Chronology of the Baikal Rift System



The deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal, Russia, lies on the intracontinental Baikal Rift system (BRS) along with the nearby Lake Khubsugul in northern Eurasia. Many questions connected with the history of the development of BRS remain open, in particular the time and causes of the formation of the recent BRS morphology. Thus, the rate of the Indo-Asian collision, and the discovery of mantle plume intrusion on the large area of Northern and Central Mongolia and on the TransBaikal area in the vicinity of the rift, have been subjects of hot debate throughout the past 50 years of research on the formation of the intercontinental BRS.

Studies by the authors of this article have focused on the southwestern BRS, particularly the Khubsugul Rift. Because of its submeridional trend, the Khubsugul Rift is believed to manifest various reactions when parameters of the tectonic stress field change due to the influence of the Indo-Asian collision in forming the northeast compression impact or of mantle plume intrusion that forms the northwest extension stress field.