake Baikal in ancient times when over 300 years ago, the first Russian explorers came across the lake. The first Russian exploration to Lake Baikal took place in 1643, by the Cossacks. The second expedition, which took place in 1647 was led by Vasily Kolesnikov. They reached the north coast of the lake where they built a fortress (strong castle). The data of Lake Baikal that Ivanov and Kolesnikov brought greatly strengthened the geographic knowledge of the lake at that time. Lots of the lake's facts have not been discovered yet. They are completely hidden from science, and scientists attempt to dig deeper into the mysterious lake. Water of Lake Baikal; Colour The colour of Baikal's water similar to the colour of the sea. It is dark blue-green in colour. Even along the shore, it is blue-green. This colour is the result of the suspended and dissolved particles found in the water. The colour of the water changes from area to area within the lake. The water in the open part is generally dark blue. Near the mouth of River Selenga it is grey- green and sometimes brown - dark brown, because the river carries suspended materials with it. Transparency The transparency of water is measured with a white metal disc lowered into the water. When the disc becomes invisible, the depth is measured in metres. There are special instruments for measuring transparency. In Lake Baikal, the disc used is visible up to a depth of 40 metres in good conditions in spring when the lake is freed from ice. Over the summer seaons, the transparency of the lake changes depending on the quantity of particles brought to the lake by its connecting rivers. Transparency is low at the mouths of rivers. The highest degree of transparency can be observed in late autumn and early spring. Pollution Pollution occurs from a connecting river of the lake, the River Selenga. This tributary is the main inlet to Lake Baikal as it allows almost a half of the water inflow. Waste from the surrounding cities, as well as human and industrial wastes are carried by the Selenga. Pollution is having an impact on the lake's plant and animal life and lowering the quality of the water. Wildlife On the shore of Lake Baikal, animals can be found. Some of these animals live on land but feed in water, others spend the most of the time in water but breed and end their life ashore. Due to the location of the lake, the land animals contain specimens of the animals found in Central and East Asia, Europe, and Siberia. Examples of animals include bears, reindeer, ground squirrels, wolves, red foxes and a variety of different birds, e.g. owls and seagulls. People of Lake Baikal The first settlers of Lake Baikal are closely connected with the exploration of the taiga zone (swampy coniferous forest). At that stage trade and industry were mostly because of the colonization. The migrations to Siberia were represented by North Russians. The Russian people developed an integrated economy which was based on a combination of crop-growing and stock-breeding along with hunting, fishing and nut-gathering. Ice Conditions of Lake Baikal For almost five months of the year, Lake Baikal is covered in ice. This time plays a significant role in the life of the lake. It usually takes place only in the middle of winter (1 January), long after the beginning of the severe Siberian frosts. When other rivers and lakes freeze long before this time, Baikal resists the ice. The lake is freed of ice around May/June when its shores become rosy due to the blossoming of the heathers (formally known as rhododendrons). The late ice occurences (freezing and melting) are caused by the small temperature changes. The lake's ice, beauty and symphony of "ice music" make it very attractive to look at. Pictures