Chandrabhaga, a lost Ancient River, found in Odisha

  • The river Chandrabhaga is believed to have existed during the 13th century near the Sun Temple at Konark, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Odisha.
  • The claim has been presented by the scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur.
  • The claim was brought forward by the study conducted on the basis of integrated geological and geophysical exploration along with historical evidence and analysis of satellite data.

How did the discovery come about?

  • A team of geologists and social scientists from IIT Kharagpur decided to undertake a scientific study to investigate the mythical river’s existence
  • They conducted an aerial examination of the area through various satellite images and then validated it with other field data to identify and trace the channel of the river which is believed to have gone extinct
  • The scientists used the images from Landsat and Terra satellites of the US and those obtained by NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour’s ‘Radar Topography Mission’ in 2000
  • The thematic maps generated using GIS also supported the existence of the palaeochannel identified from Google Earth and satellite data
  • The geological map showed that the study area was covered with alluvium, a deposit characteristic of rivers
  • In its study the team said they also noticed patches of water bodies at various locations along the channel

What is palaeochannel?

A palaeochannel is a remnant of an inactive river or stream channel that has been either filled or buried by younger sediment.

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