Geol. Soc. Malaysia, Bulletin 47, December 2003,· pp. 63-75
Department of Petroleum Geoscience
Universiti Brunei Darussalam
Tungku Link BE 1410
1Present address: ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc., Kuala Lumpur
2Present address: Department of Geology, Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
3Present address: Murphy Sarawak Oil Co. Ltd., Kuala Lumpur
Abstract: Outcrops of the West Crocker Formation in western Sabah are dominated by coarse-grained sandstones interbedded with shale, although numerous bedding-plane thrust faults that form preferentially in the shales and weathering that favours exposure of sandstone suggest that the actual sand-shale ratio may be significantly lower. The sandstones occur as amalgamated units with individual beds that are generally 1-6m thick within 25-65 m thick parasequences. Most sandstones are massive and display partial Bouma sequences. The sands are texturally immature with a high proportion of rock fragments and poorly sorted. Their sedimentary structures and texture are consistent with a short transport path down a relatively steep slope and then rapid deposition from collapse fall-out in high density turbidity currents. In the outcrops studied in detail, comprising nearly 500 m of succession some of which is laterally continuous up to 500 m, most beds are sheet sands and a few are lobate and there is no evidence of channeling. The bed geometries, texture and depositional mechanism all suggest relatively small lobes that coalesced to form a sand-rich slope apron.
Palaeocurrent directions are consistently to the north, indicating a transport direction that is oblique to the northeast-southwest marginal basin. This suggests that the West Crocker strata were derived from nearby Rajang Group sediment, possibly in response to the initial phase of the uplift that formed the Deep Regional Unconformity. The tectonic setting, facies distribution, stratigraphic architecture, sand body orientation, texture and sorting of the West Crocker turbidites are all significantly different from those of the Neogene turbidites offshore and, therefore, they are a poor analogue for the younger sands.