The recent discovery of gas hydrates in Lake Baikal sent us in search for the published information on gas venting from bottom sediments. We revealed that in the 1930s, both direct and indirect evidence of the escape of gases (mainly methane) in Lake Baikal was obtained. Analysis of these materials indicates that at present the ice steamthroughs open later and the intensity of gas escapes from the ice steamthroughs is lower than it was in the 1950s. The events of abundant death of pelagic fish golomyanka (Comephorus baicalensis Pall.) as well as specific forms of the ice cover caused by the methane escape, which used to happen in the lake, has not been recorded in Baikal since the 1950s. Thus, it seems that the intensity of gas venting has significantly decreased for the last 50–60 years. A possible reason is that the number of catastrophic (M = 9–10) earthquakes in the Baikal region became smaller.

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