Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Somebody Really Hates Indonesia

In the last week we've had earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and city-wide flooding in Indonesia. If you didn't know where the country was before, you'll probably know now because the devastation has been topping the news all around the world.

If anyone is worried about us (or more specifically Oscar) then don't, because we are safe. Here comes the science bit so pay attention: Borneo is geologically stable because it is situated on a continental plate and is well back from the subduction zone where the Indian and Indo-Australian Plates are sliding (subducting) under the Eurasian Plate.

That's not to say there is no tectonic activity on Borneo, but there is only one volcano on an island that is twice the size of Germany. Bombalai is way up in the north-east corner of the island, is only 500m high and hasn't erupted in 27,000 years. As for earthquakes, there are no major fault zones running through the island and the last period of mountain building (orogeny) was 11 million years ago.

Or perhaps it is all down to the dragon that is said, according to Indonesian folklore, to sleep below the island and perpetually guard it from disaster?

1 comment: