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Looking north, from a high cliff top, on the north western shore of Lake Baikal, the world's deepest (1,741 metres), oldest, & biggest freshwater lake. It has more freshwater, than all the north American Great Lakes combined! The little boat in the distance is actually the rather large hydrofoil, from Listvyanka, at the southern end of the lake. I couldn't get a booking on it (sold out to Russian students on vacation), so I caught the bus to Bratsk, & the train to Severobaikalsk, instead. Even so, I still beat it!

"The lake is incredibly deep for its size. The depth of Baikal is around 5,380 feet (1,640 metres) to the floor and holds 5,500 cubic miles (23,000 cubic kilometres) of water. If the lake were completely emptied, a vertigo-inducing canyon over a mile deep would present itself.

These freaky proportions of the lake signify a violent geological past. Having been dated back to around 30 million years, it is the oldest in the world. It sits at the junction of tectonic plates which are slowly tearing Asia apart. This trench was originally 5 miles (8 kilometres) deep. Over time silt partially filled the trench, but seismic activities continue along the lake with frequent tremors and several hot springs. Scientists consider the lake to be a future ocean for it continues to widen at an astounding rate of about an inch (2.5cm) a year. ("World's Greatest Lake" by Don Gore, National Geographic, June 1993)".

Source: http://geography.suite101.com/article.cfm/facts_on_why_lake_baikal_is_the_deepest_on_earth

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9796 W: 991 N: 18558] (94392)
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