The geological heritage values and potential geotourism development of the beaches in Northern Sabah, Malaysia

Author : Joanes Muda
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 1-7
Volume Number : 59
Year : 2013

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 59, November 2013, pp. 1 – 7

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The geological heritage values and potential geotourism development of the beaches in Northern Sabah, Malaysia

Joanes Muda

Minerals and Geoscience Department Malaysia, Sarawak
Jalan Wan Abdul Rahman, Kenyalang Park, P.O. Box 560, 93712 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Email address:

 Abstract: A study was carried out on 13 beaches in Northern Sabah, Malaysia to identify their geological heritage values and geotourism potential. Northern Sabah has some of the finest beaches in Sabah and most of them are still undisturbed and in pristine condition. However, with the increasing demand for tourism facilities, considerable development is currently being undertaken in the coastal areas and the impact upon the beaches is considerable. The natural geomorphologic processes may be disrupted and the beaches in the area might be degraded and damaged. The main attractions of the beaches are their beautiful landscape. The geological heritage values usually go unnoticed and unappreciated due to lack of awareness and information. By unraveling and explaining their hidden natural qualities, the attractions of the beaches could be enhanced. This study has identified the scientific values of the beaches such as the composition, morphology and sources of the beach sediments. Black sand comprising mainly chromite was found at Marasimsim Beach and pink sand comprising mainly garnet was found at a pocket beach in Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. The study also revealed that several of the beaches in the area have aesthetic and cultural value as well as their obvious recreational value. Such aspects could be explained to visitors so that they can appreciate the importance of conservation. Geotourism could be developed and promoted on some of the beaches together with steps to ensure the sustainability and to protect these beach environments. The promotion of beach geotourism could be carried out together with other potential geotourism sites in Northern Sabah. The study on beaches for geotourism development is an innovative way to add-value to their existing aesthetic attractions and to enhance and sustain the tourism industry in the State.

 Keywords: geological heritage, geotourism, beach, Sabah

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