RIVERS II

7/26/2019

The waters that flow on the surface and just below the earth’s crust are in a constant flux of moving materials. The rivers, streams, creeks, and aquifers that punctuate this planet transports the H20 and has been here for an estimated 3 billion years. Arriving here primarily from ice laden comets that were constantly bombarding our most attractive planet, they accumulated and went into liquid form when the temperature and pressure cooperated. This collection process went on for eons until it covered 71% of the earth’s surface. But don’t think water is abundant. It only occupies 0.02% of the earth’s mass. So, how did this tiny percentage do so much sculpturing of the planet’s surface? Easy, time and chemicals. Look at the Grand Canyon and try and comprehend how that little river down there did all that damage. Even if the weather patterns were different and tens of feet of rain fell yearly, it would have filled the Gulf of California full of debris with its erosive forces. Yet hard rock does not give in lightly to a relatively thin band of flowing water. So, what happened? Acids and bases were everywhere in the young planet’s surface and water puts them into solution. Transporting these etching agents would have vastly accelerated the chemical reactions present in the rocks, loosening and breaking down their bonds. The force of the water going downhill would have carried the reactions away in solution and exposed new layers of fresh earth to another bout of chemical quarrying. It would have also exposed new sources of these prolific PACMANS and reintroduced more creative corrosives back into the liquid conveyor belt. If these minerals did not respond to the lure of trading ions, the acids and the bases would intermingle in the rivers of the world and form a relationship that is constant in the world of chemistry. When bases and acids react, you always get a salt and water as the byproducts. What composes 96% of the liquid here on earth? SALT WATER. 

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