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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 08:27, August 10, 2005
Chinese scientists leave for Baikal expedition
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A group of Chinese scientists left here Tuesday for Russia's Irkutsk to kick off a scientific expedition on Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and largest freshwater lake.

It is believed to be the largest ever joint scientific expedition between China and Russia. A total of 43 scientists and journalists from both sides will take part.

The scope of study for the current expedition includes zoology and environment, water lives, lake environment, regional economy, remote sensing and geographic information of the lake.

According to Tao Baoxiang, head of the Chinese team, scientists from the two countries will start a two-day lake-surface expedition on Aug. 12 and all the activities are expected to be finished later this month.

Located in southern Siberia, the lake, with a depth of 1,620 meters, lies between the Irkutsk Oblast on the northwest and Buryatia on the southeast. It was put on the world natural heritage list by the United Nations in 1996.

In order to protect the lake from increasing contamination by paper makers and other polluters, Russia adopted a special law in 1998 to protect it from further pollution and two natural reserves have so far been set up to that effect.

With an age estimated at 20 to 25 million years and an area of 31,500 square km, the rift lake is viewed as one of the world's most ancient lakes.

Fed by 336 inflowing rivers, with the main ones including the Selenga, Barguzin and Upper Angara, the rift lake boasts a volume of about 23,000 cubic km, or one fifth of the total freshwater in the world.

Completely surrounded by mountains, the lake contains 27 islands, with the largest one as Olkhon.

Source: Xinhua

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