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Geography Factsheet: 221. INDONESIA – a tectonic hazard ‘hot spot'

  • Geography Factsheet: 221. INDONESIA – a tectonic hazard ‘hot spot’

Geography Factsheet: 221. INDONESIA – a tectonic hazard ‘hot spot'

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  • Code: GEA-FSPI-221
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    Indonesia lies on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is currently subject to a time-concentrated range of tectonic activity which makes it a tectonic hazard hotspot (a hotspot can be defined as an area where two or more hazard types occur frequently). This enormous country, with the exception of the large island of Borneo, consists almost entirely of island arcs raised by tectonic movements and volcanic activity during the long term collision of two plates at a very active destructive plate boundary. The Indo-Australia plate is being dragged down (subducted) beneath the Indo-China/Burma plate at a rate of around 6cms per year. Vast bursts of energy are released as earthquakes when the sea floor crust shudders, jerks and cracks on its downward journey. This is a major source of subduction related seismicity especially in Sumatra and the very densely populated island of Java (Fig. 1). The Sunda fault has been likened by geologists to a zipper which is gradually coming undone as each earthquake transfers stress along its length.