Monday, October 27, 2014

Finally, some volcanic terrain

We have successfully shipped eight stations to Maumere, the biggest city in East Flores Island.  Our plan is to deploy four stations to the east and four to the west.  It is particularly exiting to be here since we now see a completely new geologic province – the active volcanic arc.  The basement of Timor and Sumba are composed entirely of older (>300-70 million years old) accreted sedimentary and metamorphic blocks whereas Flores is a young (<15 million years) and active volcanic arc.  The change in topography clearly reflects this; our flight into Maumere took us past an inactive volcanic edifice that displays a classic cone shape.  A quick look around the horizon shows many more glimpses of volcanoes.  Appropriate photos to come in future posts. 

Oblique view of Lembata Island (bottom) through Flores Island looking westward.  Sumba Island at far top left.  The small orange symbols show the location of active volcanoes, taken from the Smithsonian database, and will provide some stunning scenery as we move along.  We will take a ferry from Larantuka to Lewoleba.

While waiting for our equipment to arrive in Maumere, we made the rounds of permitting.  Each time we visit a new location, requests for different documentation and levels of formality are presented.  The most important letter we obtain is from the Kesbanpol (government affairs and permitting), providing us approval to move on to the local representatives. This particular effort proved challenging despite receiving endorsement from the Bupati (one level above Kesbanpol), the police, and the hazard mitigation agency.  ARRGH.  But, it appears we will finally be able to pick up our letter in the morning as we head off to install the first stations.  Fingers crossed…

Numerous trips to the Maumere Kes-ban-pol provided this photo op.  Please, no more visits here.

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