- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
309

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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IRKUTSK TO VLADIVOSTOK
309
The lake is also remarkable for its long, rather curved
shape, like a crescent. It stretches in approximately
the same direction, and to some extent with the same
curve, as the great mountain-chains farther east, such
as the Yåblonovi, the Great Khingån, the ranges of
Eastern Manchuria, the Sikhota-Alin, and indeed, the
Japanese chain running through the islands of Japan
and Sakhalin. Baikål must be regarded as håving been
formed by a subsidence of the earth’s crust. This
subsidence must be supposed to have tåken place
gradually in the course of ages by dislocations similar
to those which are always connected with earthquakes ;
and even now the surroundings of the lake do not
appear to have come to rest, as slight earthquakes and
disturbances are of frequent occurrence in its neighbour
hood. The subsidence must in any case be partly very
ancient, but it has certainly been continued to recent
times. The mountains round the lake consist in part
of eruptive rocks of various age, syenites, porphyries,
etc, and in some places, basalts. Then there are
crystalline schists and gneisses, besides sedimentary
rocks of Silurian, Devonian, Jurassic, and also Tertiary
age.
At the place where the great River Selengå falls
into the lake, a submerged ridge, which no doubt must
have been formed in the course of ages by the river mud,
runs right across it. The Selengå has also formed a
large delta far out. By this submerged ridge the lake is
divided into two great basins, the larger and deeper of
which is the great north-eastern part, the smaller the
south-western, which is also deep and goes down to
4746 feet, while the depth over the ridge itself is only
1745 feet. The valley through which the Angarå
flows out of Baikål does not form any natural continua
tion of the depression of the lake, and the river channel

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