Lake 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. Baikal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest freshwater lake in the world with unique features. It is located in the south of Eastern Siberia, the height above sea level is 455 meters and area 31.5 km2). The biggest measured depth of the lake is 1637 m , it’s the deepest lake in the world (earth only 6 lakes are deeper than 500 m in the world).
Baikal scientists determine the age of 25 – 30 million years old, is one of the oldest lakes in the world. Recent research has enabled geophysics to express the hypothesis that Baikal is a nascent ocean. The hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that the lake shore at odds with the speed of about 2 cm per year.
The Baikal region is one of the most seismically active intercontinental regions of the globe. Strong earthquake in 7 points occur with a periodicity of 1-2 years, up to 8 points strength earthquake comes every 5 years. In 1862 in the northern Selenga delta during the earthquake of 10 points under the water went a land with area of 200 km2 and formed a new Gulf of failure. Quite often in this area are occurring weak earthquake.
Fauna and flora
Baikal’s flora and fauna is unique, many species are endemic. Lake Baikal hosts 1,085 species of plants and 1,550 species and varieties of animals. Among algae the more numerous are diatoms – 509 species. The more numerous animals are crustaceans – 255 species, gastropods – 83, round worms – 100, flat worms – 40, seed shrimps – 100, etc. Fauna of Baikal is remarkable with its endemism.
If you have decided to become a “serious diver” and learn to control your equipment in really extreme situations – come to Lake Baikal. Big depths, transparent waters, convenient relief, open water year around – ideal conditions for tech courses just on Baikal! I must say that Baikal Lake is not suitable for amateur divers
Well probably a logical question will arose “Why Baikal?
1. Baikal is in the list of the best diving destinations in the world, it is a dream of the all divers of the planet.
2. Baikal is the most beautiful place in the world and is worth to visit even if you’re not a diver. It is simply amazing place with unnatural beauty and diversity of wildlife.
In the field of diving in June the water temperature from the surface throughout the depth is constant – about 3-4 C . In August, the temperature of the surface layer of water (up to 10-15 m deep) in the open part of the lake is usually 7-10 C in hot summer can reach 12 C. From the depths of 10-15 m water temperature drops to 3-4 C. In August, on the shore in shallow waters temperature may be up to 18 – 20 C.
The topography and the depth
Most dive sites has the following relief. From coast stretches flat shallow shelf, with depths less than 5-10 m. The bottom shelf of sand or fine shingle. At a distance of 20-30 meters from the shore begins a steep slope, sometimes graded, sometimes quite precipitous, and in some cases having a negative angle. Vertical wall, dropped into the abyss, frequently cut canyons, and sometimes visible window of caves and grottos.
Visibility in the field of diving in June of 30 – 40 m. In August, the visibility drops to 10-12 m.
Special conditions for diving
Because of the low temperature, dives in Baikal are conducted in a dry suit.
Level of difficulty, and the recommended level of certification
You should be a certified Dry Suit Diver with sufficient experience of diving in a dry suit. Recommended certification level not below advanced open water. To dive in the caves outside the light zone you must have special training as a cave diver.