A Desert Dweller with Pre-emptive Knowledge of Haloclines

Mehran Banaei

The modern science of oceanography has revealed that in places where two different seas meet, there is an implicit natural impassible barrier between them described as a halocline. Halocline is a wall made of water between two different bodies of water. This indissoluble aquatic partition divides the two seas where each sea has its own temperature, salinity, oxygen concentration, composition and density. Just like oil and vinegar the two bodies of water are totally immiscible. A case in point is at the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean intersect. The two seas in essence are distinct from each other. In the Mediterranean Sea, water is moderately warm, saline and less dense compared to the water in the Atlantic Ocean. When the Mediterranean Sea water enters the Atlantic Ocean over the Gibraltar sill, it moves several hundred kilometers into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters with its own warmth, saline and less dense characteristics, thereby forming a horizontal halocline. Despite large waves, tides and strong underwater currents, the flow of the incoming stream from the Mediterranean Sea keeps on traveling most of its way across the Atlantic Ocean intact and undiluted. Haloclines also occur at estuaries or underground river systems. Yucatan Peninsula in the southern part of Mexico has many popular halocline diving sites where underwater explorers and cave divers pass through one body of water into another.

Pictures below show of another extraordinary example, a rare vertical barrier in the Alaskan coastal area as well as in Skagen, Denmark resembling the Great Wall of China. Skagen is the northernmost point of Denmark, where the Baltic Sea and North Sea meet. The two opposing tides in this place cannot merge that is because they have different densities and chemistry. As it is said, a picture speaks a thousand words: the following tapestry of images convey those words of this fabulous oceanographic phenomenon:

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The pictures below show the area where the Rio Negro and the White River (Amazon River) face off in Brazil. Amazon River is silty, while Rio Negro looks like strong dark tea due to high concentration of organic constituents of soil, minerals and vegetation.

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Amazon Rio Negro

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Confluence of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers in Lytton, British Columbia, Canada.

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Confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers in Koblenz, Germany.

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Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers in Devpryag, India.

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Confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in the Canyonlands National Park, UT, USA.

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Aerial view of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in Cairo, IL, USA.

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Consider the following verses in the Quran which were revealed to Prophet Mohammed:

“He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together. Between them is a barrier which they do not transgress. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?” Quran (55: 19-21)

“And He it is Who has made two seas to flow freely, the one sweet that subdues thirst by its sweetness, and the other salt that burns by its saltiness; and between the two He has made a barrier and inviolable obstruction.” Quran (25:53)

“And not alike are the two bodies of water. One is fresh and sweet, palatable for drinking, and one is salty and bitter. And from each you eat tender meat and extract ornaments which you wear, and you see the ships plowing through [them] that you might seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.” Quran (35:12)

“Or, Who has made the earth firm to live in; made rivers in its midst; set thereon mountains immovable; and made a separating bar between the two bodies of flowing water? (can there be another) god besides Allah? Nay, most of them know not.” Quran (27:61)

It seems like after all not all religions are incompatible with science as the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claims.

Indeed a thinking mind should be perplexed when a high-profile 21st century scientist like Richard Dawkins seems to be totally ignorant about this fact, but how an illiterate bedouin desert dweller in the early 7th century (C.E.), born and raised in the desert, in one of the most primitive and backward societies on earth, who never experienced sea travel nor did any scuba diving, knew about this modern fact of oceanography and oceanographic water chemistry. As proof for its divine origin, the Quran is indeed full of information on a variety of different topics, which were not known to mankind at beginning of the 7th century. What would be the possible explanation for Prophet Mohammad’s source of information and the origin of the Quran?

A: Heard it from someone who knew about this phenomenon and felt like including it in the Quran.
B: Good wild guess and he decided put it in the Quran.
C: Received authentic revelation from the Creator of all that exist.
D: None of the above, the verses in the Quran are inaccurate. As Dawkins states, salt water and fresh water can be mixed.

References:

http://www.helcom.fi/environment2/nature/en_GB/nature/
http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewImage.do?aid=9206&id=18008
http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/dhabs/halocline.html
http://www.itameriportaali.fi/en/arkisto/sanasto/en_GB/saltwaterinflow/

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Filed under Philosophy of Science and Religion, Travel

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