Let’s get acquainted with Meratus Geopark. The destination from South Kalimantan is also the only diamond producer in Indonesia.
Dr. Jatmiko Setiawan, Head of the Geological Engineering Department of UPN Veterans Yogyakarta, explained it. He joined the team that helped the Government of South Kalimantan to make Meratus a national geopark and is now heading to the UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG).
“Judging from the rock, landscape, process, biology and culture, research began in 2017 and got a national geopark within a year,” he told detikTravel in Jakarta, Wednesday (5/10/2022).
“That the Meratus Geopark in South Kalimantan by the Indonesian National Geopark Committee was selected to be submitted to UNESCO in 2023 together with the Karangsambung Karangbolong Geopark in Central Java,” he added.
“So, every year, Indonesia has the right to propose two national geoparks to become a member of UGG. Starting from the assessment at the end of this year until early 2023,” he said.
Dr. Jatmiko Setiawan, Head of the Geological Engineering Department of UPN Veterans Yogyakarta (Photo: Special)
Advantages of the Meratus Geopark in South Kalimantan
Meratus is a very specific incident. The area was once a deep ocean, its depth reached 6,000 meters. Due to the collision on the easternmost Sundalan plate, the land that is now part of South Kalimantan emerged.
The Eurasian plate collided with the Paternoster plate, a fragment of the Australian plate, which was moving northward. Well, there are three collision processes.
“First, the subduction of the Paternoster plate collided with South Kalimantan. Then the Schwaner Mountains were created in Central Kalimantan,” said Jatmiko.
“After that the Paternoster continent collided with Sundaland, because the two continents collided with each other, the squashed oceanic plate was lifted to the surface to form the Meratus Geopark at the age of 200/197-150 million years. That’s from the absolute age calculation,” he explained.
The age calculation is taken from the ocean floor rocks and calculated using a tool. So, now the mountains in Meratus Geopark are the ocean floor.
“The last part, where the oceanic plate rises is called obduction. So the process is three times collision, subduction, colliding and obduction. Because it is uplifted, oceanic elements are visible, the uplifted rock is called ophiolite (very wet, wet, medium rock),” he explained. again.
He said that the former coral rocks were actually on the surface. The existence of corals is only up to a depth of 200 meters with the presence of limestone as a clue. Examples are the small islands of Raja Ampat and the Thousand Islands.
Meratus Geopark photo exhibition (Photo: Ahmad Masaul Khoiri/detikcom)
The beauty of the Meratus Geopark in South Kalimantan
To become a UNESCO geopark, Meratus must have a number of values. And, the Meratus Geopark has three elements, namely rock variations, biology or plants and culture.
“By submitting it to UGG, there are three major issues, first is conservation. The earth or its rocks are conserved. The area of the Meratus Geopark is about 200 thousand hectares,” said Jatmiko.
“Second, education. So Geopark Meratus South Kalimantan can be used for education in the earth to mining as well as engineering because there are many mines there, coal, gold, petroleum and so on. There are all of them,” he added.
Not only that, another main value of the Meratus Geopark is the presence of diamonds and the only barn in Indonesia. So the education is not only the produce of the earth, but also how natural events occur.
“There is diamond polishing and sales and so on. If the 23 carats and above the price can be tens of millions. That is the only one in Indonesia that has international class,” he said.
That value will be the focus of conservation. Jatmiko wants good mining and the rest becomes educational material as well as geotourism.
“Thirdly, if the Meratus Geopark becomes UGG, around the tourist geosite it will improve the community’s economy. There must be sustainable, continuous development, so that the proposed point will become a beautiful area,” he said.
Currently, Meratus Geopark is conducting an exhibition at the ANTARA Journalistic Photo Gallery, Jl. Antara, Pasar Baru, Jakarta. The photo exhibition will last until the middle of this month.
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