Massive earthquake changed path of this river 2500 years ago

The research published in Nature Magazine reveals that a massive earthquake 2,500 years ago caused the River Ganga to change its course abruptly.

The Ganges River, a lifeline for millions in India, has a long history of shifting its course due to geological factors, including earthquakes. Recent scientific research and geological studies provide insights into how ancient seismic events have influenced the river’s path over millennia. Rivers’ ability to change their routes is called an avulsion.

Although rivers have always changed their course, the possibility that earthquakes are the cause of these changes has never been proven. This work is unique since no previous research has ever connected seismic activity to the Ganges’ path.

Using satellite photos, the research team located the Ganga’s former main channel, which stretches for around 100 kilometers (62 miles) parallel to the river’s current course. In 2018, they found sand volcanoes, or seismites, along the former riverbed during an exploration. Vertical sand dunes known as seismites are created after earthquakes.

These seismites’ chemical study revealed their creation date to be approximately 2,500 years ago. The Ganges changed its path because of an earthquake that occurred at that period, according to researchers, that was rated a magnitude 7 or 8.

This subduction zone, which is beneath Bangladesh, Myanmar, and northeastern India, may have been the source of the earthquake. Large faults at the foot of the Himalayas may also have played a role in this notable

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