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Nile river formed millions of years earlier than thought, study suggests

Live Science reports:

For thousands of years, the Nile River has fertilized valleys along its winding path through northeastern Africa, anchoring ancient civilizations and still serving as an important route of transport and irrigation today.

But the age of its venerable waters, which stretch over 4,225 miles (6,800 kilometers), has been debated, with one group of experts claiming the river was born around 6 million years ago when a drainage system changed course, while another claims the river is five times older than that.

A new study finds evidence that supports the latter theory: The Nile River may have emerged around 30 million years ago, driven by the motion of Earth’s mantle — the thick layer of rock between the Earth’s core and crust, a group of researchers reported on Nov. 11 in the journal Nature Geoscience. [Continue reading…]

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