The Geology of Indonesia/History of geological studies

Intensive geological surveys, research, and publication conducted under Dutch colonial government, which gradually spread throughout Indonesia. Many significant surveys and publications were made in the latter years of the nineteenth century. Many eminent geologist either worked in Indonesia or took part in well-organized expeditions there. The Geological Survey of the Netherlands Indies lasted from 1850 to 1950, with its headquarters in Bandung and the Bureau of Mines in Batavia (then Jakarta). During that time, the regular survey publication was the series Jaarboek van het Mijnwezen, published in Batavia. In addition, several books and many articles were published in Europe on the geology of Indonesia. Virtually everything ceased in 1941 with the outbreak of war.

Many famous Dutch geologists wrote about Indonesia. Some authors who synthesized the earlier work and built upon it in their books have been recorded below. The earliest and widest compilation was by Brouwer (1925). Rutten gave a series of lectures in 1927 to 1932 and his books brought the attention of the world to this fascinating region of Southeast Asia. Umbrove (1949) also did much to summarize the prominent features of Indonesia. However, it was by the impressive work of van Bemmelen (1949, reprinted in 1970) that the geology of Indonesia and Southeast Asia became well known. Van Bemmelen hand been a member of the Geological Survey of the Netherlands Indies since 1927, and was working on the manuscript in Bandung in 1941 when the Japanese invaded. He was interned during the war. Mention should also be made of the novel gravity measurements made by Vening Meinesz in the submarine K XIII in 1927, 1929, and 1930. Through his work, the unique nature of the deep-sea trenches of the Indonesian region was brought to the attention of the world (Vening Mainesz, 1954).

The literature of the Indonesian region is rich and varied, but for most people Van Bemmelen (1970) will serve as a summary. Since the war and the independence of Indonesia, the Geological Survey of Indonesia has made great progress in better understanding this vast and complicated country. The book by Hamilton (1979), which summarized most of the later work, is now widely known, and it interprets the region in modern plate tectonics terminology. Katili is one of Indonesian geologists who wrote numerous publications, especially on the tectonic of the region. Many other Indonesian geologists contributed remarkable publications through both regional and international journals recently. The Indonesian Geologist Association (founded in 1960) and the Indonesian Petroleum Association (founded in 1971) published proceedings of the their annual conventions with important technical papers, which many geologists referring to.