Personnel: Tim Breitfeld & Robert Hall

Themes: Sedimentology and provenance


This project investigates terrestrial to marginal marine sandstones from the Kuching Zone in Sarawak to determine their provenance and improve our understanding of the Cretaceous-Cenozoic evolution of eastern Sundaland. The main objective of this project is to investigate the Late Cretaceous to Cenozoic Kayan and Ketungau Basin Sequences. Mesozoic sediments and metasediments of the Sadong and Pedawan Formations which lie beneath the Kayan Sequence have also been analysed. Dating of igneous rocks and “basement” schists, combined with data from the Belaga Formation of the Sibu Zone, obtained from the recently completed SEARG MRes project by Thomson Galin, will help to improve the understanding of the tectonic evolution of Sarawak and Borneo and to reconstruct basin development in NW Borneo.


The geology of Sarawak is divided into the Kuching Zone, the Sibu Zone and the Miri Zone. The Lupar Line separates the Kuching Zone from the Sibu Zone and may represent an important strike-slip fault. The sandstone formations are poorly dated because of their predominantly terrestrial character and lack of fossils. The sandstones are assumed to have been deposited between the Late Cretaceous and Late Eocene. There have been no previous provenance studies in the area. Igneous rocks were previously dated by K-Ar which could yield unreliable results. The metamorphic “basement” schists were undated prior to this project.