STS068-206-40
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Spacecraft nadir point: 50.9° N, 108.4° E

Photo center point: 52.0° N, 106.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 117 nautical miles (217km)
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Image Caption: STS068-206-040 Selenga River Delta, Russia October 1994
The Selenga River has deposited a sizeable delta along the southwest side of Lake Baykal. While over 300 streams flow into Lake Baykal, the Selenga River is the largest single river system that enters the lake. The Selenga along with many of its tributary streams and valleys provide transportation routes that connect Russia with Mongolia and China. Over 50 percent of the pollution that enters Lake Baykal enters through the Selenga River from as far away as Mongolia. Considering the depth of Lake Baykal (maximum depth 5710 feet-1741 meters) the amount of eroded sediment that has created such a large delta is impressive. The delta is a maze of interconnected waterways and wetland as expressed by the intermixing of colors and shapes (center of image). The dark red areas (green vegetation on this color infrared image) north and south of the braided channels of the delta of the Selenga River are forested land. The lighter-colored areas (towards center of image) show the extent of the agricultural activities (angular-looking field patterns) on the fertile delta. The delta area also provides an extensive wetland habitat for many species of fish, waterfowl, and mammals. The northern slopes of the rugged Khamar-Daban Mountains are visible along the bottom of the image.