Its level is subject to slight oscillations, and after a heavy five weeks' rain in 1869 it rose 7 ft., an immense territory at the mouth of the Selenga being submerged.
At the mouth of the Selenga, however, which enters from the south-east, pouring into it the waters and the alluvial deposits from a drainage area of 173,500 sq.
The surface-layers of this immense basin are heated in the summer up to temperatures of 55z° to 57° F., both close to the shores and at some distance from the mouth of the Selenga; but these warmer layers are not deep, and a uniform temperature of nearly 39° F.
Lake Baikal receives over 300 streams, mostly short mountain torrents, besides the Upper Angara, which enters its north-east extremity, the Barguzin, on the east, and the Selenga on the south-east.
With the exception of the delta of the Selenga, Lake Baikal is surrounded by lofty mountains.
Steamers ascend this river as far as Bilyutai, near the Mongolian frontier, and bring back tea, imported via Kiakhta, while grain, cedar nuts, salt, soda, wool and timber are shipped on rafts down the Khilok, Chikoi and Uda (tributaries of the Selenga), and manufactured goods are taken up the river for export to China.
SELENGA-ORKHON, a river of Central Asia, which rises in two principal head-streams, the Selenga and the Orkhon, on the plateau of N.W.
But around and north-east of this lake the same wellmarked ranges fringe the plateau and turn their steep north-western slope towards the valleys of the Irkut, the Barguzin, the Muya and the Chara, while their southern base lies on the plateaus of the Selenga (nearly 4000 ft.
Vast numbers of small lakes stud the Vitim and upper Selenga plateaus; the lower valley of the latter river contains the Goose Lake(Gusinoye).
As Lake Baikal is approached the stream of Russian immigration becomes narrower, being confined mostly to the valley of the Angara, with a string of villages up the Irkut; but it widens out again in Transbaikalia, and sends branches up the Selenga and its tributaries.
In East Siberia the Buriats occupy the Selenga and the Uda, parts of Nerchinsk, and the steppes between Irkutsk and the upper Lena, as also the Baikal Mountains and the island of Orkhon; they support themselves chiefly by live-stock breeding, but some, especially in Irkutsk, are agriculturists.
On the high plateau all attempts to grow cereals have failed, the wide trenches alone (Uda, Selenga, Jida) offering encouragement to the agriculturist.
In the same way the Kentei (or Gentei) Mountains, as they are called, to the north of Urga, and the Yablonoi Mountains of Transbaikalia, separate the higher terrace of north-west Mongolia (drained by the tributaries of the Selenga) from the lower terrace of the Gobi, which is drained by the upper tributaries of the Onon and the Kerulen, both belonging to the basin of the Amur.
Besides the rivers just mentioned, there are others belonging to the basin of the Yenisei (Khua-or Khi-khem, Bei-khem and Bornkemchik); while yet others belong to the Selenga, a river formed by the junction of the Eder with the Telghir.
"the Selenga receives the Orkhon, at the head of which remarkable inscriptions were discovered in the end of the 19th century, and cleverly deciphered.
The fauna is a mixture of the Siberian and the Daurian - the latter penetrating up the valleys of the Selenga basin.
The system is pierced by the Bel-kem or upper Yenisei, and in 1 06°, at its eastern extremity, it terminates above the depression of the Selenga-Orkhon valley.