Since long ago the Indonesian archipelago… has been recognized for its frequent earthquakes Just so you know.. out of 171 countries, Indonesia ranks 36th on the World Risk Index Even in 2004… one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded…. shook Aceh and the surrounding areas triggering a giant tsunami… Did you ever wonder… if it’s possible for another oceanic disaster this big to happen in the future? Or could it be even worse? Unfortunately, the answer is… yes because Indonesia lies on… not just one… but two of the world’s most active seismic belts As a part of the Ring of Fire zone there are strings of volcanoes both on land and under the sea In ancient times… The Ring of Fire was formed where different plates of the Earth’s crust met These plates can… collide… split apart … or slide past one another and at the boundary of the plates, there are many faults that are constantly shifting and moving These tectonic movements are the most common cause of earthquakes. After 2004 several other big earthquakes have hit the Sumatran west coast Only this time… the causes of the earthquakes were so complex… that researchers from different fields had very different explanations for what happened Through several expeditions researchers were able to find out that the 2012 earthquake originated from an ancient oceanic basin while the one in 2010… originated from a large portion of the Sunda Megathrust fault called the “Mentawai Gap” But, what’s so special about this fault anyway? So basically, the Mentawai Gap… holds a huge amount of energy, but it hasn’t ruptured for centuries Today, this fault is already surrounded by cracks and patches If it ruptures someday… can you imagine how massive an earthquake it could trigger? This important data about oceanic tectonics is… gathered via offshore research, which is only possible… with research vessels, such as Marion Dufresne With this special ship, researchers can use sophisticated devices to take samples of the seabed map the ocean floor and take a seismic survey… just like an ‘x-ray’ of the earth to see different layers of sediments Thanks to these observations, we can better understand the structure of earthquake faults This knowledge will help us anticipate earthquakes and tsunami hazards in the future. So, if another 2004 Aceh disaster happens again… we will be more prepared to face it! And as usual, thanks for watching.