Field work with local boats
The PhD student's work at the Oeschger Centre is closely linked to his home country, revolving around Lake Poso, one of Indonesia’s largest and deepest lakes - and a promising site for palaeoclimatic studies. "The ultimate goal," he explains, "is a reconstruction of the past climate in the region." Not least with a view to short-term climate fluctuations, the so-called El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon. But first, it is necessary to collect the basic information about Lake Poso, data on inflows and outflows, water quality, bathymetric, and basin fill conditions. That is why Adrianus and his team spent weeks on the lake with a multibeam and reflection seismic system during last autumn’s field campaign to carry out bathymetric and seismic surveys. The result now hangs on the wall of his Bern office, the first high-resolution bathymetry of an Indonesian lake. The map shows different shades of blue. It is coloured night blue in the middle of the lake, which is 395 meters deep.
The young researcher notes, somewhat thoughtfully, that so little is known about the lakes of his homeland. Let alone about their past, which can be read in the sediment layers of a drill core. To this end, the doctoral student in Bern works with state-of-the-art analytical technology, an infrastructure that no laboratory in Indonesia can afford. "It is a privilege to work with such sophisticated equipment, and I still have a lot to learn about it," he explains.
Adrianus goes on about how difficult it is sometimes to explain to his family in Sumatra what his work as a researcher is all about. Doing research just for the sake of generating new knowledge seems strange to most people. This was also the case for his parents. They wanted to know if he was looking for gold in Lake Poso. Adrianus then told them the story of a winding house with many different rooms and asked if they, as the owners, wouldn't also like to know what it looked like in all the rooms. Just out of curiosity – and, coming back to Lake Poso, to learn for the future from the climate of the past.