July 16. Debris flow and choppy sea

It is already the fifth day when the expedition works on cutting edge of the Science. But today we went even further. Today we have studied the previously unknown structure on the Baikal bottom in front of the Ukhan Cape of the Olkhon Island. This structure looks very unusual on very limited for the area and almost occasionally obtained geophysical data. You can think that it is a mud volcano or sunken barge with sand.  However, even before our expedition started, the co-chief scientist of the cruise Oleg Khlystov, basing on his many years of experience, deep knowledge of the region and phenomenal intuition of real researcher, has defined that this structure is a deep-water canyon. He also suggested to “taste” this canyon with our gravity core, extending with this the set of the objects to be studied during the cruise. Everybody was very happy for that, we want to see as many new things as possible. The more so as this idea was immediately and expressly supported by the project leader Dr. Grigorii Akhmanov, who is keen for many years on studying of depositional systems of continental margins, the part of those is different canyons.

On-shore “analogue” of the Khuray deep-water canyon

Oatmeal “a-la-Baikal” and pudding at 8:00 am were a good and very useful start of the day. The work began immediately after and finished only around 9:30 in the evening. The obtained cores with canyon deposit facies were really beautiful and colorful. They could not only charm any geologist but also make crazy any painter! Slump structures, turbidites , grain flows and Baikal diatomic oozes are mixed together and painted with colour palette  of gravity as painter whose magnificent canvases were stored for a while in a depository to be exposed for the first time on exhibition of the project Class@Baikal.. Everyone felt themselves like discoverers. And even initially scary word "debris-flow" has become quite ordinary during this day. Of course! Better to see once!..

The biologist of our expedition, Stepan Vodopyanov, also discovered many new things for himself and for us. Unbelievable but even at great depths and even in places where everything slupms and mixes up, there is a life

Typical for Baikal, living at depth, representative of zoo-benthos Baicalobathynella magna (cf.)

Amphipoda (approximate length - 8 mm)

Mosquito larva - Chironomidae

There was a bit stormy today, although everybody around, who has some experience, were telling us slightingly of rough lake that it is just a “choppy sea”. Probably, sailors invented this term by themselves to feel not so scared. Anyway we like this term! It is still not clear till what sea condition “choppy sea” is yet “choppy sea” but when you are in the center of so interesting events, many things for you are just a “choppy sea”. Also by the evening the wind died down and Baikal again pleased us with its kindly good weather.

“Rare minutes for a rest”

The evening, already traditional, lecture was devoted to carbon isotopes.

Post-graduate student, Anna Yurchenko, made the presentation about carbonate concretions and crusts formed in geological past and present, and how they can help geologists to understand the history of the Earth.

The day was saturated and fascinating.