River of long ago

GEOLOGISTS have found traces of a river that flowed between 5,000 and 11,000 years ago in the desert expanse of the Arabian peninsula. Some stretches of the river may have been as wide as 5 km wide, says Farouk El-Baz, director of Boston University's remote sensing centre (New Scientist, April 3, 1993).

Remote sensing images found the channel began in the Hijaz mountains of western Saudi Arabia, ending in a delta covering more than two-thirds of Kuwait, according to El-Baz.

El-Baz says the river he calls "Kuwait River" runs along a seismic fault and so there should still be ground water deep in the channel. There are indications also of three other rivers that have run dry in the region, El-Baz adds.

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