Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
Deepest lake in the world as I recall. Some enormous volume of fresh water.
Eh? Balkhash? Balderdash!
When did they drain Lake Baikal?
Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake in the world as well as the largest (by volume) freshwater lake. It contains over 20% of the world's liquid fresh surface water and more than 90% of Russia's liquid fresh surface water. It is a World Heritage Site. Olkhon, by far the largest island in Lake Baikal, is the largest lake-bound island in the world.
Lake Baikal lies in Southern Siberia in Russia between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and Buryatia to the southeast near the city of Irkutsk. In Russian, it is called Байка́л (Ozero Baykal, О́зеро literally meaning Lake, pronounced ['ozʲɪrə bʌj'kɑl]), and in the Buryat and Mongol languages it is called Dalai-Nor, or "Sacred Sea". The origin of the name Baikal comes from Baigal or Байгал which is translated from the Mongolian language as "nature". It is also known as the Blue Eye of Siberia.
Very little was known about Lake Baikal until the Trans-Siberian railway was built between 1896 and 1902. The scenic loop encircling Lake Baikal required 200 bridges and 33 tunnels. At the same time the railway was being built, a large hydrogeographical expedition headed by F.K. Drizhenko produced the first detailed atlas of the contours of Baikal's depths.
The atlas demonstrated that Lake Baikal has as much water as all of North America's Great Lakes combined — 23,600 km³, about 20% of the total fresh water on the earth. However, in surface area, it is exceeded by the much shallower Great Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan, as well as by the relatively shallow Lake Victoria in East Africa. Known as the "Galápagos of Russia", its age and isolation have produced one of the world's richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.
At 636 kilometres long and 80 km wide, Lake Baikal has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in Asia (31,494 km²) and is the deepest lake in the world (1637 metres, previously measured at 1620 metres). The bottom of the lake is 1285 metres below sea level, but below this lies some 7 km (4 miles) of sediment, placing the rift floor some 8–9 km (more than 5 miles) down: the deepest continental rift on Earth. In geological terms, the rift is young and active — it widens about 2 centimeters per year. The fault zone is also seismically active: there are hot springs in the area and notable earthquakes every few years.
Actually I knew this. What I didn't know was that Balkhash was a different lake from Baikal.
Perfection is an elusive goal.