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Water-level changes in Lake Baikal, Siberia: tectonism versus climate

Geology

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Abstract

Relative changes in the level of Lake Baikal, amounting to hundreds of meters in Quaternary time, are well documented. Data presented here show that tectonic displacements of the lake outlet or former shoreline features are entirely sufficient to explain these relative lake-level changes. In contrast, the morphology and hydrology of the lake make its level hydrologically insensitive to climate change. Available evidence indicates that, throughout the past several hundred thousand years, Lake Baikal was a dilute, through-flowing lake controlled by the level of its outlet. On the basis of geologic data alone, climatic effects on lake level, whatever their magnitude, are difficult to separate from those caused by active rift tectonism. However, considerations of (1) the hydrologic budget of the lake and (2) the configuration of the outlet suggests that potential lake-level fluctuations due solely to climate change were less than about 2m.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Water-level changes in Lake Baikal, Siberia: tectonism versus climate
Series title:
Geology
Volume
26
Issue:
6
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
531
Last page:
534
Number of Pages:
4