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ABSTRACT: Indonesian petroleum industry geoscience data and research on Plio-Pleistocene Homo erectus of eastern Java

Huffman, O. Frank1, Yahdi Zaim2, Alan G. Fenwick3, Wahyudin Suwarlan4, and Peter J. Lunt5
(1) University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 
(2) Institute of Technology Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia 
(3) Santa Fe Energy Resources Ltd, Jakarta, Indonesia 
(4) Lapindo-Brantas Inc, Jakarta, Indonesia 
(5) Coparex International, Jakarta, Indonesia

The Late Pliocene and Quaternary sequence of eastern Java has produced some of the world's most informative early hominid fossils (Homo erectus; "Java Man"). Discovery sites lie in the JOB Pertamina-Santa Fe Tuban, Lapindo Brantas, and Coparex Blora exploration blocks. The operators have allowed data that they collected for petroleum activities to be used in an Indonesian/USA geoarchaeological research program focusing on the stratigraphy and paleoenvironment of the fossil beds. The primary project in the program concerns the Trinil, Kedungbrubus, and Perning/Mojokerto Homo erectus sites, which occur in outcrops (Pucangan and Kabuh Formations) that stretch >140 km east-west along the southern Kendeng Hills. The use of industry proprietary Side Aperture Radar Imagery (SAR), seismic profiles, well logs, outcrop and subsurface studies, and data management systems is leading to substantial advances in understanding this hominid-bearing sequence. For example, well logs and seismic mapping extend outcrop-based interpretations to the present-day lowlands and seas. SAR and seismic data help to trace intraformational units for tens of kilometers, supporting J. Duyfjes' conclusion in the 1930s that marker beds have chronostratigraphic value in both coastal (deltaic) and inland (fluvial) depositional settings. Analysis of the pre-Pleistocene geology done in the course of petroleum exploration improves the mapping of the Plio-Pleistocene paleogeography and upland substrates. A Geographic Information System data management system developed by Santa Fe Energy Resources Java Ltd. permits fossil sites and geologic data that were plotted on maps as long ago as the 1920s to be related more precisely to new observations and collections.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia