A huge rift called the Baikal rift zone, located approximately in the middle of Eurasia, is constantly expanding, and in the future this will lead to the division of the continent into two parts and the formation of a new ocean in the place of lake Baikal. To such conclusion experts of Institute of Geology and Mineralogy named after V. S. Sobolev SB RAS and Novosibirsk state University.
The researchers note that the division of the great continent into two parts happen in the not too distant future, in geological terms, but a very long time by the standards of human approximately 20 million years.
Experts say that the Baikal rift zone has long been going on a lot of earthquakes, because it is an active geodynamic structure. It is assumed that the modern Baikal rift, a schism, has arisen several tens of millions of years ago, and only five to seven million years ago has entered the active phase of development. While in the earlier geological epochs the rift in this region were also formed, add the scientists.
The authors summarized a variety of previously collected materials on the rift zone and added to it their own data, which helped us to obtain the detailed full review — earlier, according to geologists, the study was exposed to only parts of it, but not all of it collectively. This, in particular, showed that for the latest stage of tectonic movements that began approximately 200 million years ago is characterised by very active movement in the terrain.
Through its work, the scientists not only received evidence to suggest that Eurasia in the future will be divided, but restored the history of lake Baikal, about a hundred million years. The specialists managed to prove that the mountains around the lake continue to grow at a CAGR of 5-6 millimeters per year — albeit on an intuitive level it does not seem that important, the researchers emphasize that this is a very high speed.
The scientific work of specialists was published in the journal Gondwana Research.