Spatio-temporal characteristics of the geomagnetic field over the Lombok Island, the Lesser Sunda Islands region
AbstractThe Lombok Island is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands (LSI) region – Indonesia, situated along the Sunda-Banda Arcs transition. It lies between zones characterized by the highest intensity geomagnetic anomalies of this region, remarkable as one of the eight most important features provided on the 1st edition of World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map. The seismicity of this region during the last years is high, while the geological and tectonic structures of this region are still not known in detail. Some local magnetic surveys have been conducted previously during 2004–2005. However, due to the lower accuracy of the used equipment and a limited number of stations, the qualities of the previous measurements are questionable for more interpretations. Thus a more detailed study to better characterize the geomagnetic anomaly -spatially and temporally- over this region and to deeply explore the related regional geology, tectonic and seismicity is needed. The intriguing geomagnetic anomalies over this island region vis-à-vis the socio-cultural situations lead to a study with a special aim to contribute to the assessment of the potential of natural hazards (earthquakes) as well as a new natural resource of energy (geothermal potential). This study is intended to discuss several crucial questions, including: i. The real values and the general pattern of magnetic anomalies over the island, as well as their relation to the regional one. ii. Any temporal changes of regional anomalies over the recent time. iii. The relationships between the anomalies and the geology and tectonic of this region, especially new insights that can be gained from the geomagnetic observations. iv. The relationships between the anomalies and the high seismicity of this region, especially some possible links between their variations to the earthquake occurrence. First, all available geomagnetic data of this region and results of the previous measurements are evaluated. The new geomagnetic surveys carried out in 2006 and 2007/2008 are then presented in detail, followed by the general description of data processing and data quality evaluation. The new results show the general pattern of contiguous negative-positive anomalies, revealing an active arc related subduction region. They agree with earlier results obtained by satellite, aeromagnetic, and marine platforms; and provide a much more detailed picture of the strong anomalies on this island. The temporal characteristics of regional anomalies show a decreasing strength of the dipolar structure, where decreasing of the field intensities is faster than the regional secular variations as defined by the global model (the 10th generation of IGRF). However, some exceptions (increasing of anomalies) have to be noted and further analyzed for several locations. Thereafter, simultaneous magnetic anomalies and gravity models are generated and interpreted in detail. Three profiles are investigated, providing new insights into the tectonics and geological evolution of the Lombok Island. Geological structure of this island can be divided as two main parts with different consecutive ages: an old part (from late Oligocene to late Miocene) in the South and a younger one (from Pliocene to Holocene) in the North. A new subduction in the back arc region (the Flores Thrust zone) is considered mature and active, showing a tendency of progressive subduction during 2005–2008. Geothermal potential in the northern part of this island can be mapped in more detail using these geomagnetic regional survey data. The earlier estimates of reservoir depth can be confirmed further to a depth of about 800 m. Evaluation of temporal changes of the anomalies gives some possible explanations related to the evolution of the back arc region, large stress accumulations over the LSI region, a specific electrical characteristic of the crust of the Lombok Island region, and a structural discontinuity over this island. Based on the results, several possible advanced studies involving geomagnetic data and anomaly investigations over the Lombok Island region can be suggested for the future: i. Monitoring the subduction activity of the back arc region (the Flores Thrust zone) and the accumulated stress over the LSI, that could contribute to middle term hazard assessment with a special attention to the earthquake occurrence in this region. Continuous geomagnetic field measurements from a geomagnetic observatory which can be established in the northern part of the Lombok Island and systematic measurements at several repeat stations can be useful in this regards. ii. Investigating the specific electrical characteristic (high conductivity) of the crust, that is probably related to some aquifer layers or metal mineralization. It needs other complementary geophysical methods, such as magnetotelluric (MT) or preferably DC resistivity measurements. iii. Determining the existence of an active structural fault over the Lombok Island, that could be related to long term hazard assessment over the LSI region. This needs an extension of geomagnetic investigations over the neighbouring islands (the Bali Island in the West and the Sumbawa Island in the East; probably also the Sumba and the Flores islands). This seems possible because the regional magnetic lineations might be used to delineate some structural discontinuities, based on the modelling of contrasts in crustal magnetizations.