Nov 13, 2015 03:29 AM EST
Scientists say that the Sahara desert once had a vast overflowing river. According to the evidence, there were ancient riverbeds under the sands of Mauritania in the Western Sahara.
With the use of satellite images, scientists investigated and studied the surface of the Sahara. The images and data collected in the study confirmed the existence of mighty water system that is approximately 520 km in length was believed to have existed over the last 245,000 years ago. The researchers also concluded that a vast vegetation once existed in the Sahara desert.
Long ago, scientists theorized that the Sahara was once a great forest and this is the first time that they had found legitimate evidence that can support their theory and had been considering this discovery to help them in studying the past of the African continent.
Experts found a submarine channel in the continental shelf of Western Sahara, and they have suspected that an ancient river system was present in this particular area of Sahara based on the discovery of river-borne material buried deep in the ocean of sands.
Charlotte Skonieczny of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea or IFREMER used the technology Palsar orbital radar satellite imagery. The use of this technology let the researchers finally find evidence hidden beneath the sand of the Sahara and enables them to capture images and map the geological features several meters below the sand dunes.
According to the Journal that is written by the French researchers titled Nature Communications, the river might be ranked twelfth in the world if the Sahara still exists. Russell Wynn of the National Oceanography Center said that the discovery is one of the most compelling geological stories and evidence ever found throughout the years of study of the Sahara desert. Wynn also stressed the fact that this is a good example of what climate change might do to the world in a couple of hundred of years.
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