The Baikal is a fresh water lake in the south of Eastern Siberia located between 52° 27.5' northern latitude, 103° 42.5' eastern longitude and 55° 46.3' northern latitude, 109° 57.5' eastern longitude.
The absolute height over the Baltic Sea level is 454.55 m.
The absolute height over the Pacific Ocean level is 455.7 m.
The absolute height of Lake Baikal bottom over the World Ocean level is 1,181 m.
The cavity started to fill with water 20-25 mln. years ago.
The maximum width is 79 km.
The minimum width is 26 km.
The lake is 636 km long.
The water surface area (together with islands) is 31,500 sq. km.
The coastal line is 2,000 km long.
The coastal line of the islands is 139.2 km long.
The maximum depth is 1,637 m, near Cape Izhimei it is 1,642 m.
The stone bed of Lake Baikal is divided into three hollows, Northern, Middle and Southern: the average depth of the Northern hollow (according to E.M. Kolokoltseva) is 576 m; the average depth of the Middle hollow is 854 m; the average depth of the Southern hollow is 843 m.
The average depth of Lake Baikal (according to E.M. Kolokolotseva) is 731 m.
The total volume of the water mass is 23,000 cub. km.
The number of capes is 174 (according to I.D. Chersky).
The number of islands is 26 (according to O.G. Gusev, 1990).
The biggest gulfs are the Barguzinsky (791 sq. km), the Chivyrkuisky (268 sq. km), the Proval (197 sq. km).
The number of tributaries is 336 (according to I.D. Chersky) or 544 (according to O.G. Gusev).
The maximum water temperature in summer in the open lake is +16°C, the minimum water temperature in summer in the open lake is 4.2°C. The maximum shallow water temperature is 23°C. The warmest place in Lake Baikal is the Peschanaya bay, the average annual temperature there is +0.4°C.
The duration of sunshine at Lake Baikal is:
- in the northern part 1,900-2,200 hours a year;
- in the central and southern parts 2,000-2,400 hours a year.
The level of Lake Baikal raised 1 m after the construction of the Irkutsk hydropower station.
The water area of Lake Baikal became 500 sq. km more after the construction of the Irkutsk hydropower station.
The number of bays is about 20.
The number of archipelagoes is 1.
The lithospheric slabs part under Lake Baikal with the rate up to 1 cm a year.
The thickness of the earth’s crust under the cavity of the lake is from 39 to 60 km.