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Posts tagged Selenga Delta

Selenga Delta and Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal, Russia – August 4th, 2010

53.1N 107.3E

August 4th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Russia - July 19th, 2010

Russia - July 19th, 2010

In this summer image, Lake Baikal, located in Russian Siberia, is free of ice. Notable features in the lake, best observed in the very crisp full image, include the Selenga Delta and Olkhon Island.

The Selenga Delta is situated in the lower reaches of the lake. The waters around it appear greenish, tinged by sediments from the 992 km long Selenga River.

The island of Olkhon is situated north of the delta, on the opposite shore of the lake. It is the third-largest lake-bound island in the world and by far the largest island in Lake Baikal, with an area of 730 km2.

Upon opening the full image, a fire can also be observed northeast of the lake’s northern shores. The smoke released by the blaze is blowing to the northwest.

Selenga Delta and Hamar-Daban Mountains on Southern Shores of Lake Baikal, Russia – November 15th, 2009

November 15th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Russia - October 5th, 2009

Russia - October 5th, 2009

Wispy clouds stretch across the central to southern part of Lake Baikal, in Russian Siberia. Framing the southern shore of the lake are the Hamar-Daban Mountains, which stretch for the distance of over 250 km. They receive the greatest amount of precipitation in the whole Baikal region.

Also of note along the shores of the lake is the Selenga Delta, surrounded by greenish waters. The Selenga River has a length of 992 km and carries 935 m³/s of water into Lake Baikal, comprising almost half of riverine inflow. The wide delta it forms has a surface area of 680 km².

South of the delta and the Hamar-Daban Range is Lake Gusinoye, meaning Goose Lake, a body of fresh water in the Russian republic Buryatia. It is located about 120 kilometers from Ulan Ude, the capital of Buryatia, and is close to the border with Mongolia.

Climate Change Affects Lake Baikal, Russia – August 20th, 2009

53.1N 107.6E

August 20th, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes

Lake Baikal, Russia - August 12th, 2009

Lake Baikal, Russia - August 12th, 2009

Olkhon Island

Olkhon Island

Irkutsk

Irkutsk

Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and most biologically diverse lake, faces the prospect of severe ecological disruption as a result of climate change, according to team of U.S. and Russian scientists, CNN reports.

Publishing their analysis in BioScience magazine the team found the most pressing threat came from the dependence of the lake’s food chain on microscopic algae. Lake Baikal’s algae are particularly vulnerable to expected reductions in the length of time the lake is frozen each winter. Here, the lake can be seen unfrozen during the summer months. For a winter image, please click here. The close-ups focus on the southern part of the lake and Irkutsk, Siberia’s largest city, Olkhon Island in the lake’s central section, and the Selenga River Delta on the eastern shores.

Selenga Delta

Selenga Delta

The report’s authors say Lake Baikal’s climate has become measurably milder over recent decades, and that annual precipitation is expected to increase. The average ice depth in the lake is believed to have decreased in recent decades, and the ice-free season to have increased. Changes in the lake’s food-chain composition have been noted, the scientists say.
Shorter periods of ice cover is expected to slow the growth of the lake’s algae, the authors say; the organisms bloom under the ice in springtime and are highly dependent on ice cover for their reproduction and growth.
Algae is the principal food of tiny crustaceans abundant in the lake, which in turn are food sources for the lake’s fish. The crustaceans could also be affected by changes in the transparency of the ice, an expected result of shifting precipitation and wind patterns.
Shortened periods of ice cover and changes in the ice’s transparency may also harm the Baikal seal, the lake’s top predator and the world’s only exclusively freshwater seal. Because the seals mate and give birth on the ice, premature melting forces them into the water before molting and drastically reduces their fertility, the authors say.
A warmer, wetter climate may be the principal threat to Lake Baikal’s unique biological heritage, but it is not the only one, say the report’s scientists. The secondary effects of climate change, including greater nutrient inputs and industrial pollution from melting permafrost, may also exact a toll on an already-stressed ecosystem.