Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Space Data Unveils Evidence Of Ancient Mega-lake In Northern Darfur

Date:
April 12, 2007
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Researchers used recently acquired topographic data from satellites to reveal an ancient mega-lake in the Darfur province of northwestern Sudan. According to the researchers, mapping the site of the former lake will help with groundwater exploration efforts in the Darfur region.

Northern Darfur Mega-Lake
Credit: Boston University Center for Remote Sensing

Researchers from the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing used recently acquired topographic data from satellites to reveal an ancient mega-lake in the Darfur province of northwestern Sudan. Drs. Eman Ghoneim and Farouk El-Baz made the finding while investigating Landsat images and Radarsat data. Radar waves are able to penetrate the fine-grained sand cover in the hot and dry eastern Sahara to reveal buried features.

Related Articles


Segments of the lake's shoreline were identified at the constant altitude of 573 3 meters above sea level. Ghoneim incorporated these segments with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data into a Geographical Information System to reconstruct the lake and the ancient river courses that led to it. At its maximum extent, the lake occupied an area of about 30,750 km2 and would have contained approximately 2,530 km3 when full of water in the past.

The researchers made no inferences regarding the age of the lake; however, its vast extent suggests that it existed for a long period of time when rainfall was plentiful in the eastern Sahara.

"Field investigations and samples will determine the exact age of the lake," said El-Baz, director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. "One thing is certain -- much of the lake's water would have seeped through the sandstone substrate to accumulate as groundwater."

"This ancient lake, which represents indisputable evidence of the past rainy conditions in the eastern Sahara, will have significant consequences for improving our knowledge of continental climate change and regional palaeohydrology," said Ghoneim.

According to the researchers, mapping the site of the former lake, named the Northern Darfur Mega-lake, will help with groundwater exploration efforts in the Darfur region, where access to fresh water is essential for refugee survival.

As proven by El-Baz in Egypt, just north of Darfur, former lakes in this part of the Sahara are underlain by vast amounts of groundwater. His earlier detection of the "East Uweinat" basin in southwestern Egypt -- where the groundwater rises to 25 meters below the surface -- resulted in the drilling of 500 wells to irrigate 100,000 acres of agricultural land.

"Such large sedimentary basins have potential not only in groundwater resources, but also oil and gas resources at depth," said El-Baz.

A paper detailing the discovery will be published in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Remote Sensing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Space Data Unveils Evidence Of Ancient Mega-lake In Northern Darfur." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070411073519.htm>.
Boston University. (2007, April 12). Space Data Unveils Evidence Of Ancient Mega-lake In Northern Darfur. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070411073519.htm
Boston University. "Space Data Unveils Evidence Of Ancient Mega-lake In Northern Darfur." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070411073519.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 28, 2015) Heavy rain and flooding sweep through parts of Bolivia causing damage and leaves more than 2,000 people homeless. Sophia Soo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) The presidents of France and the Philippines issue a joint appeal for a binding agreement on climate change. Katie Sargent reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins