Baikal World - information about ice of Baikal lake and Baikal region
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Explanation of the local terms and geographical names at lake Baikal
Ice Conditions

ice of Baikal
Lake Baikal ice

Ice at lake Baikal

Ice at lake Baikal
For almost five months a year Lake Baikal is covered with ice. This period of ice plays a very significant role in its life. The most considerable peculiarity of the ice regime of Lake Baikal is its late freezing that takes place only in the middle of winter (usually, 1 January), long after the beginning of severe Siberian frosts. When other rivers and lakes froze long before in the year, Baikal still resists ice fetters. Its cold waves break against the shore and decorate the seaboard rocks with icy patterns.

The lake is freed of its ice imprisonment around May - June when its shores turn rosy due to blossoming of rhododendrons. The late ice phenomena (freezing and melting) are caused by the small range of temperature change of a huge water mass. The lake's ice attire, its beauty and majestic symphony of "ice music" make it very attractive for every onlooker.

Duration of ice covered period: 4 - 5 months
Freezing of the bays before the freeze-up: 10 - 30 days before
Ice thickness in a freeze-up day: 5 - 20 cm
Ice thickness in hummock areas: from 40 - 70 cm to 2 m and more
Speed of the ice growing: from 1 to 5 cm/day
Thickness of the ice: from 40 cm to 1.2 m
In Maloe More / Small Sea area: thickness of ice is up to 1.5 m

Width of multiyear constant cracks: 40 cm up to several metres
The size of ice fields divided with cracks: 10 - 30 km
Ice height in strain cracks: up to 10 - 12 m
Duration of drift ice: 10 - 20 days (in the South up to 30 days)

Complete release from the ice:
In the South: 12 - 16 of May
In the North: 9 - 14 of June
The earliest and latest terms of freezing: December 14, 1877; February 6, 1959
Average date: January 9
The earliest and latest terms of breakup: April 17, 1923; May 26, 1879
Average date: May 5

Multiyear cycles:
breakup: 2 - 8 years
freezing: 10 - 15 years

intra-century recurrence: freezing: 24 - 45 years
breakup: 35 - 60 years

Duration of ice crossing by horse:
in the South = 95 - 105 days
in the North = 110 - 130 days

Baikal ice
Lake Baikal tours by ice
1. It is save to drive the car over the ice during the period of 85 days when the ice is not less than 30 cm thick: 85 days

2. Transportation of loads up to 15 tons in weight on the ice not less than 50 cm thick: 70 days

3. Transportation of loads more than 15 tons in weight on ice not less than 70 cm thick: 45 days

Click here to see more pictures of lake Baikal in winter.
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