Tectonic Tango: Australia's Journey Toward Indonesia, 7 Centimeters Closer Each Year

Tectonic Tango: Australia's Journey Toward Indonesia, 7 Centimeters Closer Each Year
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There is no place on Earth that can be considered still, as every inch of land is slowly moving due to continental drift. This subtle movement significantly affects everything around you, infiltrating without warning. Hidden from view, except to those who can accurately measure their position on the Earth's surface.

Australia sits on the fastest-moving tectonic plate on Earth, experiencing a shift of about seven centimeters to the northeast per year, and nearly 1.8 meters in 25 years, as quoted by Digital.NSW. According to Narelle Underwood, the Surveyor General of NSW, this rate is equivalent to the growth rate of human hair and nails.

However, according to the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), as quoted by Kompas, it will take at least five million years for Australia to reach the Indonesian region. However, at present, part of the Australian continent has already moved to the bottom of Timor and NTT.

The movement of tectonic plates has been going on since ancient times and occurred when the Australian plate began to separate from Antarctica about 155 million years ago. At that time, Indonesia had not yet formed.

This movement continued in a northeasterly direction while Kalimantan, Malaysia, and Sumatra were still part of the Eurasian continent. Then, 25 million years ago, Kalimantan, the western arm of Sulawesi, and part of Kalimantan began to form, and some parts of East Java emerged from the northern fragments of Western Australia. Meanwhile, in ancient times, Papua was part of the northern part of the Australian continent. It wasn't until the last 5 million years that the young Indonesian archipelago began to form.

The movement of continental plates has been going on since the early formation of the Earth. In the past, these plates formed an entity known as "Pangea" before breaking apart into separate parts.

Therefore, the approach of Australia to Indonesia is a common occurrence. It is known that continental plates usually interact by colliding and moving away from each other, as well as touching due to convection currents.

This movement is not a major problem. However, it is important to note that with this movement, the spatial data for Australia must be updated regularly to remain consistent with these changes to ensure accuracy. As technology advances, the importance of accurately matching new and existing spatial data increases.a

Tags: tectonic

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