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Discover Lake Baikal

   Akhmatova, a famous Russian poetess and known as the "Female Pushkin" in the 20th century, once made a special trip to Lake Baikal when she traveled to Siberia. She wrote in her diary: Lake Baikal was given to us by the Creator. The gift of the world, Baikal is a bottomless eye.

  To say that Lake Baikal is bottomless is not true at all. Lake Baikal is located in the southern part of Central Siberia, Russia. It is the deepest lake in the world. Of all lake types, tectonic lakes formed by crustal rupture are the deepest. Due to the extremely deep lake water (the average water depth is 730 meters, the absolute depth of the whole lake is 1640 meters, and the deepest point of the lake bottom level is 1295 meters below the sea level), so although the area of ​​Lake Baikal only ranks ninth among the world's major lakes (Lake Baikal) The lake area is 31,500 square kilometers), but the water storage capacity of Lake Baikal has reached 236 million cubic kilometers, which is the largest freshwater lake in the world. In total, it accounts for about 1/5 of the total global freshwater storage. In order to illustrate this problem, we might as well make an assumption. If Lake Baikal is the only source of fresh water in our world, its fresh water can be used by people all over the world for 50 years.

  Lake Baikal has the East Sayan Mountains on the left, the Yablonov Mountains on the right, the Mongolian Plateau to the south, and the Central Siberia Plateau to the north, which provides a unique ecological environment for Lake Baikal and ensures sufficient water sources for Lake Baikal. There are a total of 336 rivers in Lake Baikal. Since almost all of them are high-quality water sources without pollution, the water of Lake Baikal is very clear and the visibility exceeds 40 meters. There is a saying in China that "when the water is clear, there will be no fish", but there are more than 1,800 kinds of fish and mammals in Lake Baikal. This is where Su Wu used to shepherd sheep. During the Qin and Han dynasties, the Chinese called Lake Baikal the "North Sea", and Su Wu lived here for 19 years on the "North Sea of ​​Shepherds". During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese army hit the southern edge of Lake Baikal in order to drive out the Huns. , did not stay here, then returned to the Central Plains.

  Although the Han Dynasty in China had been to Lake Baikal several times during the war with the Huns, from the perspective of scientific exploration, the Russians were the first to discover Lake Baikal. In 1463 AD, Russian explorers Kurbsky, Jorney and Saldek Travi led a group of explorers to start an expedition to Siberia, which opened the prelude to human exploration and development of Siberia. Nearly two hundred years later, in AD 1633, the Russians began to advance to the upper reaches of the Lena River and Lake Baikal. Under the leadership of the Cossack Iliy Bifiliev, a group of Russians came to the southern edge of Lake Baikal. , after which the Russians established the Buryat fortress district there.

  In the 1640s, the Russians in the fortified area of ​​Buryatia had heard that there was a vast water surface like the sea not far from them, that is Lake Baikal, a legendary "great rich lake". The area along Lake Baikal is inhabited by the Buryat people. In fact, the legend about Lake Baikal has been circulating in the Russian interior since the early 17th century. Some of the Buryat people are engaged in the fur business, and some of them have even been to the Omsk region in the hinterland of Russia. The Russians heard from these people that there is a lot of wealth in the Baikal region, and there are rich silver mines nearby.

  In 1643, the Cossack officer Kurbat Ivanov first explored the road to Lake Baikal from the fortress district of Upper Yansk in northern Siberia. In addition to the Cossacks, his troops included some fisher-hunters and businessmen from the interior of Russia, who came all the way to the western shore of Lake Baikal, and at the "Little Sea" (Bay of Baikal) at 53°N latitude Discovered an island in Lake Baikal. Ivanov conquered the local Buryats by military means, forcing the Buryats on the western shore of Lake Baikal to pay a fur tax in the upper Yansk fortress area.

  In 1647, a force led by the Russian officer Adaman Vasily Kolesnikov was sent from Yeniseysk to the Baikal region, marched to the northern shore of the lake, and established a fortress there . A portion of the Russians, under the command of Ivan Pokhabav, advanced along the west bank to the southwest of Lake Baikal.

  The following year, in AD 1648, a Russian force under the command of Ivan Kalkin came to the Barguzin River along the eastern bank of Lake Baikal, and established a barguzin called Barguzin on the bank about 50 kilometers away from the mouth of the river. fortress area. However, the Russians finally gained a foothold in the Baikal region a little later, after the establishment of the city of Irkutsk. In 1652, Pohabav first established a wintering ground for fur taxation on the island of Diachi near the mouth of the Irkut River (a tributary to the left of the Angara), and then opposite the mouth of the Irkut River. A fortress area was established on the right bank of the Angara River, which soon developed and gradually became the city of Irkutsk. By the 18th century, the city was the center of Russian rule over Eastern Siberia.

  In 1769 AD, the Russian Academy of Sciences organized an expedition called "Orenburg Fourth". The expedition was led by Jogan Falk, and Ivan Ivanovich Kiorki, a prominent Russian medical scientist, later promoted to the Russian Academy of Sciences, was sent to lead the expedition. human assistant. Starting in August 1770, Chiorgi and Falk began to study the steppe ecology of the Orenburg region, the Oberschselt Heights and the region near the Caspian Sea. In 1771 AD, Chiorgi also inspected and studied the Altai Mountains, and in 1772, he was sent to work on the expedition of the scientist Pallas. In the summer of this year, Chiorgi and Pallas split up for scientific expeditions. Kiorki alone inspected and recorded the shoreline of Lake Baikal with a length of more than 900 kilometers, that is, from the mouth of the Bukirdeika River at 106 degrees east longitude to the upper reaches of the Angara River. From there, he sailed along the southeastern shore of Lake Baikal to the mouth of the Selenga River. He cruised most of Lake Baikal by boat, discovered the island of Orhang in this lake, and drew the first flat map of Lake Baikal. As a result of his first scientific expedition to Lake Baikal, he concluded that the lake was formed "due to a forceful action, possibly an earthquake that caused the original riverbed in the upper reaches of the Angara to collapse, and the depression of the lakebed was different from that of the lake. The Angara River is of comparable length in this place, and it is blocked by the mountains as it reaches Kurtuk." This is the first hypothesis that people have formed about Lake Baikal.

  At the same time, the Russian scientist Pallas came to the city of Irkutsk and used it as a base to inspect the Transbaikal region. He traveled to Kyaktu, and from Kyaktu turned to Chita. During this period, he focused on the investigation and record of the Yabulonov Mountains on the right side of Lake Baikal, which is also an important water source of Lake Baikal. After this he also inspected the Onon River and studied the Adon Cheron mountain highlands (southeast of Chita) in detail. He traveled northwest to the edge of the Tula River (the southern tributary of the Ingoda) and followed this tributary to the Ingoda and returned to Chita.

  Pallas traveled northwest from Chita, came to the edge of the Great Yelavnoye Lake, turned south, crossed the East Lake Mountains, and followed the southern foot of this mountain range until it reached 180°30′E longitude . He climbed over the Chagandaban Mountains and followed the course of the Selenge River system to Lake Gusnoye, the largest lake in Transbaikal. After examining the lake, Pallas traveled to the mouth of the Selenga River. After that, he bypassed the southern bank of Lake Baikal and reached the mouth of the Angara River, where he investigated and described the mouth of the river. Kiorki had earlier surveyed most of the Lake Baikal region, and since then Pallas has continued with the expeditions that Kiorki had not completed. Pallas inspected and recorded almost the entire Lake Baikal region. The scientific expedition of Kiorki and Pallas to Lake Baikal and Trans-Baikal region was the earliest scientific expedition to Lake Baikal and Lake Baikal region in human history. It lifted the mysterious veil of Lake Baikal, and at the same time completed the scientific discovery of Lake Baikal by civilized human beings.


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