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Lake Baikal During the Summer – September 23rd, 2011

53.1N 107.6E

September 23rd, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Russia - September 18th, 2011

Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest lake at 30 million years old and with an average depth of 744.4 metres.

Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water. In this image, acquired during the northern hemisphere summer, its waters and the surrounding landscape are not frozen.

At 1,642 metres (5,387 ft), Lake Baikal is the deepest and among the clearest of all lakes in the world. Similarly to Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2/12,248 sq mi, less than that of Lake Superior or Lake Victoria. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world.

Vegetation Index from Lake Baikal, Russia, to Mongolia

51.5N 107.1E

August 8th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Russia - July 17th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index in Russian Siberia, near Lake Baikal (upper left quadrant) during the northern hemisphere summer. The index is generally good (green) around the lake and throughout most of the image.

However, photosynthetic activity decreases to low (yellow) as one moves south into Mongolia and east to the right edge of the image. Some areas of high activity (rusty red) can be observed along the forested slopes of the mountains near Lake Baikal.

Fires Near Angara River and Lake Baikal, Russia

57.8N 100.9E

July 17th, 2011 Category: Fires, Lakes

Russia - July 14th, 2011

A cluster of wildfires can be observed near the Angara River in the upper left corner of this image of Russian Siberia. The smoke from the fires was blowing towards the north-northwest at the time the image was acquired.

Visible in the center of the image is Lake Baikal, in Russia. Southwest of its southern tip is Lake Khövsgöl, the largest lake in Mongolia.

Wildfires Near Lake Baikal, Russia

55.4N 104.8E

June 25th, 2011 Category: Fires

Russia - June 21st, 2011

Plumes of smoke from multiple wildfires both east and west of Lake Baikal, Russia, can be seen blowing in a generally westerly direction.

Around the time this image was acquired, 172 fires were reported, burning throughout the Russian Federation, with 118 new wildfires registered on the day this image was taken alone. Warm weather and very difficult terrain are hindering firefighting efforts.

Small Patches of Ice on Lake Baikal, Russia

53.1N 107.6E

May 30th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Russia - May 23rd, 2011

Although the mountains around the northern half of Lake Baikal are still capped in thick white snow, the surrounding landscape is snow free. The immediate surrounding areas also appear unaffected by the wildfires that have been blazing in the region (click here for articles on the fires).

The lake itself has also mostly thawed out with the warmer spring temperatures. In the full image, some ice can still be observed at the extreme northern end and along the northeastern shoreline, however.


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