Friday, August 15, 2008

Our Amazing Planet: Leaky Lake

clipped from

Scientists find oil fissure in Lake Baikal's bedrock

NOVOSIBIRSK, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Scientists have located a crack in the bedrock of Siberia's Lake Baikal from which crude oil seeps into the lake, and have discovered a range of organisms living in the oil, an expedition member said on Thursday.

Researchers, who are currently examining the processes through which microbes in the world's deepest lake digest petroleum that naturally enters the water, conducted deep water dives on Monday and Wednesday to locate the oil source.

Research into Baikal's oil may provide new insights into the origins of petroleum, he said.

Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, holds around 20% of the planet's freshwater.

Baikal is the world's oldest lake, with an age estimated at 25 million years.
research is not aimed at exploiting possible oil and gas reserves, but at protecting Baikal's unique ecosystem.
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