Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wakatobi Island

Wakatobi Dive Resort
Sulawesi, Indonesia

Island Dreams' Ken Knezick has recently returned from leading his 14th dive expedition to Wakatobi Resort. He keeps going back because of a firm belief that Wakatobi's diving is among some of the very best in the world. Below is Ken's report, compiled and updated over the past twelve years of travel to Wakatobi.

Once you have digested this report, we offer additional Wakatobi information:

Where the heck is Wakatobi? - Wakatobi Resort is in far Southeastern Sulawesi, Indonesia, positioned in the midst of a remote island archipelago group known to adventure travelers as Tukang Besi. Wakatobi is named after the four islands that surround it, Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. (Note the anagram Wa Ka To Bi). Yes its location is remote, quite literally on the fringe of "civilization." But that's precisely the point, for this remoteness is what makes the trip worthwhile.

Map of Indonesia Great News - While early explorations required an extended ferry boat ride from Kendari, it is now far easier to reach Wakatobi Resort. An excellent air strip has been constructed on the neighboring island of Tomia, receiving direct charter flights from Bali to the resort. The aircraft in use is an excellent Fokker 50. That is a 50-passenger, twin-engine turbo prop with two pro pilots and plenty of room for guests and gear. This air transit is a wonderful improvement to the Wakatobi experience, improving supply lines and making access immensely more comfortable and efficient.

On Arrival - From the Tomea airstrip, a 10-minute van ride is followed by a short boat ride across the channel to the resort's front door. Each time I return to Wakatobi it looks more like the ultimate island paradise of my dreams. If one were going there with visions of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman in mind, no doubt they'd be disappointed. On the other hand, if barefoot elegance and natural beauty are more your style, then you are in the right place. You'll take off your shoes to step ashore, and never give them another thought for the duration of your dive trip "at the end of the world."

Wakatobi Resort - This comfortable 26-room resort is set on the finest corner of the diminutive island of Tolandono. Facing the sea and the setting sun, the spacious main house is fronted by soft white sand beach and framed by large coconut palms swaying in the warm breeze. It's a showpiece of local materials, combining modern design concepts with traditional construction methods. The beautiful new open-air dining room and state of the art kitchen are just a few paces from the ocean. The old dining area has been converted into a spacious lounge, while the old long house now houses an air-conditioned library with a computer offering web and email access. The new lodging rooms are spacious individual bungalows. All rooms are now air-conditioned, and include private bath, good beds, ceiling fans, and big windows for breezy ventilation. Each bungalow has a pleasant little porch and a couple of lounge chairs for reading and enjoying the natural beauty of this remote and intriguing tropical island.

New Bungalows at Wakatobi

Wakatobi's great new bungalows...
cool, clean, comfortable, and VERY close to superb diving.

The dive shop, gear lockers, and charging station are right next to the longhouse. In the equipment area, hangers are provided for guests' wet-suits and bcd's, and baskets for the rest of the gear. There are two air-conditioned camera rooms with 110 and 220 volt charging stations and plenty of space to change film, batteries, and digital capture cards. Considering the remote situation, Wakatobi's dive shop is well supplied. Available rental equipment includes masks, fins, snorkels, wetsuits, bcd's, and regulators with gauge console. In deference to guest comfort, the electrical generator and air compressor are placed well back in the jungle completely out of hearing.

Got Juice? - While power taps in the rooms are 220-volt, on request 110-volt converters may be supplied for your personal use. For re-charging of strobes, dive lights, etc., a convenient charging station in the dive shop provides both 110-volt and 220-volt outlets. FYI - Guests who bring disposable batteries are asked to pack them back out with them. The management's plan is that the heavy metals of decaying batteries will not be added to this natural environment.

The Dive Boats - Wakatobi now has a nice fleet of locally constructed dive boats. Four excellent 60-foot long dive boats were built in the neighboring village of Waha, specifically to the resort's requirements. Stable, spacious and comfortable, these boats are very broad of beam (wide) with a tank rack down the middle. There is plenty of space to gear up, a built in dip tank for cameras, and a toilet at the stern. All the vessels have good ladders for exiting the water. Wakatobi's fleet has expanded sufficiently so that these 60-foot dive boats need take only ten or twelve divers each, with a boat crew of three plus two dive guides. As a result, a number of my guests have remarked that these are the most comfortable and service-oriented day diving boats they've ever been on.

On the wall at Wakatobi The Dive Sites - All PADI Instructors, the divemasters of Wakatobi have thus far identified more than forty dive sites within a twenty-minute boat ride or less. Most of the dives are around the home island of Tolandono, neighboring Sawa and Lintea, or nearby Tomia. As a result, a broad and dazzling variety of reefs, bottom strata, and extensive coral communities are easily accessible. More dive site exploration is underway, enabling guests to experience dive sites rarely visited my man. Best of all is the fact that the entire region is now a protected National Marine Park.

Diving Freedom - Once a diver has demonstrated his or her ability, they will enjoy virtually total diving freedom, afforded 24 hours per day. In a typical eleven-night stay, I personally logged 46 dives. One gung-ho fellow in my party, Michael Caron, has now visited Wakatobi three times. His logged dives during those trips are 57, 62, and 60 dives respectively. Wakatobi offers dawn dives, boat dives, beach dives, night dives, and everything in between. On the boat dives, owner Lorenz Maeder apologetically asks that divers limit their bottom time to 70 minutes. This generous cap is suggested in deference to the guests with lesser air consumption who might sit on the boat waiting. For dives on the house reef of course, there is no limit but the buddy teams' desire to stay wet and have fun. All diving should be within the no-decompression limits.

The Wakatobi Diving Experience - The keywords here would have to be the immense diversity and pristine condition of the reefs. The coral communities are as rich as I've seen anywhere in the world. There are massive coral heads, trees, and colonies swarming with reef fishes. There are a great variety of reef structures, and a delightful density of variously colored soft corals. Reefs start in three feet of water or less and the best diving wonderfully shallow. With easy access to the excellent house reef, the night and dawn diving are superb. In my estimation, Wakatobi offers the best shore dive in the world. The broad variety of dive sites and marine life meant that after 11 days of diving, we were still discovering new critters constantly.

My Favorite Sites - The house reef at Wakatobi is so good that some of the first professional photographers who visited elected never to make a boat dive. However, in my experience these big-shots were clearly "missing the boat." In fact, while I found the house reef to be nothing short of superb, a number of the dive sites make even it appear tame. Based on my own first twelve day visit to Wakatobi, and 46 logged dives for the duration, here are some of my favorite dive sites:

    The House Reef - Actually three different sites are accessible directly off the beach in front of the resort. It's only 50 yards from the shoreline to the drop-off. You can go right, left, or enjoy the broad center reef. Highlights are a great variety of fishes, invertebrates, macro subjects, beautiful soft corals, gorgonians, tunicates, whips, sponges, rays, overhangs, and beyond all else an unsurpassed rainbow of color.

    Onamobaa Cavern - An extension of the house reef, this is one of the very best soft coral dives. Often compared with "Hanging Gardens" at Sipadan, it's actually yet larger and more diverse. Every part of the reef is covered with color and life. To preserve the natural beauty from an excess of bubbles, divers are now asked not to enter the cavern space.

    Lorenz's Delight - Begin by plunging deep, where forests of immense yellow wire corals spiral 15 feet or higher off the steeply sloping wall. Then work your way up to the 60-foot range, where a continuing overhanging ledge harbors big sea fans framed in colorful soft corals. The brightly hued corals continue up to within a foot or two of the surface, flashing with schooling fish life. This dive has it all!

    Inka's Palette - Beginning as a gentle slope, Inka's Palette plummets into the depths with multiple overhangs. There are very large tube sponges and a giant tridachna clam. The top section is covered in huge leather corals. As its name suggests, you will enjoy a colorful palette of hard and soft corals and good fish life.

    Pastel Reef - Similar to Inka's in the array of life, the colors are diverse yet slightly more subdued to pastel hues. At depth, gardens of neon yellow wire corals spiral out into surrealistic shapes. Just remember that it's the current that makes the soft corals bloom. When the current is running, it's nothing short of a vastly beautiful dive.

    Turkey Beach - When the current and sun are right this is a delightful shallow drift through an endless, brightly lit coral garden. A constant overhang runs from 15 to 30 feet. Two large canyons contain schools of batfish and bronze snappers. It's also a good spot for the chance to encounter turtles, eagle rays, and schools of bumphead parrotfish. This is one of the few places where, at around 80-90 feet, I noted a thermocline. Visibility above it was good, and below it was excellent.

    Mari Mabuk (Let's Get Drunk) - This is a long ridge running from 15 down to 80 feet. It features huge sea fans, coral heads adorned in bright soft corals, and feather stars blooming in a frequently swift current. The saddle that bridges the reef contains blue ribbon eels, leaf fishes, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, nudibranches, and more.

    Roma - In my opinion, Roma is as good as any dive site in the world. Starting in bright rays of light as shallow as five feet, large schools of fusiliers, pyramid butterfly, sergeant majors, hound fish, red tooth triggerfish and others swirl around you in an endless dance. A compact pinnacle in the center of the reef, crammed with color and life, is a complete dive in itself. Banded sea snakes are common here, but fear not, they are placid creatures and make exciting photo subjects. This is a dive you will definitely want to repeat, for "all roads lead to Rome."

Unlimited Bottom Time - Of special note is the fact that most every one of these reefs begins in just a foot or two of water. While there are some awesome, bottomless deep dives at Wakatobi, in almost all cases for me the most interesting diving was between 60 feet and the surface. The majority of my photos were shot above 40 feet. Resort owner Lorenz Maeder loves diving as much as any one I have ever met. He knows what you've come for, and is not afraid to provide it. The final result is that, for capable divers, virtually unlimited bottom time is attainable, along with endless opportunities for underwater photography.

Avoid the Crowds - Another critical fact is that Wakatobi is totally removed from the rest of the diving world. At the time of this writing, you and your dive buddies will be the ONLY divers enjoying the huge wealth of diving that surrounds the resort. Of equal importance to those in need of a diving vacation is the realization that there's no TV, no phone, no newspapers, etc. For the duration of your stay, you can be blissfully ignorant of the baser goings on in the rest of world. Fear not though, the resort is connected to the world with satellite telephone, fax, and email. You will also enjoy the opportunity to meet the local people, see how they live, and come away with photographs to remind you of how lucky we really are in the Western world.

What Marine Life Can You See? - After the first week of diving, one of my groups sat down together after dinner to log the marine life we had encountered thus far. Following is a partial list of our sightings:

Leaf fish at Wakatobi

Anemone fish, angel fish, anthias, banded coral shrimp, barracuda, batfish, bigeye, blanquillo, blennies, blue ringed octopus, blue spotted sting rays, boxfish, bream, broad range of lionfish, bumphead parrot, butterfly fish, cardinal fish, catfish, clown fish, comet longfin, conger eel, crabs, coris, crocodile fish, cuttlefish, damselfish, dolphin, splendid dottyback, durgeons, eagle rays, fairy basslets, fire dartfish, flashlight fish, filefish, flounder, frog fish, fusiliers, pufferfish, goatfish, gobies, grouper, gurnards, Harry the pet jawfish, hawkfish, houndfish, jack, leaf fish, lizardfish, lobster, mantis shrimp, many live shells, many nudibranch, moorish idols, moray eel, mullet, needlefish, octopus, ornate ghost pipefish, panther fish, rabbitfish, razorfish, rockhinds, scorpionfish, sea cucumbers, sea snakes, sharp nosed puffer, shrimp, slipper lobster, snapper, squirrel fish, starfish, surgeonfish, sweet lips, tridacna clams, titan triggerfish, travalles, tuna, tunicates galore, turtle, unicorn fish, various triggerfish including the lovely Picasso trigger, white tip shark, and of course we saw your wrasse.
The Corals - Even more so than the fishes, at Wakatobi one swims about in awe of the lovely hard and soft coral formations. For my part, I can tell you that Wakatobi has presented me with the most beautiful, healthy, diverse, and pristine reefs I've ever had the pleasure of diving. My conviction is based on twenty-five years of dive travel, and 3,000+ logged dives. But it's still just one man's opinion. For additional perspective, I asked my group to provide some descriptive assistance. Some of the adjectives that were immediately put forward included: "Colorful, enormous, eye popping, lush, psychedelic, rainbowed, riotous, stupendous, varied, verdant," and the one tossed out first - "voluptuous." Seems that they shared my estimation! At this end of this report you will also find a link to verbatim customer comments from recent Wakatobi visitors.

The Food - Of course, divers can not survive on Nitrogen alone. Remarkably, this remote diving outpost now hosts superb Balinese chefs trained in 5-star hotels. With the combination of great local cuisine, and the addition of Continental flair, the meals at Wakatobi are better than ever. Breakfast always includes excellent bread baked at the resort, butter, peanut butter, various jams, oatmeal, eggs cooked to order, and a noodle dish. Almost every lunch and dinner includes a home made soup, rice or noodles, and fish or chicken. My vegetarian diet, and that of other guests, was also easily accommodated. Desserts range from fresh tropical fruits, to fancy European-style confections. Filtered drinking water and hot water for tea and coffee are made available 24 hours per day. Beer and soft drinks are available at moderate additional expense.

Tips for Underwater Photographers - Okay, I've been shooting underwater for more than 25 years. I'm far from a pro photog, but do well enough for the slide shows I present around the country, brochures, web site, etc. On my first trip to Wakatobi I brought 38 rolls of film...and ran out of film with two days to go. I shot 60mm and 105mm macro, I shot 20mm and 24-50mm wide angle in the housing, and the 15mm on the Nikonos. The only hard part is deciding which lens to go with next. Now digital photography makes it even more fun! There are limitless opportunities for fish and invertebrate pictures, but the soft corals and huge fans are so inviting that it's hard to resist setting up just one more wide-angle op. I was also glad to have handy a good topside camera with telephoto lens. It's a full time job just to photograph the strange assortment of native dugout canoes, sail boats, and tramp supply vessels that sail around the point beside the resort. You'll also have many opportunities to photograph the local people, villages, and traditional ways of Indonesian life. Bottom line - bring a broad variety of camera options…and plenty of digital capture cards!

The World's Best Beach Diving

Range of Conditions:

Topside Temperature......26-30 centigrade average 28.....(76-86 Fahrenheit)
Water Temperature.........24-29 centigrade average 27....(78-82 Fahrenheit)
Visibility Range...............20-50 meters............................(60-150 feet)

Sea Conditions - In season, sea state around the resort is generally calm and flat. Rides to the dive sites are relatively short, and lee shore diving is always available.

Currents - Indonesian diving is well known for unpredictable currents. At Wakatobi it is not uncommon to experience occasional current changes during the course of a dive. As a result, some are anchor dives and others are planned as drift dives. The boat operators are very good at following the bubbles, and divers are provided with large and effective inflatable surface markers. Many dives may be enjoyed with moderate or little current, but overall this is a destination for more experienced divers, comfortable and capable of diving in current and a variety of conditions.

Seasonality - The resort is open late March through the end of December. It's closed during the wet monsoon period in January and February. My five visits have ranged from August through early December, and the conditions, both topside and underwater, were nothing less than excellent. We enjoyed calm seas, picture perfect skies, and comfy temperatures.

Is Wakatobi the Place for You? - If you can't sleep on long plane rides, or are a squeamish traveler, better stay home. But if you really love to dive, and are looking for your next great underwater adventure - consider making the pilgrimage to Tukang Besi, Indonesia and see Wakatobi Resort for yourself. I suspect you'll be very glad that you did.

Yours in diving, Ken Knezick - Copyright Island Dreams

Welcome to Mount Rinjani National Park of Lombok Island Indonesia

The Concepts of the Rinjani Trek Management Board
The Rinjani Trek is managed by a unique partnership of National Park, tourism industry and the local community. Activities focus in the Community – run cooperatives at Rinjani Trek Centre ( RTC ) in Senaru and the Rinjani Information Centre ( RIC ) in Sembalun Lawang. Under the guidance of the Rinjani Trek Management Board ( RTMB ), each are run by a stakeholders’ committee who look after roster systems for guides and porters, village tours, trek trail maintenance, and handicraft sales. Revenue from tourism activities and entry fees is used for conservation, training and management of the Rinjani Trek, thus ensuring sustainability.

Conceptually, the project started with three stakeholder circles labeled “Park Management”, “Community Development” and “Tourism”. Whit Project assistance, the Park set out to engage with the stakeholder groups in each of the circles, independently at first and then, as the groups got used to deal with each other, increasingly together. This approach recognized that it takes time for the multi-skilled “cross-over” people that ecotourism requires (people who can operate in between the circles) to emerge.

Sasak Hill Trek
A two days-one night, great experience over Pegasingan Hill We invite you to join our two–day walk through the rice fields, to chat with the farmers and enjoy the scenery from the…
Program Details

Best time to trek in Rinjani : April to November

Designated : Minister of Forestry, SK.No.280/Kpts-II/97,
a total area of 41,330 hectares
Location : Regencies; West Lombok, Central Lombok and
East Lombok, Province of West Nusa Tenggara

Temperature 23° – 30° C
Rainfall 2,000 mm/year (on average)
Altitude 550 – 3,726 m asl.
Geographical location 116°18′ – 116°32′ E; 8°18′ – 8°33′ S

Advisory Warning For Tourists
Recently tourists have purchased trekking packages from a false office in Padang Bai, Bali claiming to represent the Rinjani Trek Management Board (RTMB). Please note that RTMB has only one main office located at the Lombok Raya Hotel in Mataram with representative offices at the Rinjani Trek Center in Senaru and Rinjani Information Center in Sembalun, all located on the island of Lombok. Any other locations claiming to represent RTMB are fraudulent and should be avoided. If you have any questions, Contact Us to submit an enquiry.

Booking and Reservation Details:

Rinjani Online Trekking Organizer
Lombok Tropic Holidays Indonesia

Jl. Barakuda No 09
BTN Griya Batu Bolong Senggigi
Senggigi – West Lombok NTB 83355
Phone and Fax : 0370 692 179
Cell for 24 hours reservation : +62 818 057 20243
Email : trek@rinjanimountain.com

Wednesday, 20 April 2011




Raja Ampat Dive Eco Lodges @rajaampatlodges.com 2009

Semeru Volcano

East Java, Indonesia

8.10 S, 112.92 E
summit elevation 3676 m

Semeru volcano is located in east Java, Indonesia. It is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. Typically eruptions occur every 20-30 minutes, with ash emissions to 100-400 m above the crater, and projectiles ejected onto the crater rim. The present activity center is at Jonggring Seloko, a crater that appears in the southeast part of Mahameru, and it is separated by a narrow saddle.

The eruption cloud is usually blown away by the wind. Large eruptions are often followed by generation of pyroclastic flows. Semeru volcano is the highest in Java and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Semeru volcano has been the site of numerous deaths, the most recent being in August 2000.

John Seach at summit of Semeru volcano.
Warning: the summit region of Semeru is very dangerous due to explosive activity.

Hazard Zone at Semeru Volcano
The hazard zone at Semeru volcano is a 5 km radous from the active crater. Along some valleys the hazard zone extends 12 km. Lumajang city lies in a lahar prone zone.

2009 Eruptions
Increased activity has been reported at Semeru volcano in Indonesia.
Between 6th February and 4th March 2009 there were 873 explosion earthquakes registered, with an average of 34 events per day. On 5th March there was one period of tremor recorded. On 6th March one episode of tremor was recorded accompanied by booming sounds which were heard at Semeru observatory. On 6th March at 10:28 hr a booming noise was heard while the summit was covered in cloud. Semeru is at level 2 alert (Waspada) out of a maximum of 4. Explosions occur at an interval of 20-30 minutes, with ash emissions 100-400 m above Jonggring Seloko crater. So far the current eruptions have not been accompanied by pyroclastic flows, but this remains a danger. Areas which may be affected by pyroclastic flows include inhabited areas of Rowo Baung, Supit, Pronojiwo, Urip, and Umbulandi Urang Supit. Rowo Baung and Supit are the nearest villages to the eruptive centre, 9 km from the peak of Gunung Semeru. There is a potential threat to sand mining activities at Supit and Rowo Baung. Recommendations from the Indonesian Centre of Volcanology and Geology are that people avoid the area 4 km SE of the active crater at Semeru due to the threat of pyroclastic flows. People are advised not to climb to the summit peak (Mahameru). Residents should prepare for possible ashfall. Aircraft should beware of explosion hazards, and ash emissions from Semeru.

2000 Eruptions
John Seach made observations during a 3-hour summit stay on 2 May 2000. During the climb from Ranu Pani village in the N, ash deposits were observed to cover vegetation at a distance of 10 km from the volcano. The bottom third of the cone was vegetated, and zones of mass-wasting had sliced away 20- m-wide sections of forest. The top two-thirds of the cone consisted of ash, cinders, and blocks up to 1.5 m in diameter. There were areas of deep erosion and the risk of rockfalls posed a hazard to climbers. The summit area (Mahameru) lay covered by ash and baseball-sized blocks with a density of 50/m2. A 20-m-wide, 60-m-deep, W-sloping valley separated Mahameru from the active Jonggring Seloko crater, but they are joined by a ridge. The highest N rim of the crater was approximately 30 m below the summit peak. A 2-m-diameter block was located 15 m below the summit on the wall of the valley. Between 0725 and 1010, 13 eruptive events were observed. During this interval the N rim of Jonggring could not be approached because of the intermittent rain of blocks falling outside the crater and into the valley 50 m from the crater. Two vents produced short-lived Vulcanian eruptions with variable timing and size. Eruptions commenced with degassing, explosions, or the sound of breaking rock, followed by falling bombs and brown ash emission. The explosions were relatively quiet and not accompanied by groundshaking. Brown ash clouds rose to 600 m above the vent and drifted SE. The plume detached from the summit before the next eruption began. Steam emission occurred between eruptions.

July 2000 Summit Fatalities
A scientific team was caught in an eruption at the summit of Semeru on 27th July 2000. At approximately 0706 hr an explosion resulted in two deaths and injuries to five other volcanologists near the NE rim of the active summit crater Jonggring Seloko. Members of the group had approached the rim of the active crater which is always dangerous. The two fatalities were from Volcanological Survey of Indonesia. Injuries were sustained people from Semeru Volcano Observatory, Hebrew University in Israel, University of Pittsburgh, and Lee Siebert and the Smithsonian Institution. This was the second fatal field trip after an IAVCEI meeting. The first was in Galeras, Colombia in 1993.

1999 Summit Fatalities
Two climbers died near the crater on 2nd September after being struck by large ejected ballistics. The two men were part of a group of 17 from Germany. The victims, together with the group leader, had separated from the group to check the crater when the accident occurred.

1994 Eruptions
On 3 February lava avalanches and pyroclastic flows from the summit crater descended SE along the Kembar and Kobokan rivers, reaching 7.5 km and 11.5 km from the summit. Six people were killed and 275 people were evacuated from Sumbersari village.

1981 Eruptions
On 14th May heavy rains created mudflows/landslides which killed 252 persons, left 152 injured and 120 missing. The location of the landslide was similar to that of 1909.

1957 Debris Flow
A debris flow occurred at Semeru volcano in 1957 which reached Lumanjang city.

1946 Eruptions
In February 1946 ash rain fell in Malang. on 27th May 1946 a report from Aneta, Batavia stated "Semeru volcano lately became active, and ash, stoneblocks and mud were thrown out. A hundred dwelling houses and about 150 hectares of rice fields were destroyed, and lahar-floods were caused."

Semeru Volcano Eruptions

1967-2009, 1950-64, 1946-47, 1946, 1945, 1941-42, 1913, 1912, 1911, 1910-11, 1909-10, 1908, 1907, 1905, 1904, 1903, 1901, 1900, 1899, 1898, 1897, 1896, 1895, 1893-94, 1893, 1892, 1889-91, 1888, 1887, 1886, 1884-85, 1879, 1878, 1877, 1872, 1867, 1865, 1860, 1857, 1856, 1851, 1848, 1845, 1844, 1842, 1838, 1836, 1832, 1830, 1829, 1818.


Jayawijaya Mountains is the name for the mountain range that extends lengthwise in the center of the province of West Papua and Papua (Indonesia) to Papua New Guinea. Rows of Mountains which have some of the highest peak in Indonesia was formed by the removal of the sea floor thousands of years ago. Although located at an altitude of 4800 masl, fossilized sea shells, for example, can be seen in limestone and clastic rocks contained in Jayawijaya Mountains. Therefore, besides being a heaven for hikers, mountain paradise Jayawijaya also a world geological researchers.

Jayawijaya Mountains are also the only mountain and mountain in Indonesia, which has a peak covered with eternal snow. Although not all of the peak of the cluster Jayawijaya Mountains that has snow. Snow is owned by several peaks even at this time is lost due to weather changes globally.

Topography and Climate
Jayawijaya was in bed Baliem Valley, an alluvial valley that lies in the area of 1500-2000 m altitude above sea level. Air temperature varied between 14.5 degrees Celsius to 24.5 degrees Celsius. Within a year the average rainfall is 1900 mm and within a month there are approximately 16 days of rain. Dry season and rainy season is difficult to distinguish. Based on the data, the month of March is the month with the greatest rainfall, while the lowest rainfall was found in July.

Baliem valley surrounded by mountains Jayawijaya famous for his eternal snow peaks, among others: Trikora Peak (4750 m), Puncak Mandala (4700 m) and Puncak Yamin (4595 m). Mountains are very attractive tourist and researcher of Natural Sciences since its peak is always covered with snow even in the tropics. Steep mountain slopes and river valleys are narrow and steep characteristic of these mountains. Basin wide river valleys are found only in the Baliem Valley West and East Baliem (Wamena).

Natural vegetation of tropical moist forest in lowland forests provide opportunities in fast-growing climate in this valley. Mountain forest ecosystem grown in the area between 2000-2500 m altitude above sea level.

Demographics and Culture
Dani people in the valley Baliem commonly referred to as "The Valley Dani." The average increase in population is very low compared Dani people in other parts of Indonesia, one reason is the reluctance of mothers to have children more than two people in the low population in the Valley Dani Baliem. The attitude of abstinence in the mother as long as there are still breast-fed child, making a rare birth spacing. This is in addition of course, because their customs, encourage polygamy. Polygamy occurs mainly in men are rich, have a lot of pigs. Pigs are the main dowry given male to female family. Besides as a dowry, also pig as a symbol of joy and digunaklan grief. Pigs are also a means of payment fines against various indigenous pelanggaraan. In a traditional feast of pork is never forgotten even the subject of major consumption.

Prior to 1954, population Jayawijaya is a homogenous society and live in groups according to the traditional, social and tribal confederation respectively. At this present time Jayawijaya already heterogeneous population who come from different parts of Indonesia with a background of social, cultural and religious differences but life mingling and mutual respect.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba (Indonesian: Danau Toba) is a lake and supervolcano. The lake is 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres (1,666 ft) at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about 900 metres (2,953 ft), the lake stretches from 2°53′N 98°31′E / 2.88°N 98.52°E / 2.88; 98.52 to 2°21′N 99°06′E / 2.35°N 99.1°E / 2.35; 99.1. It is the largest lake in Indonesia and the largest volcanic lake in the world.[1]

Lake Toba is the site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred 69,000-77,000 years ago,[2][3][4] a massive climate-changing event. The eruption is believed to have had a VEI intensity of 8. It is believed to be the largest explosive eruption anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years. According to the Toba catastrophe theory to which some anthropologists and archeologists subscribe, it had global consequences, killing most humans then alive and creating a population bottleneck in Central Eastern Africa and India that affected the genetic inheritance of all humans today.[5] This theory however, has been largely debated as there is no evidence for any other animal decline or extinction, even in environmentally sensitive species.[6] However, it has been accepted that the eruption of Toba led to a volcanic winter with a worldwide decline in temperatures between 3 to 5 °C (5 to 9 °F), and up to 15 °C (27.0 °F) in higher latitudes.



[edit] Geology

The Toba caldera complex in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia consists of four overlapping volcanic craters that adjoin the Sumatran "volcanic front". The youngest and fourth caldera is the world's largest Quaternary caldera (100 km (62 mi) by 30 km (19 mi)) and intersects the three older calderas. An estimate of 2,800 km3 (670 cu mi) of dense-rock equivalent pyroclastic material, known the Youngest Toba tuff, was blasted from the youngest caldera during one of the largest single explosive volcanic eruptions in geologic history. Following the "Youngest Toba tuff eruption", a typical resurgent dome formed within the new caldera, joining two half-domes separated by a longitudinal graben.[3]

There are at least four cones, four stratovolcanoes and three craters visible in the lake. The Tandukbenua cone on the NW edge of the caldera is relatively lacking in vegetation, suggesting a young age of only several hundred years. Also, the Pusubukit volcano on the south edge of the caldera is solfatarically active.[7]

Panoramic view of the town of Ambarita on Samosir, Lake Toba
Lake Toba Aerial View
Aerial view of the southern shore with Sibandang Island visible in the background.

[edit] The eruption

Location of Lake Toba shown in red on map.

The Toba eruption (the Toba event) occurred at what is now Lake Toba about 67,500 to 75,500 years ago.[8] The Toba eruption was the latest of a series of at least three caldera-forming eruptions which have occurred at the volcano, with earlier calderas having formed around 700,000 and 840,000 years ago.[9] The last eruption had an estimated Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8 (described as "mega-colossal"), making it possibly the largest explosive volcanic eruption within the last twenty-five million years.

Bill Rose and Craig Chesner of Michigan Technological University have deduced that the total amount of erupted material was about 2,800 km3 (670 cu mi)[10] — around 2,000 km3 (480 cu mi) of ignimbrite that flowed over the ground, and around 800 km3 (190 cu mi) that fell as ash, with the wind blowing most of it to the west. The pyroclastic flows of the eruption destroyed an area of 20,000 square kilometres (7,722 sq mi), with ash deposits as thick as 600 metres (1,969 ft) by the main vent.[10]

To give an idea of its magnitude, consider that although the eruption took place in Indonesia, it deposited an ash layer approximately 15 cm (5.9 in) thick over the entire South Asia; at one site in central India, the Toba ash layer today is up to 6 m (20 ft) thick[11] and parts of Malaysia were covered with 9 m (30 ft) of ashfall.[12] In addition it has been variously calculated that 10,000 million metric tons of sulphuric acid[13][citation needed] or 6,000 million tons of sulphur dioxide[14] were ejected into the atmosphere by the event, causing acid rain fallout.

The Toba caldera is the only supervolcano in existence that can be described as Yellowstone's "bigger" sister. With 2,800 km3 (670 cu mi) of ejecta, it was an even greater eruption than the supereruption (2,500 km3) of 2.1 million years ago that created the Island Park Caldera in Idaho, USA. The eruption was also about three times the size of the latest Yellowstone eruption of Lava Creek 630,000 years ago. For further comparison, the largest volcanic eruption in historic times, in 1815 at Mount Tambora (Indonesia), ejected the equivalent of around 100 km3 (24 cu mi) of dense rock and made 1816 the "Year Without a Summer" in the whole northern hemisphere, whilst the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State ejected around 1.2 km3 (0.29 cu mi) of material. The largest known eruption since the Toba event, the Oruanui eruption, ejected the equivalent of 530 km3of magma.

The subsequent collapse formed a caldera that, after filling with water, created Lake Toba. The island in the center of the lake is formed by a resurgent dome.

Landsat photo of Sumatra surrounding Lake Toba

Though the year may never be precisely determined, the season can: only the summer monsoon could have deposited Toba ashfall in the South China Sea, implying that the eruption took place sometime during the northern summer.[15] The eruption lasted perhaps two weeks, but the ensuing "volcanic winter" resulted in a decrease in average global temperatures by 3 to 3.5 degrees Celsius for several years. Greenland ice cores record a pulse of starkly reduced levels of organic carbon sequestration. Very few plants or animals in southeast Asia would have survived, and it is possible that the eruption caused a planet-wide die-off.

There is some evidence, based on mitochondrial DNA, that the human race may have passed through a genetic bottleneck around this time, reducing genetic diversity below what would be expected from the age of the species. According to the Toba catastrophe theory proposed by Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998, human populations may have been reduced to only a few tens of thousands of individuals by the Toba eruption.[16]

[edit] More recent activity

Smaller eruptions have occurred at Toba since. The small cone of Pusukbukit has formed on the southwestern margin of the caldera and lava domes. The most recent eruption may have been at Tandukbenua on the northwestern caldera edge, since the present lack of vegetation could be due to an eruption within the last few hundred years.[17]

Some parts of the caldera have experienced uplift due to partial refilling of the magma chamber, for example pushing Samosir Island and the Uluan Peninsula above the surface of the lake. The lake sediments on Samosir Island show that it has been uplifted by at least 450 metres (1,476 ft)[9] since the cataclysmic eruption. Such uplifts are common in very large calderas, apparently due to the upward pressure of unerupted magma. Toba is probably the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Large earthquakes have occurred in the vicinity of the volcano more recently, notably in 1987 along the southern shore of the lake at a depth of 11 km (6.8 mi).[18] Other earthquakes have occurred in the area in 1892, 1916, and 1920-1922.[9]

Lake Toba lies near the Great Sumatran fault which runs along the centre of Sumatra in the Sumatra Fracture Zone.[9] The volcanoes of Sumatra and Java are part of the Sunda Arc, a result of the northeasterly movement of the Indo-Australian Plate which is sliding under the eastward-moving Eurasian Plate. The subduction zone in this area is very active: the seabed near the west coast of Sumatra has had several major earthquakes since 1995, including the 9.1 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and the 8.7 2005 Sumatra earthquake, the epicenters of which were around 300 km (190 mi) from Toba.

On 12 September 2007, a magnitude 8.5 Earthquake shook the ground in Sumatra and was felt in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. The epicenter for this earthquake was not as close as the previous two earthquakes, but it was in the same vicinity.

On 26 October 2010, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred 36 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of the nearby island of Pagai-selatan. A 10 foot (three-meter) tsunami immediately followed the temblor.

[edit] Eruption Prospect

The 2004 earthquake physically rolled the Sumatran island and altered the shape of the Earth as was detected by the GRACE satellite. Recent highly-localized earthquake activity may initiate magmatic activity of this colossal global climate modifier.

View of the lake with an example of Batak architecture in the foreground.
Traditional Batak house at Ambarita, Lake Toba

[edit] People

Most of the people who live around Lake Toba are ethnically Bataks. Traditional Batak houses are noted for their distinctive roofs (which curve upwards at each end, as a boat's hull does) and their colorful decor.[19]

[edit] Flora and fauna

The flora of the lake includes various types of phytoplankton, emerged macrophytes, floating macrophytes, and submerged macrophytes, while the surrounding countryside is rainforest including areas of Sumatran tropical pine forests on the higher mountainsides.[20]

Fauna include several variations of zooplankton and benthos animals. Lake Toba offers a nurturing environment for fish such as Tilapia mossambica, Aplocheilus panchax, Lebistes reticulatus, Osphronemus goramy, Trichogaster trichopterus, Channa striata, Channa gachua, Clarias batrachus, Clarias nieuhofii, Clarias sp., Nemacheilus fasciatus, Cyprinus carpio, Puntius javanicus, Puntius binotatus, Osteochilus nasselti, Lissochilus sp., Labeobarbus sora, and Rasbora sp..[20]

Panoramic view of Parapat from Samosir Island, Lake Toba.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b c Worldlakes.org
  2. ^ Global Volcanism Program page on Toba
  3. ^ a b Chesner, C.A., Westgate, J.A., Rose, W.I., Drake, R., Deino, A. (March 1991). "Eruptive history of Earth's largest Quaternary caldera (Toba, Indonesia)". Michigan Technological University. http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~raman/papers/ChesnerGeology.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  4. ^ Ninkovich, D.; N.J. Shackleton, A.A. Abdel-Monem, J.D. Obradovich, G. Izett (7 December 1978). "K−Ar age of the late Pleistocene eruption of Toba, north Sumatra". Nature (Nature Publishing Group) 276 (276): 574–577. doi:10.1038/276574a0.
  5. ^ "When humans faced extinction". BBC. 2003-06-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2975862.stm. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
  6. ^ Gathorne-Hardy, F. J., and Harcourt-Smith, W. E. H., "The super-eruption of Toba, did it cause a human bottleneck?", Journal of Human Evolution 45 (2003) 227-230.
  7. ^ "Synonyms and Subfeatures: Toba". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0601-09=&volpage=synsub. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
  8. ^ Zielinski, G. A.; P.A. Mayewski, L.D. Meeker, S. Whitlow, M. Twickler and K. Taylor (1996). "Potential Atmospheric impact of the Toba mega-eruption ~71'000 years ago". Geophysical Research Letters (United States: American Geophysical Union) 23 (8): 837–840. Bibcode 1996GeoRL..23..837Z. doi:10.1029/96GL00706.
  9. ^ a b c d "Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia". Oregon State University. http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/southeast_asia/indonesia/toba.html. ]
  10. ^ a b "Supersized eruptions are all the rage!". USGS. http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/2005/05_04_28.html.
  11. ^ Acharyya, S.K.; Basu, P.K. (1993). "Toba ash on the South Asia and its implications for correlation of late pleistocene alluvium". Quaternary Research 40: 10–19. doi:10.1006/qres.1993.1051.
  12. ^ Scrivenor, J.B. 1931. The Geology of Malaya (London: MacMillan), noted by Weber.
  13. ^ Huang, C.Y.; Zhao, M.X.; Wang, C.C.; Wei, G.J. (2001). "Cooling of the South China Sea by the Toba Eruption and correlation with other climate proxies ∼71,000 years ago". Geophysical Research Letters 28 (20): 3915–3918. Bibcode 2001GeoRL..28.3915H. doi:10.1029/2000GL006113.
  14. ^ Robock, A., C.M. Ammann, L. Oman, D. Shindell, S. Levis, and G. Stenchikov (2009). "Did the Toba volcanic eruption of ~74k BP produce widespread glaciation?". Journal of Geophysical Research 114: D10107. Bibcode 2009JGRD..11410107R. doi:10.1029/2008JD011652.
  15. ^ Bühring, C.; Sarnthein, M.; Leg 184 Shipboard Scientific Party (2000). "Toba ash layers in the South China Sea: evidence of contrasting wind directions during eruption ca. 74 ka.". Geology 28: 275–278. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2000)028<0275:TALITS>2.3.CO;2.
  16. ^ "Yellowstone Is a Supervolcano?". SEMP. http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=164. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  17. ^ "Toba volcano (Indonesia, Sumatra)". VolcanoDiscovery.com. http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/volcano-tours/volcanoes/indonesia/sumatra/toba/.
  18. ^ "Significant Earthquakes of the World". United States Geological Survey (USGS). http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqarchives/significant/sig_1987.php.
  19. ^ "Batak People". IndonesianMusic.com. http://www.indonesianmusic.com/batak.htm.
  20. ^ a b "Danau Toba (Lake Toba)". International Lake Environment Committee. http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/asi/asi-10.html.

[edit] Sources

  • Rampino, Michael R. and Stephen Self (1993). "Climate-volcanism feedback and the Toba eruption of 74,000 Years Ago". Quaternary Research 40 (3): 269–280. doi:10.1038/359050a0.
  • Vazquez, Jorge A. and Mary R. Reid (2004). "Probing the accumulation history of the voluminous Toba Magma". Science 305 (5686): 991–994. doi:10.1126/science.1096994. PMID 15310899.
  • Petraglia, M. et al. (2007). "Middle Paleolithic Assemblages from the Indian Subcontinent Before and After the Toba Super-Eruption". Science 317 (5834): 114–116. doi:10.1126/science.1141564. PMID 17615356.

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