Baikal World - information about lake Baikal and Baikal region
Origin & Development
Legends & Fairy tales • 
Earth's Crust Thickness • 
Underwater Relief • 
Landscapes • 
History & Formation • 
Seismic Activity • 
History of Lake Baikal
History of Explorations • 
Inhabitants & Settlers • 
First maps of Baikal • 
Archaeological Sites • 
Lake Baikal Climate
Introduction • 
Fogs • 
Winds & Waves • 
Ice Conditions • 
Fauna & Vegetation
Mammals • 
Baikal seal - Nerpa • 
Ichthyofauna • 
Invertebrates • 
Vegetation • 
Water of Lake Baikal
Colour • 
Transparency • 
Temperature • 
Pressure • 
Depth • 
Currents • 
Budget • 
Chemical Composition • 
Pollution • 
Recreational Areas
Circumbaikal Railway • 
Peschanaya Bays • 
Olkhon Island • 
Chivirkuysky Gulf • 
Wooden Irkutsk • 
Trans-Siberian Railway • 
People of Lake Baikal
People of Siberia • 
Buryat nation in Baikal • 
Russians in Baikal • 
Explanation of the local terms and geographical names at lake Baikal
Exogenous Relief Forming Processes

There are four different natural landscapes prevalent on the territory of Pribaikalye: high-elevation, mid-elevation, low-elevation and plain.

baikal landscapes
Baikal landscapes - high-elevation

Baikal landscapes - mid-elevation

Baikal landscapes - low-elevation

Baikal landscapes - plain-elevation
The high-elevation landscape is dominated by mountain tundra, Alpine and, rarely, low density trailing cedar forests located on the elevation of 1600-2000 m. The severe climate, the near inaccessibility of the region and its low recreational capacity (less than 1 man per 1 hectare/day) seriously limit the use of these territories for recreational purposes. Some areas can be used for mountain tourism and mountaineering. But one should bear in mind that throughout the greater part of the year there is a danger of frost bite and trauma.

The mid-elevation landscape is located at heights of 1200-1800 m. In some places its lower boundary goes down to 800 m and sometimes the dark-coniferous forests and trailing cedar reach the shore of Baikal, e. g. in North Baikal.

Mid-elevation territories are covered mainly with dark-coniferous cedar or cedar/fir forests. Due to their steep slopes and near inaccessibility the forest complexes have preserved their virginal and aesthetic attraction.

Their recreational capacity is estimated at 1-2 men per hectare/day. These areas can be used for the development of winter vacation (tourism, hunting, ice fishing, etc). In summer the recreational facilities expand due to foot and horse-paths, water and other tourist routes along with the picking of berries, mushrooms and other gifts of nature. It should be noted that from May till July there is a danger of encephalitis.

The low-mountain landscape is on the elevation of 600-1200 m. It is dominated mostly by sloping dark-coniferous, cedar/larch, pine and mixed taiga. This landscape is rich in berries, herbs, mushrooms and cedar nuts.

Along the plain are forest, steppe and marsh landscapes. The first two landscapes are the most frequently explored and are under a considerable human influence. They are comfortable enough for various kinds of recreation, including tourism and therapeutic treatment.

To preserve these natural landscapes man must use caution.

EXOGENOUS Relief Forming Processes of Baikal Basin

Bald Alpine Mountain Zone (1100 - 2800 m):
Destruction of the intensively weathering rocks surface: 2 mm/year
Identical by form and size rocks move along a 30 slope: 0.3 - 34 cm/year
Snow avalanches (size: length 70 - 80 m; width 50 - 55 m; thickness 2 - 2.5 m) carry out sandy loams, grasses of rock debris and blocks (aprox.) to 30m3
Expenditure of temporary torrents: 3 - 4 m3/s
Mass movement on 1 m thick layer of soils: 0.9 - 4.5 cm/year
The area of semi-covering glaciers of Middle Pleistocene > 10,000 km2
Thickness of mountain-valley glaciers > 1000 m

Forrest Zone (from the shoreline to 1100 - 1700 m):
Rocky, heavily weathered outcrops of crystalline rocks are destroyed at 0 - 26 mm/year
in zones of tectonic cracks up to 57 - 87,6 mm/years
Chemical denudation: 0,002 - 0,025 mm/year
Velocity of soil movement along the slopes of 30-45 at the depths of 17 - 31 cm: 1.4 - 32 mm/year
The movement of rock-streams along the slops of 35: 53 cm/year
When the mudflow, lateral erosion of rivers reaches 7 - 8 m per 4 - 5 days
Abrasion velocity of Baikal's shores: 0,88 m/year
Movement of the sand to the sand to the forest on the shores: 2 - 15 cm/year
Speed of sand replacement on the glades up to 10 m/year
Sand blowing on Olkhon Island: 8.8 cm/year

Steppes and forest-steppes:
Soil replacement on the slopes of 20: up to 0.8 mm/year
Blocks laying on the surface of the slopes of 30 move: up to 105 cm/year
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