Baikal, Lake (Baykal) World's deepest lake in s Siberia, Russia; the largest freshwater feature in Asia. Fed by numerous small rivers, its outlet is the River Angara. Framed by mountains, Baikal has rich fish stocks and the world's only freshwater seal species. Its ecology is threatened by pollutants from lakeside factories, and government schemes have been introduced to protect the environment. Irkutsk lies on its n shore and the Trans-Siberian Railway runs along its s edge. Area: 31,494sq km (12,160sq mi). Max. depth: 1743m (5714ft).
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