The Mysterious saraswati River India

Some 10,000 years ago, there were believed to be many mighty rivers that flowed from the Himalayas and that allowed civilizations to prosper in the green, fertile, cool climate on the riverbanks in northwestern India, such as Rajasthan. Archaeologists have determined that ample precipitation and large flowing rivers enabled settlers to be prosperous farmers. Then, 6,000 years ago, one of the mightiest rivers, the Saraswati, dried up, forcing inhabitants in the area to relocate elsewhere.

Over time, the Saraswati River, spoken of in ancient holy writings, slowly became a folklore legend because no one could find any physical trace of it. Then, through the use of satellite imagery, scientists recently discovered evidence of a once-major river 5 miles (8 km) wide that flowed through northwestern India. They were also able to determine that it dried up 4,000 years ago—the same time the Saraswati disappeared. Both climate and geology are believed to have ultimately caused its disappearance.

Scientists using remote sensing are currently working with India's water experts to drill boreholes to seek water under the desert in the same area. Water they have retrieved so far from deep under the riverbed has been carbon dated at about 4,000 years old. More than 1,000 archaeological sites have also been discovered along the river course. Many believe this old riverbed may be the ancient Saraswati. As in Darfur, the location of groundwater from ancient water courses could help large populations in the face of drought conditions from global warming.

Primeval Forests in the united states

Scientists in the United States have used remote sensing images from around the country to identify and inventory stands of existing primeval forest. Most of these old trees are found in rugged, steep, out-of-the-way areas that are undesirable to build in, farm on, or harvest for lumber. Paleoclimatologists are extremely interested in these areas because some of the trees are thousands of years old and can provide a valuable record of droughts and floods that have occurred throughout time, enabling them to better understand environmental issues such as global warming. To date, old-growth stands have been found in the New England states, the Carolinas, Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Scientists are hopeful that a better understanding of the wet and dry cycles of climate will increase their knowledge of global warming, climate change, and long-term predictions.

This image pair depicts the Safsaf Oasis in Egypt. The image on the left is produced from the LANDSAT satellite of the Earth's surface, showing very few drainagelike features. The image on the right is a radar image, depicting the subsurface rock features. The dark veinlike patterns depict ancient watercourses. (NASA/JPL)

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