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Ice regime

Source:  Lake Baikal: atlas. - Irkutsk, 2005. - P. 57.

For almost five months a year Lake Baikal is cover­ed with ice. This period of ice plays a very significant role in its life.

The most considerable peculiarity of the ice regime of Lake Baikal is its late freezing that takes place only in the middle of winter (usually January), long after the beginning of severe Siberian frosts. When other rivers and lakes froze long before in the year, Baikal still resists ice fetters. Its cold waves break against the shore and decorate the seaboard rocks with icy pat­terns. Around the water area of the lake the ice thickness varies from 40 to 120 cm, it is strong enough to cross Baikal by motor vehicle. The velocity of ice growth depends on the level of snow cover on its surface. Cracks and slits of 0.5-2 m wide stretching for tens of kilometres are dangerous for travel on the ice. The lake is freed of its ice imprisonment around May-June when its shores turn rosy due to blossoming of rhododendrons. The late ice phenomena (freezing and melting) are caused by the small range of temperature change of a huge water mass.                                       

The lake's ice attire, its beauty and majestic simphony of "ice music" make it very attractive for every onlooker.

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