Scientists trace how rivers change course

Dec 25, 2005

U.S. scientists have used laboratory techniques and sediment cores from the ocean to help explain the how rivers have changed course over millions of years.

Scientists Peter Clift of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Jerzy Blusztajn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reconstructed the erosional discharge from the Indus River over the past 30 million years and found that the source of those sediments changed 5 million years ago.

Until then, Indus River sediments were produced by erosion of mountains to the north of the collision zone between India and Asia, but 5 million years ago much more sediment starting coming from the southern Himalayas, part of the deformed Indian plate.

Clift and Blusztajn believe the change is caused by a rerouting of the major rivers of the Punjab region into the Indus River, where they flow into the Arabian Sea west of India. Previously these rivers flowed east and joined the Ganges River before reaching the Bay of Bengal, east of India.

The findings are reported in the journal Nature.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: India tests long-range missile from mobile launcher

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gullies on Vesta suggest past water-mobilized flows

Jan 23, 2015

(Phys.org)—Protoplanet Vesta, visited by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2013, was once thought to be completely dry, incapable of retaining water because of the low temperatures and pressures at its ...

Recommended for you

Planck: Gravitational waves remain elusive

Jan 30, 2015

Despite earlier reports of a possible detection, a joint analysis of data from ESA's Planck satellite and the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments has found no conclusive evidence of primordial ...

Going a long way to do a quick data collection

Jan 30, 2015

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn't fussy, it didn't have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had ...

How are planets formed?

Jan 30, 2015

How did the Solar System's planets come to be? The leading theory is something known as the "protoplanet hypothesis", which essentially says that very small objects stuck to each other and grew bigger and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.