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International peer review confirms ancient river in UP with trajectory similar to mythical Saraswati

International peer review confirms ancient river in UP with trajectory similar to mythical Saraswati

By Ashish Srivastava
New Delhi, Dec 11 (UNI) International peer-review has confirmed research by a central institute validating the presence of an ancient river whose location falls within the region where the mythological River Saraswati is said to have been flowing.
According to the research, the “ancient river”, with dimensions comparable to Ganga and Yamuna, buried 26 kilometres away from Sangam (Ganga-Yamuna confluence) in Prayagraj, holds multiple possibilities to address the rapid depletion and deterioration of groundwater in the Ganga River Basin apart from adding to the belief of mythical Saraswati.
“This ancient river, likely to be extending toward the Himalaya, characterized by porous and permeable structures and is hydrogeologically linked with Ganga and Yamuna rivers through an underlying principal aquifer, which might hold a great promise for management of the current declining groundwater resources in the region. Interestingly, the location of this major paleoriver falls within the region where a lost mythological river was believed to be flowing in the past. The results add a new physical dimension to this belief,” the research said.
The research was peer-reviewed just days ago and published in Geophysical Research Papers.
According to Dr Virendra M Tiwari, director, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), the river is buried 10 meters deep into the earth and is likely to be 10-12,000 years old.
“Given the depth at which the river was discovered and primary analysis after our drilling process, it seems that the river is likely to be 10 to 12,000 years old. However, only further studies will ascertain its actual age,” he told UNI.
Tiwari said that further survey is on as the paleochannel (the ancient river) is expected to move towards Kanpur. He also said the newly discovered river will be crucial in recharging the groundwater.
“It is the most important outcome of our research. The floodwater and the excessive rainwater can be managed to enhance the groundwater level by way of recharge through the aquifer of the ancient river. An increase in the groundwater level will lead to the enhancement in the base flow to the river system and thus will replenish the Ganga River, during the lean summer season,” he explained.
The ancient river’s discovery follows a 2016 report commissioned by the Union Ministry of Water Resource ministry to a seven-member committee.
This report concluded that evidence from paleochannels suggested the existence of the mythological Saraswati, based on multiple studies and maps of paleochannels in north India and a separate ongoing project by the Central Groundwater Board to map the aquifers in India.
UNI ASH SHK2208

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