The background of the topic is the environmental problems occurring in
The background of the topic is the environmental problems occurring in
All of the problems are actually related to the man wishes to transform or use and change the surficial processes; according to Coates (1991 in Panizza, 1996), such practical use of geomorphology for solution of those problems is defined as environmental geomorphology. Some problems on environmental that related to the land and water always occur in
Before I discuss in more detail about the need of the environmental geomorphology, let me remind the short history of my academic carrier in geomorphology. When I was a student in the Faculty of Geography Gadjah Mada University I got difficulty to decide which department I should choose. At that time, there was regulation that in the second years on the beginning of third semester the students must decided which department among eight departments they should attend. Until a day before the due date, I had not decided it yet; it was not essay to choose because I had not enough known about the content and the prospect of all geography’s branches. At mid night of the last day, I dreamed that someone asked me to joint him to climb up a mountain, he was Prof. Kardono Darmoyuwono, but at that time I did not know what his field of study. Finally, I knew that Prof Kardono was a lecturer on geomorphologic department and than without any doubt I decided to take geomorphologic department. During that time (1964-1965), geomorphologic department was not popular, among 80 students in the Faculty of Geography there were only 4 students in Geomorphologic Department, others were in hydrological, population geography and demography, economic geography and resources, agricultural geography, regional and politic geography, and cartography department. The number of students increased year by year and some lecturers went abroad for post graduate master program and another duty as lecturer in Malaysia and also supported the works of governmental institute (National Survey and Mapping Coordination Agency), and there was a gap between number of students and available human resource in this department than I and my colleagues as lecturer’s assistance had to tackle the student’s practical works and partly gave an lecture especially on geological and geomorphologic subjects. For about 4 years, I gave practical works or exercises on: mineralogy and petrography, structural geology, field geology and basic geomorphology under Prof. Karmono Mangunsukardjo supervision.
Based on the lesson learned as assistance, I had enough time to read literatures on related subject to geomorphology. Based on academic requirement, a student who had passed all the theoretic subjects had to do research for undergraduate thesis (skripsi). I submitted a research proposal and the title was: The relation between geomorphologic and groundwater conditions of small river basin, in
I’m truly agree with what have stated by Luna B. Leopold (2004) that no successful scientist who does not point to one or several teachers, advisors, or supervisor whose influence crucial to his development. There were some persons who lifted up my academic carrier in geomorphology and it related subject, among others were: Prof. Kardono Darmoyuwono (geomorphologist); Prof. Surastopo Hadisumarno (physical geographer); Prof, Karmono Mangunsukardjo (geomorphologist); and Prof Sugeng Martopo (hydrologist) from Indonesia site, all of them had passed away before retired; while from foreign country among others were: Prof. Dr. G.B. Engelen ( hydrogeologist from FUA); Prof. Dr. H. Th. Verstappen (geomorphologist from ITC); Prof. Dr. A. M Meijering ( hydrogeomorphologist and remote sensing, from ITC); Dr. R.A van Zuidam (geomorphologist from ITC), Mr. R. Vouskuil (geomorphologist from ITC); Prof. Terwind (coastal geomorphologist from Utrecth University); and Prof. Dr. Masahiko Oya (geomorphologist, from Waseda University Japan). In this good occasion I would like to remember, to thanks and to appreciate for their kindness in guiding and giving geomorphologic perspective to me; for them who are still with us now, I do hope they always have a good health, and who were passed away I do hope Allah SWT accept for their good works and forgive all of the mistakes.
After shortly I remind my journey to be a gemorphologist, even though not really geomorphologist. I will discuss on why we need environmental geomorphology. The term of environmental geomorphology was introduced by Coates in 1971 (Panizza, 1996), the definition: environmental geomorphology is the practical use of geomorphology for the solution of problems where man wishes to transform or to use and change surficial processes. The discipline involves the following issues and themes:
a) the study of geomorphic processes and terrain that affect man, including hazard phenomena, such as flood and landslides;
b) the analysis of problems where man plan to disturb or has already degraded the land-water ecosystem;
c) man’s utilization of geomorphic agents or products as resources, such as water or sand and gravel;
d) how the science of geomorphology can be used in environmental planning and management.
Panizza (1996) formulated environmental geomorphology as the area of Earth Sciences which examines the relationships between man and environment, the later being considered from the geomorphological point of view. According to Panizza environment is defined as the range of physical and biological components that have an effect on life and on the development and activities of living organism. Man, as living organism interact with environment, man influence the environment and on the other hand man are also influenced by the environment (Soemarwoto, 1996). There are three components of the environment that are abiotic, biotic and cultural, which is known as A,B,C of environmental components (Tanjung, et al., 2005); those components interrelated each other to composed natural system or ecosystem. Without any disturbance by man the natural systems are in balance condition.
Based on the fact very scar area in the Earth surface still in virgin without any disturbance by man; it means that most of the area in the Earth surface have modified by man to fulfill the basic human need as settlement as well as for crop cultivation and other human facilities. As population increases and the pressure on Earth resources grows, the competition for water, timber, open space, fuel, and environmental desires will bring a need for more knowledge and more data on the process and the factors in geomorphology. Geomorphology is importance to both science and to daily life (Leopold, 2004). The daily life that related to the importance of geomorphology directly as well as indirectly involve to the environmental components, it means in daily life we need environmental geomorphology as stated by Coates and Panizza (1996).
In the daily life we need natural resources and always face with natural hazard. In relation to environmental problems, environmental geomorphology divides into geomorphological resources and geomorphological hazard. Geomorphological resources include both raw material and landform is useful to man or may become useful depending on economic, social and technological circumstances. While geomorphological hazard is defined as the probability that a certain phenomenon of geomorphological instability and of a given magnitude may occur in a certain territory in a given period of time.(Panizza, 1996).
Natural resources and natural hazard actually could be studied by various disciplines. The difference between environmental geomorphology and other disciplines to study on natural resources and natural hazard is the approach. Landform approach is usually used for evaluation of natural resources and natural hazard. Landform is very useful to evaluate the natural resources for certain purposes and can be used as framework for mapping and evaluation unit as well. The landform characteristics that consist of relief, materials (lithology and structure) and geomorphic processes are very relevance to the natural resources and natural hazard factors. Relief is the product of interaction between lithology and structure and geomorphic processes, it mean that relief reflected lithology and structure, and geomorphic processes ( van Zuidam, 1983). Landform unit approach has been used widely for assessment of natural resources potential and natural hazard zoning for mitigation purposes. To apply geomorphology for natural resources and natural hazard must be founded by basic theory and principles in geomorphology (Thornbury,1959; Summerfield,1991), geomorphological survey and mapping (van Zuidam, 1985; Verstappen, 1983), and should be supported by related subject such as geology, climatology and hydrology. Remote sensing technique and GIS has importance contribution and tools for geomorphological surveys and mapping.
After discussing on ontology and a little bit on epistemology of environmental geomorphology as above, then I will propose environmental problems in Indonesia that need solving from environmental geomorphology point of view; it relates to the axiology of the environmental geomorphology. The main environmental problems in
Indonesia very rich in various natural resources, such as oil, gas, hydrothermal, coal, mineral, rock, water, land, timber, biota, crop, etc.,. The actual data of the natural resources was unavailable precisely. Not all of the natural resources can be evaluated using geomorphological approach; it is applicable if the objects are located on the surface or near surface of Earth (Strahler and Strahler, 1996). As far as the landform unit is related to the natural resources and natural hazard, the out line of the Indonesia Geomorphological Map of Indonesia by Verstappen (2000) is applicable for identification the natural resources, at least the site and the spatial distribution. The geomorphological map can be used as basic framework for multi level survey. In general the landform unit of
Beside rich on natural resources, Indonesia also rich on various types of natural hazard and natural disaster, such as earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption and the associated hazards, landslides, flood, drought, fire, biological and human conflict. The earthquake, tsunami, volcanic disaster are related to the position of
The next hazard is volcanic hazard,
1) direct hazard: eruption, ash, bomb, pumice, pyroclastic rain, lava flow, glowing cloud, lahars flow and mud flow;
2) indirect hazard: earthquake, tsunami, lahar, landslide, topographic changes;
3) volcanic gas hazard: H2S, SO2, CO and HCN;
4) physical environment changes;
5) air poluttion (Nott ,2006; Muzil Alzwar, dkk., 1988 ).
In relation to the natural hazard of the volcano what is the contribution of the environmental geomorphology? The main contribution is the spatial distribution of the susceptible area to various type of the volcanic hazard. The landform of the strato volcano can be identified easily from air photographs and remote sensing images; landform unit is not enough to determine the area distribution of every hazard in the volcanic area because of the various energy and agent of the hazard, it should be supplemented by field measurement, such as the morphometry of the valley.
Flood and drought is another type of that occurring in the earth surface, and also in
Landslide is the most disaster occurring in the sloping and upland area. Classification of landslide is based on the material that involve and movement types. Based on movement processes we know: fall, topple, rotational, translational, planar, lateral spreading, flow and complex; the material of the landslide consist of rocks, debris and earth. Factors that influence the landslide: lithology, soils, slope, geological structure, stratigraphy, land use, land cover, drainage, rainfall and human activities.
Contribution of environmental geomorphology related to landslide hazard is to determine the area distribution and classify the hazard, identify the causal factors and recommend how to manage the susceptible area. Land use planning is important to consider the landslide hazard.
Based on the above description, the environmental geomorphology is needed to cope the natural resources and natural hazard problem that tend to increase by time. To apply the environmental geomorphology, it must be supported by strengthening the basic theory in geomorphology, geomorphological survey and mapping. Geomorphological it self is not sufficient to solve the problems related to the natural resources and natural hazard, it should be integrated with related fields. It is true what has stated by Leopold (2004) that even though geomorphology is merely a sliver off corpus of science, it has both intellectual and practical value; in this case related to natural resources and natural hazards. Due to the problems on natural resources and natural hazards in
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