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February 25, 2016

The Thar palaeochannel

Newspost

February 25, 2016

The palaeochannel in Thar is an excellent and good source of groundwater. It can be used to effectively manage water scarcity in the desert. The Hakra River (palaeochannel) – the main tributary of the Saraswati River (India) – dried up about 6000-4000 BC. The river once flowed through alluvial planes stretching parallel to the existing Indus River (Pakistan). At present, the river is buried under sand cushions of Thar due to earthquake and dunes.

There are diverse views about the exact course of the historical Hakra River. But with remote sensing techniques, palaeochannels can be mapped systematically. Moreover, satellite imagery of palaeochannels in the Thar desert can be confirmed through lithological and archaeological signs, water quality monitoring, isotopic analysis and radiocarbon dating. The palaeochannel in Thar is vital owing to its hydrological potential and can supplement groundwater resources. Nevertheless, exploration of deep groundwater resources is very costly. But to alleviate water shortage in Thar, these resources need to be explored.

Imran Aziz Tunio

Hyderabad

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