Synopsis of Upper Tukau Deposits along the Sungai Rait Road, Miri District, Sarawak, Malaysia

GSM Bulletin 75 May 2023
Author : Franz L. Kessler, John Jong, Ramasamy Nagarajan
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 73 - 84
Volume Number : 75
Year : 2023

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 75, May 2023, pp. 73 – 84

Synopsis of Upper Tukau Deposits along the Sungai Rait Road, Miri District, Sarawak, Malaysia

Franz L. Kessler1,*, John Jong2, Ramasamy Nagarajan3,4

1Goldbach Geoconsultants O&G and Lithium Exploration, Bommichring 7A 63864 Glattbach, Bavaria, Germany
2JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration (Malaysia) Limited, Level 17, Menara Prestige, No. 1, Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3Department of Applied Sciences (Applied Geology), Curtin University, CDT 250, Miri, Malaysia 4 Curtin Malaysia Research Institute, Curtin University, CDT 250, Miri, Malaysia

* Corresponding author email address:


Abstract: The Upper Tukau Formation is exposed along the Sungai Rait Road and can be described as follows: the lowermost member is formed by soft clay and silt, the “Brick Shale”, and contains meandering sandy channels. The clay is thoroughly excavated in the area and used as raw material for bricks. The second and hilltop-forming layer is built by relatively hard amalgamated, and partly channelized sandstone layers, often lined with diagenetically precipitated iron minerals (i.e., pyrite and siderite concretions). The youngest member is characterized by intertidal channels and mud flats. Geochemical studies point to a polymictic source of already recycled sediments, deposited in predominantly oxic, partly suboxic environments, with rapid transitions observed from one milieu to the other. In broad terms, the entire sequence appears to be a shallowing-upwards cycle, leading from subtidal to intertidal realms. The surprising sharp boundaries between clay and sand packages are discussed and may be related to climate cycles.


Keywords: Tukau, Sungai Rait, Late Miocene, Pliocene, clastic sediments, sedimentology, geochemistry, paleoclimate, Sarawak, Northwest Borneo


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Manuscript received 23 March 2023;
Received in revised form 8 May 2023;
Accepted 10 May 2023
Available online 26 May 2023



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