UCL Department of Geography


Description Photo Here

Personal tools
Log in
This is SunRain Plone Theme
UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  February 2012  /  Recent environmental change in Lake Baikal

Recent environmental change in Lake Baikal

NERC support for new ECRC work

Recent environmental change in Lake Baikal

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has awarded one of its Standard Grants to support a new project, Silicon isotope records of recent environmental change and anthropogenic pollution from Lake Baikal, Siberia.


Lake Baikal is the world's oldest lake, having begun to form over 20 million years ago. It is also the deepest and most voluminous, containing c. 20% of global surface freshwater. A key feature is its high degree of endemic biodiversity, as the globally "most outstanding example of a freshwater ecosystem", which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1996. Industrial development and changes in catchment land-use since the 1950's, however, pose serious threats to the stability of its ecosystem.


The project will tackle historical and longer-term trends through the application of silicon isotope analysis to endemic diatom species in the lake. It will be led by Dr George Swann (Nottingham), with Dr Anson Mackay (UCL Geography’s Environmental Change Research Centre) and Dr Matthew Horstwood ( NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory) as the other Principal Investigators.


This new project marks a 20 year involvement of the ECRC in Lake Baikal research, since the pioneering work on recent sediments started by Roger Flower and Rick Battarbee in 1992.


For more details, click here.


Shamanka Rock on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, is one of the sacred sites of the Buryat people

Tweets from @UCLgeography