In a move set to enrage various religions, a team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder OHIO has detailed a possible explanation for the Moses ‘parting of the Red Sea’.
At the right spot – a sharp bend where a shallow river meets a coastal lagoon – and with the right contours of a waterway’s bottom, wind moving across the bend could in effect push water both upstream and downstream, exposing the bottom. When the sustained winds finally die down, water returns from both directions to cover the muddy land bridge.
This is known as ‘wind setdown’. Modeling results that the team have constructed of a section of the eastern Nile Delta suggest that it could have had the right characteristics some 3,000 years ago to provide a temporary wind swept land bridge for a group fleeing Egypt.
“The idea that these ancient stories and legends have a basis in scientific fact, that’s what’s really exciting,” says Carl Drews, a software engineer at NCAR and lead author on the paper reporting these results.
They found that an east wind of 63 miles per hour, sustained for 12 hours, would clear a mud flat path across the junction up to 2.5 miles long and three miles wide. Anyone who wanted to cross would have had about 4 hours to do it, according to the modeling results.
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