Lake Baikal and the Angara River in Snowy Siberia
Lake Baikal, in southern Siberia and most of this part of Russia, are covered by snow.
Baikal has more water than all of North America’s Great Lakes combined – 23,600 cubic kilometers (5,700 cu mi), about one fifth of the total surface fresh water on the earth.
However, in surface area, it is exceeded by the much shallower Great Lakes, Superior, Huron and Michigan, in North America, as well as by the relatively shallow Lake Victoria in East Africa.
Known as the “Galápagos of Russia”, its age and isolation have produced some of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater fauna, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.
What appears to be an island (bottom center) in the first close-up is actually the Svyatoy Nos (Holy Nose) Peninsula. Its connection to the coast is hidden by snow.
The second close-up focuses on a section of the Angara River, the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal. It leaves the lake near the settlement of Listvyanka. The river is 1779 km (1105 miles) long and flows through Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai.
The final close-up showing the southwestern tip of the lake (right) and the beginning of a mountain range (left) through which the Kitoy River flows.