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Home Trivia Simara Island Under The Radar

Simara Island Under The Radar

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by Gilbert Fajiculay
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Gilbert FajiculayIn the early eighties, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the German Space Agency (DARA) launched a cooperative space shuttle experiment known as the SIR-C/X-SAR Missions. These missions were part of the global program to provide a space imagery of the earth.


Germany’s imaging radar program on board the Space Shuttle used a multi-frequency X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR). Results of this space imagery are viewable online on the German Aerospace Center’s web site which is accessible at A quick look at the mission’s orbit shows that the space shuttle passed above Simara’s skies on April 14, 1994. And clicking a mouse on Simara’s tile area or typing the link at will show the radar image of Simara and the Maghali district. The details on Dos Hermanas, Concepcion, and Tablas are also listed in the image catalog.


One can readily visualize the seabed around Simara and Tablas Strait because of the multi-frequency capabality of XSAR. You can see the earth’s fault lines, the depths of the seas, and the mountains and trenches beneath the surface. A distinct line is noticeable terminating southeast of Simara Island.


With this mapping of the earth, we are more knowledgeable of how the islands were formed. Geological analysis and terrestrial land surveys have also corroborated the findings. In a paper submitted in January 2003 by Tengonciang, Aquino, and Catane to the National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, the authors presented a study of the Nasugbu volcanic terrain in Batangas.


This study mentioned the subduction process that formed our archipelago. It also mentioned the island of Simara being part of the Luzon arc at its southern end.


In another research study submitted in November 2002 by Banner, Corretge, and Ordaz, to a Spanish magazine “Geogaceta”, the authors presented an overview to the high-K and shoshonite andesite lava in Simara island. It described Simara island as an extinct Pliocene volcanic island which represents the southernmost end volcanic to center of the Luzon Arc, an arc produced by the eastward subduction of the South China Sea oceanic basin beneath the Philippine Sea plate. It further says that the island comprises andesitic flow washes and pyroclastic products along with limestone deposit.


West-southwest of Simara, the Geogaceta authors also see a fragment of the micro-continental North Palawan-Mindoro Block which collided with the western Philippine mobile belt during the Miocene period. In geological terms, the Miocene epoch occurred from 25 to 13 million years ago and the Pliocene epoch occurred from 13 to 2 million years ago.


On your next boat ride from Batangas or Mindoro to Simara, just imagine that when you finally come ashore to Simara’s soil, you are actually landing on top of a very high volcanic mountain with a base that is thousands of feet beneath the sea. That base is miles and miles long and is geologically connected to as far north as Central Luzon.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 09:56  

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