INDONESIAN GEOLOGICAL HISTORY
The Indonesian islands were formed during the Miocene period about 15 million years ago, seemingly a long, long time ago but only yesterday on the geological time scale. Indonesia is the largest archipelago state in the world comprising five major islands and about 300 smaller island groups. Altogether there are 13,667 islands and islets of which about 6,000 inhabited. The islands were created along the line of impact between the shifting Australian and Pacific tectonic plates. The Australian plate is slowly drifting upwards into the path of the Pacific plate, which is moving south, and between these fault lines lie the Indonesian islands.
Indonesia is located in one of the most volatile geographical regions in the world. The mountainous spine, which runs right through the archipelago, contains more than 400 volcanoes, 128 of which are active, with 70 recorded eruptions. Wherever you go in Indonesia, Traveling along the islands, you are unlikely to lose sight of the characteristic huge conical-shaped mountains, often with smoke billowing from their top. Forming part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” Indonesia experiences about three tremors and earthquakes a day and at least one volcanic. eruption a year.
The ash and debris regularly, spewed out by the volcanoes are washed down and deposited in the alluvial plains. This ash is Indonesia’s life-sustaining material. The whitish deposit is so rich in chemicals that it has produced some of the most fertile soils in the world: push a stick in the ground and it will soon sprout leaves! Three rice crops can be produced in a year without the use of fertilizers, providing the staple food for a country ranked among the most populated in the world.
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