Developing a Scientific Procedure for Community-Based Landslide Hazard Mapping and Introducing Landslide Education Methods for Rural Communities in Central Java, Indonesia
Department of Geological Sciences
San Diego State University
Advisors Dr. Eric Frost and Dr. Dwikorita Karnawati
Central Java, Indonesia is located north of the Sunda arc where the Indo-Australian Plate is subducting northward beneath the Eurasian Plate resulting in major volcanic and seismic activity that have built the island of Java as a record of long-term island-arc volcanism and sedimentation. Additionally, heavy rainfall mixed with steep topography, dense population, and highly erosive volcanic sediments all contribute to a high susceptibility to and danger from landslides. Under the sponsorship of a dedicated community empowerment program at the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, two months were spent in field area near Plosorejo Village, Karanganyar, Kerjo, Central Java, Indonesia inventorying local landslides, producing a landslide susceptibility map, installing an early warning system, and enacting landslide awareness programs. The methods for gauging landslide susceptibility included making lithological observations, mapping evidence for recent and current land movements such as land cracking and visible loss of structural integrity in villager homes, and collaboration with local residents including the rescue and response teams familiar with the dangers of the region. The landslide inventory and susceptibility data were compiled into CorelDraw and Google Earth and disseminated into the community. The early warning system developed for the community was constructed to monitor land movement and slope inclination as well as to measure local rainfall in order to alert residents when calibrated thresholds and danger levels are exceeded. Work for this thesis also included developing low-cost methods for local residents to keep track of landslide hazards near their homes and report critical data to search and rescue teams. Overall, this study addressed the limited access to information on landslide processes in rural Indonesia and explored the use of educational programs to develop a culture of preparedness and encourage proactive preventative efforts with respect to landslide phenomena. By helping the rural people of Indonesia to recognize landslides and earth processes producing them, this effort should help save lives and reduce loss related to landslides in Java. It also serves as an example of using imagery, mapping, and expertise from the US to assist the people of Indonesia in better responding to the dangers of landsliding in rural Indonesia.