OZERO BAYKAL (LAKE BAIKAL)

A coastal view from the cruising vessel

Photo.
Photo: A. Kurata


A. LOCATION


B. DESCRIPTION

    Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world. The bottom of the lake lies 1,285 m below sea level, and is the deepest continental rift on the earth. Its water volume is approximately equal to the total volume of the Great Lakes of North America, or to about 20% of the total freshwater on the earth. It is also known as one of the most ancient in geological history, and there are few lakes in the world to compete with this lake in biotic diversity. As many as 852 species and 233 varieties of algae and 1,550 species and varieties of animals have been known to inhabit L. Baikal. The world-famous Baikal seal, the only mammal living on the lake, is found throughout the whole area of the lake to this day.
    The lake is completely surrounded by mountains, and there are 22 small islands over the lake. The lake water is fed by some 300 inflowing rivers, and is drained through the single outlet, the Angara River. The climate of the drainage basin is extremely continental with long, very cold and dry winters and short cool summers. The climax vegetation under the climate is the coniferous forest largely dominated by larch. The nutritional level of the lake water is typically oligotrophic as indicated by the highest transparency in the world, though an industrial pulp complex built in the early 1960's near the lake's southern end is said to have caused considerable pollution.


C. PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS (1, 2)

    Surface area [km2] 31,500
    Volume [km3] 23000
    Maximum depth [m] 1,741
    Mean depth [m] 740
    Water level Unregulated
    Length of shoreline [km] 2,000
    Catchment area [km2] 560,000

D. PHYSIOGRAPHIC FEATURES

D1 GEOGRAPHICAL D2 CLIMATIC (2, 4)

    Fig. ASI-27-01
    Bathymetric map [m](3).

    Fig. ASI-27-02
    Depth/season isotherms [deg C] at Bolshiye Koty, 1948 (a cold year).

    Fig. ASI-27-03
    Depth/season isotherms [deg C] at Bolshiye Koty, 1954 (a warm year)(2).


E. LAKE WATER QUALITY

E1 TRANSPARENCY: Fig. ASI-27-04.

    Fig. ASI-27-04
    Transparency [m] 1.5 km offshore of Bolshiye Koty, 1956 (2).

E2 pH (1)
    Surface water
    Open area: 7.2-7.8.
    Maloye More: 7.3-8.5.
    Posolsky Sor: 6.8-8.3.

E4 DO [mg l-1](2)
    Bolshiye Koty, 1952
    Depth [m] Mar Apr Aug Sep
    0 12.76 12.90 10.83 11.14
    25 12.94 12.98 10.97 11.30
    50 11.55 11.70 10.67 10.86
    100 10.78 10.83 10.78 10.96
    250 10.59 10.51 10.43 10.42
    500 10.48 10.46 10.30 10.30
    600 10.04 10.10 - -
    750 - - 10.20 10.17
    800 9.92 9.87 - -
    1,000 9.74 9.77 10.14 10.08
    1,200 9.62 9.71 10.03 10.00
    1,350 9.56 9.63 - -
E10 PAST TRENDS: Fig. ASI-27-05.

    Fig. ASI-27-05
    Trend of DO [mg l-1], open water at Bolshiye Koty (2).


F. BIOLOGICAL FEATURES

F1 FLORA (2) F2 FAUNA (2, 5) F3 PRODUCTION RATE

    Fig. ASI-27-06
    Photosynthetic activity of the phytoplankton in different parts of Lake Baikal during August 1964 (after Kuznetsov, Romanenko, and Glazunov)[mg C m-2 day- 1](6).

F4 BIOMASS Chivyrkui Gulf, 1932
    Littoral Sublittoral and supra-abyssal
    Substratum Sand Sand Sand black with silt Black silt Brown silt Sand Silt
    Depth [m] 1-10 10-20 6-17 2-10 1.5-4 20-30 40-50 20-250
    Gammaridae 4.24 3.78 15.60 12.20 5.80 0.85 5.65 2.01
    Oligochaeta & 5.89 4.26 22.40 7.90 0.60 0.86 20.13 3.24
    Polychaeta
    Mollusca 16.81 21.15 10.40 9.30 2.50 10.50 0.10 0.03
    Turbellaria 2.13 0.09 0.20 0.30 0.40 - 0.88 -
    Hirudinea 0.04 - 1.50 3.20 2.20 0.08 0.04 -
    Insecta 0.16 0.38 - 0.80 0.50 - - -
    Total 29.27 29.96 50.10 33.70 12.00 12.29 26.79 5.28
Moskalenko and A. M. Mamontov et al., 1978)(8)
    Biomass Production Catch
    kt. % kg/ha kt. % kg/ha kt. % kg/ha
    Omul 30.0 13.4 9.7 10.0 5.1 3.2 7.3 55.7 2.3
    Sor fish 20.0 8.9 6.5 8.0 4.1 2.6 4.0 30.5 1.3
    Other food-fish 4.0 1.8 1.3 1.2 0.6 0.4 1.0 7.6 0.3
    Bottom bullheads 10.0 4.5 3.2 10.0 5.1 3.2 - - -
    Pelagic bullheads 10.0 4.5 3.2 15.0 7.7 4.8 0.8 6.1 0.3
    Golomyanka 150.0 67.0 48.4 150.0 77.3 48.0 - - -
    Total 224.0 100 72.4 194.2 100 62.4 13.1 100 4.2
F5 FISHERY PRODUCTS (2) F6 PAST TRENDS
    Southern BaikalCentral Baikal Northern Baikal
    Year mg m-3 mg m-2 mg m-3 mg m-2 mg m-3 mg m-2
    1964 2,830.5 70,762.5 1,972.3 49,307.5 250.8 6,270.0
    1965 1,277.7 31,942.5 236.0 5,900.0 467.8 11,690.0
    1966 84.0 2,100.0 2,425.0 6,062.5 29.2 730.0
    1967 31.3 782.5 846.1 22,152.5 1,561.9 39,047.5
    1968 4,163.4 104,085.0 1,859.1 46,477.5 894.6 22,365.0
    1969 828.1 20,702.5 109.8 2,745.3 22.3 556.3
    1970 46.0 1,150.5 70.8 1,770.5 13.7 341.3
    1971 204.0 5,100.0 574.4 14,360.0 245.0 6,125.5
    1972 426.0 10,650.3 148.8 3,720.8 338.1 8,453.5
    1973 67.7 1,691.5 491.8 12,294.8 3,075.0 768.8
    1974 2,379.5 59,487.5 311.4 7,785.0 97.4 2,435.8
    1975 370.6 9,263.8 717.0 17,923.8 127.8 3,194.3
    1976 1,575.3 39,381.8 687.7 17,193.8 778.2 19,456.0
    1977 512.6 12,812.8 486.5 12,162.0 106.6 2,666.0
    1978 226.3 5,657.5 551.5 13,788.0 103.3 2,581.3
    1979 2,365.8 59,146.0 11,809.0 29,523.5 1,222.1 30,552.5
    1980 628.8 15,720.5 602.0 15,048.8 52.8 131.9
    1981 58.2 1,454.0 434.5 10,863.3 23.0 396.5
    1982 1,394.3 34,857.5 2.341.8 58,543.8 176.4 4,409.5
    Mean perennial
    1,024.7 25,618.3 729.7 18,243.3 344.3 8,608.3

    Fig. ASI-27-07
    Past trend of the raw biomass of phytoplankton [mg m-3] in the 0-50 m layer of open water (average). After Antipova (2).


G. SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

G1 LAND USE IN THE SURROUNDING TERRITORIES (9)
    *1 Areas of B-UI, U-L, NB and Ud are included.
    *2 Areas of U-L, NB and Ud are included. For abbreviations see the below map.
    Area [km2]
    Agricultural land 5,442.48*1
    - Crop field 145.04*2
    - Hay land and Pasture land 4,140.44*2

    Fig. ASI-27-08
    Industrial development areas of Siberia and the Far East (cross-hatched squares designate total area; black squares in lower right the area in agricultural land use). B-UI: Bratsk-Ust'-Ilimsk territorial-production complex. U-L: Upper Lena territorial-production complex. NB: North Baikal territorial.production complex. Ud: Udokan economic node.

G3 POPULATION IN THE CATCHMEHT AREA* (10)
    1985
    Population Population density [km-2] Major cities (population)
    Urban3,655,000-Irkutsk (597,000),
    Rural 1,395,000 9.0 Ulan-Ude (335,000),
    Total 5,060,000 9.0 Ulan-Bator
    * Buryat assr, Chita oblast and Irkutsk oblast.

I. DETERIORATION OF LAKE ENVIRONMENTS AND HAZARDS

I3 EUTROPHICATION

J. WASTEWATER TREATMENTS (12)

J3 SANITARY FACILITIES AND SEWERAGE

N. SOURCES OF DATA

  1. Limnological Institute of the Siberian Branch, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1979) Lake Baikal-Guidebook. 76 pp. Publishing Office "Nauka", Moscow.
  2. Kozhov, M. (1963) Lake Baikal and Its Life. 344 pp. Dr. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague.
  3. Hutchinson, G. E. (1975) A Treatise on Limnology, Vol.1. Part 1, Geography and Physics of Lakes. 540 pp. Wiley-Interscience, New York.
  4. Tokyo Astronomical Observatory (1986) Chronological scientific Tables (Rika Nenpyo). 1007 pp. Maruzen Co., Tokyo.*
  5. Okamoto, K. & Horie, S. (1983) On the Zooplankton of Lake Baikal: A Preliminary Report. Jap. J. Limnol., 44(1): 59-64.
  6. Kuznetsov, S. I. (1970) The Microflora of Lakes and Its Geochemical Activity (ed. Oppenheimer, C. H.), pp. 503. University of Taxas press, Austin and London.
  7. Galazy, G. I. (1980) Lake Baikal and Its Protection. Abstracts of the 21st Congress of International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology: 104.
  8. Galazy, G. I. & Linevich, A. A. (1988) Ecosystem of Lake Baikal. Report to the UNCRD/ILEC/UNEP Expert Group Workshop on River/Lake Basin Approach to Environmentally Sound Management of Water Resources, Otsu and Nagoya, February 1988, 18 pp.
  9. Wein, N. (1984) Agriculture in the Pioneering Regions of Siberia and the Far East: Present Status, Problems and Prospects. Soviet Geography, 25 (8): 592-620.
  10. Hausladen, G. (1987) Recent Trends in Siberian Urban Growth. Ibid, 28 (2): 71-89.
  11. Ghilarov, A. M. (1983) Report on Eutrophication Studies in the U.S.S.R. Water Res., 17 (6): 607-611.
  12. Olga Kojeva (1983) Present condition of environmental protection of Lake Baikal and other Siberian lakes (include reservoirs)(Baikaru-ko o hajimeto suru shiberia no kosho (chosuichi o fukumu) no kankyo hogo no genjo). Water Purification and Liquid Wastes Treatment. 24 (11): 889 893.*

  13. * Printed in Japanese with the original titles in romanized Japanese in parentheses.