Lake Baikal Zone EarthQuake

Map of Lake Baikal rift

Image via Wikipedia

Interesting earthquake in Russia at Lake Baikal. While not a large quake it is one of the largest and it highlights that this area is still active. The lake is a rift lake and the oldest still existing lakes in the world and the deepest as well. It is the result of the Asian continent splitting in two. The earthquakes and mountains in the area are part of the same tectonic action and show that the rift is still alive and well.

Quakes on rift faults are usually not very strong as they aren’t built up stress of two plates grinding into each other but are a single plate splitting itself into two. The rift valley in Africa is a good example of this but also highlights the other feature of rift faults, volcanoes. In a lot of different earthquakes this year the quakes have triggered volcanic activity and with rift valleys this seems to be more pronounced but there don’t seem to be many active volcanoes right in this area. That said the area to the north west of this lake is the central Siberian plateau where the Siberian Traps is the largest and longest lasting volcanic event known.

Lake Baikal is known to have hydrates in the lake and mud volcanoes, and with the lake getting 2 to 3 cm wider every year you know that at some time there will be a nice little earthquake and then a new volcano happen to continue the rift building. Lets hope that with the historic activity in the area it’s not another 1 million year dump of basalt.


About echlinm

Computer Programmer/Systems Analyst/Hacker S31
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