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Scientists find evidence of ancient mega lake in Africa

By Philaso G. Kaping | Last Updated: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 00:47

Zee Media Bureau\Philaso G Kaping

New Delhi: A large freshwater lake once filled the White Nile valley in Sudan, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Exeter found that the lake was formed during the last interglacial period. They dated the shoreline sediments to about 109,000 years ago using a dating technique based on exposure to cosmic rays to measure the amount of the isotope beryllium-10 in n shoreline deposits, according to reports.
“The eastern Sahara Desert of Africa is one of the most climatically sensitive areas on Earth, varying from lake-studded savannah woodland to hyperarid desert over the course of a glacial-interglacial cycle. In currently semiarid Sudan, there is widespread evidence that a very large freshwater lake once filled the White Nile River valley,” the researchers said in a statement.

They also estimated that the ancient lake once measured more 45,000 km2 in area, similar to the largest freshwater lakes on Earth today.

The lake could have formed as a result of damming of the White Nile by a more southern position of the Blue Nile, accompanied by heavy rainfall during monsoon.

The findings have been published in the journal Geology.

First Published: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 00:47

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