Baikal Rift Zone
The Baikal Rift Zone is a divergent plate boundary centered beneath Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

 in southeastern Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. To its west is the Eurasian Plate
Eurasian Plate
The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate which includes most of the continent of Eurasia , with the notable exceptions of the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian subcontinent, and the area east of the Chersky Range in East Siberia...

 and to its east is the Amur Plate which is moving away from the rift toward Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 at about 4 mm per year.

As in all divergent plate boundary zones, the crust in the Baikal Rift Zone is thinning and magma is very close to the surface. Hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

 are present both on land and under Lake Baikal, although thus far, no evidence of actual volcanism
Volcanism is the phenomenon connected with volcanoes and volcanic activity. It includes all phenomena resulting from and causing magma within the crust or mantle of a planet to rise through the crust and form volcanic rocks on the surface....

 has been found in the immediate vicinity of the lake. However, geologically-recent volcanic activity has occurred nearby and is probably associated with the Baikal Rift Zone. These volcanic centers are the Udokan Plateau, located about 400 km ENE of the northern tip of Lake Baikal, the Oka Plateau, located about 200 km WNW of the southwest tip of Lake Baikal, and the Vitim Plateau, around 200 km east of the rift.

Besides the East African Rift
East African Rift
The East African Rift is an active continental rift zone in eastern Africa that appears to be a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary. It is part of the larger Great Rift Valley. The rift is a narrow zone in which the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two new tectonic plates...

, the Baikal Rift zone is the only other current example of a divergent plate boundary within continental crust
Continental crust
The continental crust is the layer of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks which form the continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores, known as continental shelves. This layer is sometimes called sial due to more felsic, or granitic, bulk composition, which lies in...

on Earth.

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