The water surface of Baikal is 31500 km2 which corresponds to that of countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands or Denmark. According to its size, Baikal is ranked eighth among the largest lakes in the world. Only the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea surpass it.
Baikal contains 20% of the world’s surface freshwater reserves (with the exception of glaciers, icebergs and Antarctic and Greenland ice), and more than four-fifths of freshwater reserves in the region. former Soviet Union.
1 Kaspian Sea 376,000 km2
2 Superior (United States + Canada) 82,400 km2
3 Victoria (Africa) 68,000 km2
4 Huron (United States + Canada) 59,600 km2
5 Michigan (United States) 58,100 km2
6 Aral Sea 37 100 km2
7 Tanganyika (Africa) 34,000 km2
8 Baikal 31 500 km2
9 Malawi (Africa) 30,800 km2
The volume of water in Baikal is 23000 km3, which corresponds to the total volume of the five large lakes of North America combined (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario) or the Baltic Sea. The volume of the great Siberian lake is twice that of Lake Tanganyika, 90 times that of the Sea of Azov and 23 times that of Lake Ladoga. Only the Caspian Sea is three times larger than the Baikal, but its waters are salty. Thus, Lake Baikal represents the largest freshwater reservoir on the planet and the largest system of self-regulation of its purity.
To imagine the importance of the water volume of the Baikal, remember that if we cut any water supply pouring into the lake, Angara (the only river leaving the lake) would take 400 years to empty it completely . Second extraordinary comparison: if it were necessary to fill the Baikal depression by directing water from all the streams of the globe, this process would take 300 days! And finally, if we freeze all the water in the lake and cut it in blocks of 1 km3 and if we had these blocks in line, this ice belt would stretch from the North Pole to the South Pole by still exceeding 3000 km. ..
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