Glacial Lake Vitim, a 3000-km3 outburst flood from Siberia to the Arctic Ocean
A prominent lake formed when glaciers descending from the Kodar Range blocked the River Vitim in central Transbaikalia, Siberia. Glacial Lake Vitim, evidenced by palaeoshorelines and deltas, covered 23,500 km2 and held a volume of ~ 3000 km3. We infer that a large canyon in the area of the postulated ice dam served as a spillway during an outburst flood that drained through the rivers Vitim and Lena into the Arctic Ocean. The inferred outburst flood, of a magnitude comparable to the largest known floods on Earth, possibly explains a freshwater spike at ~ 13 cal ka BP inferred from Arctic Ocean sediments.