There is often this misleading concept that Geology is not as important as the other science. Yes, Geologists don’t sit around and split atoms all day or pour chemicals into tubes all the time. But Geologists are important for a country to have.
If you would have asked me a few months ago if Geology was important I would have shrugged and implied that the study of rock is not as vital as the study of the human anatomy or the study of medical advancement. I would have been WRONG.
Being part of PetroSeychelles for two weeks has shown me a different side to the boulder that was blocking the logic behind the importance of Geology. The subject entails more than just looking at rocks but also helping the people of Seychelles and the economy in the near future.
Geologists in Seychelles (at Petro Seychelles) they oversee the changes that the Seychelles go through. They monitor the coast as well as the hills. Not to steer away from the question but a well-told story is better told from the beginning.
Seychelles is an Archipelago in the middle of the Indian ocean. While it is ahead in beauty and uniqueness because of its granite rocks and its pristine species and atmosphere it has taken a considerable amount of years to reach the level of development it has at the moment. While some of the development are vital and important for the advancement of the country in various aspects. Human activity and its impacts on the environment is obviously present. I’m guessing you already knew that because you’ve heard or read about it, and I believe you also know that every action has its reaction.
At PetroSeychelles they are also often tasked with reviewing and analyzing the causes of natural disasters and its future outcome. What they have observed is the lack of proper planning when developing certain parts of Seychelles (Yes, it may not have a direct effect on the environment at the moment but it does in the long term) No one can really be blamed for some of the roads because most of them were built ‘back in the days’ during the first developments. Cutting slopes for development such as roads can impact and result in the future of debris flow or any other type of mass movement. The geologists are tasked with finding alternative ways to help prevent any future major incident like the ongoing incident at Vista Do Mar. While I may refer to Vista Domar in future vlogs, a short summary of what is actually happening in Vista Do Mar should get that question mark of curiosity away from your brain.
Vista-Do-Mar is located at Glacis. Some may refer to it as a small village or a sub-district. Vista Do Mar is believed to have been built on a previous landslide moving downhill towards the coast. The landslide could have happened years ago. Though to the naked eye it doesn’t appear to be a landslide (its really steep but Seychelles is not a flat country, so really how can you tell!!!). Geologically it has all the features that a landslide does. With more settlement and more construction, the soil is starting to move downhill due to the added weight which stimulates movement towards the coast.
This movement has a negative effect to the houses and villas in that area. The infrastructures are compromised and it will be hazardous if we experience heavy rainfall in the future, because rain adds more weight to the mass movement. (There was a case of heavy rainfall in the past but I’m already past my word amount) The movement is slow but it’s happening.
Something I have also made sense of since I’ve been here, that even though you don’t see something happening right this very second, that doesn’t mean that it is not happening. Vista Do Mar is not the only case that they had to analyze and study, there are other multiple places around the islands. Why limit your choices? Geologist can be a job undertaken in the future because there are a demand for Geologist when someone wants to build a house or project and they want their structure to stand for as long as possible. Don’t be afraid to expand your horizon.
Written by Joshua Sofola