Late Oligocene-Early Miocene palynological succession from marginal marine deposits, Nyalau Formation, Bintulu Sarawak: Palynostratigraphy, paleovegetation and paleoclimate significance

bgsm742022
Author : Zainey Konjing, Abdul Hadi Abd Rahman, Mohd Suhaili Ismail, Numair Ahmed Siddiqui
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 17 - 41
Volume Number : 74
Year : 2022
DOI : doi.org/10.7186/bgsm74202202

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 74, November 2022, pp. 17 – 41

 

Late Oligocene-Early Miocene palynological succession from marginal marine deposits, Nyalau Formation, Bintulu Sarawak: Palynostratigraphy, paleovegetation and paleoclimate significance

 

Zainey Konjing1,2,*, Abdul Hadi Abd Rahman3, Mohd Suhaili Ismail1, Numair Ahmed Siddiqui1

 

1 Geoscience Department, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, 32610 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia

2 Sedimentology & Stratigraphy Division, Orogenic Geosample Facilities & Laboratories, 43100 Hulu Langat Selangor, Malaysia

3 Resource Exploration, Malaysia Petroleum Management, Level 30, Tower 1, PETRONAS Twin Towers, KLCC, 50088, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

* Corresponding author email address: zainey_g03671@utp.edu.my

 

Abstract: Palynological analysis was conducted on one hundred and twenty-four samples collected from ten sedimentary
outcrops in Sangan, Tatau, Bintulu and Similajau areas of central Sarawak. These outcrops form part of the Oligocene-Miocene marginal marine successions of the Nyalau Formation. Rich palynomorph assemblages were recovered from the samples and they provide well-preserved palynological record for the Oligocene-Miocene boundary in the onshore of northwest Borneo. Three distinct palynological zones were identified based on changes in pollen assemblages. The three zones are informally named FT-I, FT-II and FT-III. The FT-I zone is characterized by high frequency of Florschuetzia trilobata with common Florschuetzia semilobata including sporadic Meyeripollis naharkotensis. High percentage of F. trilobata and sporadic occurrence of F. semilobata are typical of the FT-II zone. Another important characteristic for this zone is characterized by common to abundant Casuarina type pollen while M. naharkotensis is virtually absent. The FT-III zone is marked by the presence of Florschuetzia levipoli. The zone is also characterized by abundant F. trilobata including regular occurrence of F. semilobata with common montane elements represented by Pinus, Picea, Alnus, Ephedra and Tsuga. All the identified zones record regular occurrence of Gramineae throughout with strong variation in diversity and frequency of peat swamp taxa represented by Blumeodendron type, Calophyllum type, Stemonurus type, Calamus type and Dactylocladus type. The mangrove element such as Rhizophora type exhibits gradual increased in number throughout the FT-I and FT-II zone and showing reduced abundance in FT-III zone. These three zones are correlatable to the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene palynostratigraphy of the Cycle I and Cycle II in the Sarawak
Basin. The palynological successions from these areas suggest a typical wet climate with intermittent seasonally dry conditions throughout the Late Oligocene – Early Miocene. This is evident from the regular occurrence of grass pollen i.e., Gramineae/Poaceae with common rain forest and peatswamp elements. This is supported by the common to high frequency of
mangrove pollen notably Rhizophora type (Zonocostites ramonae). The Early Miocene may have experienced occasional super wet climatic conditions where rain forest pollen assemblages were prevalent including intermittent acme of Casuarina type pollen.

 

Keywords: Palynostratigraphy, paleoclimate, paleovegetation, Nyalau Formation

 

References

Ahmad Munif Koraini, Zainey Konjing, & Marahizal Malihan, 2012.
Tertiary palynomorph assemblage from eastern Chenor, Pahang. Bulletin of the
Geological Society of Malaysia, 58, 37-42.

Amir Hasan, M.H., Johnson, H.D., Allison, P.A., & Abdullah, W.H.,
2013. Sedimentology and stratigraphic development of the upper Nyalau Formation
(Early Miocene), Sarawak, Malaysia: A mixed wave- and tide-influenced coastal
system. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 76, 301-311.

Anderson, J.A.R., & Muller, J., 1975. Palynological study of a Holocene
peat and a Miocene coal deposit from NW Borneo. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 19,
291-351.

Baksi, S.K., & Venkatachala, B.S., 1971. Meyeripollis, a new
genus from the Tertiary of Assam. J. Geol. Soc. India, 11, 81-83.

Brunig, E.F., 1990. Oligotrophic forested wetlands in Borneo. Chapter
13. In: Lugo, A.E., Brinson, M., & Brown, S. (Eds.), Ecosystems of the
world. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Forested wetlands, 15, 299–344.

Du Bois, E.P., 1985. Review of principal hydrocarbon-bearing basins
around the South China Sea. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, 18,
167-209.

Germeraad, J.H., Hoping, C.A., & Muller, J., 1968. Palynology of
Tertiary sediments from tropical areas. Review of Palynology and Paleobotany,
6, 189-348.

Gradstein, F., Ogg, J., & Smith, A., 2005. A geologic time scale
2004. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 589 p.

Hageman, H., 1987. Paleobathymetrical changes in NW Sarawak during
the Oligocene to Pliocene. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, 21, 91-102.

Halbritter, H., Ulrich, S., Grímsson, F., Weber, M., Zetter, R.,
Hesse, M., Buchner, R., Svojtka, & M., Radivo, 2018. Illustrated pollen
terminology. Springer Open 2nd Edition, Switzerland. 483 p.

Hall, R., 2009. Southeast Asia’s changing palaeogeography.
Blumea-Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants, 54, 148-161.

Ho, K.F., 1978. Stratigraphic framework for oil exploration in Sarawak.
Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, 10, 1-14.

Hutchison, C.S., 2005. Geology of North-West Borneo. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
421 p.

Kemp, E.M., 1974. Preliminary palynology of samples from Site 254,
Ninetyeast Ridge. Initial Rept. Deep Sea Drill. Proj., 26, 815-823.

Kho, C.H., 1968. Bintulu area, Central Sarawak, East Malaysia. Geological
Survey Malaysia Borneo Region, Report 5.

Lelono, E.B., & Morley, R.J., 2011. Oligocene palynological
succession from the East Java Sea. In: Hall, R., Cottam, M.A., & Wilson,
M.E.J. (Eds.), The SE Asian gateway: History and tectonics of the
Australia–Asia Collision. Geological Society, London, Special Publications,
355, 333–345.

Liechti, P., Roe, F.W., & Haile, N.S., 1960. The geology of
Sarawak, Brunei, and the western part of North Borneo. Geological Surv. Dept.,
British Territories in Borneo, Bull., 3, 360.

Lunt, P., & Madon, M., 2017. A review of the Sarawak Cycles: History
and modern application. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, 63,
77-101.

Madon, M., 1999. Geological setting of Sarawak. In: The petroleum geology
and resources of Malaysia. PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur, 275–290.

Mao, L., Batten, D.J., Fujiki, T., Li, Z., Dai, L., & Weng, C.,
2012. Key to mangrove pollen and spores of southern China: An aid to
palynological interpretation of Quaternary deposits in the South China Sea.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 176–177, 41–67.

Mazlan Madon, Kim Cheng Ly, & Robert Wong, 2013. The structure
and stratigraphy of deepwater Sarawak, Malaysia: Implications for tectonic
evolution. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 76, 312-333.

Moar, N.T., Wilmshurst, J.M., & McGlone, M.S., 2011.
Standardizing names applied to pollen and spores in New Zealand Quaternary
palynology. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 49(2), 201-229.

Mohamad Zulkifley, M.T., Ng Tham Fatt, Zainey Konjing, & Muhammad
Aqeel Ashraf, 2016. Development of tropical lowland peat forest Phasic
Community Zonations in the Kota Samarahan-Asajaya area, West Sarawak, Malaysia.
Earth Science Research Journal, 20, 1-10.

Mohd Yakzan, A., Awalludin Harun, Bahari Md Nasib, & Morley, R.J.,
1996. Integrated biostratigraphic zonation for the Malay Basin. Bulletin of the
Geological Society of Malaysia, 39, 157-184.

Morley, R.J., 1976. Vegetation change in West Malaysia during the
Late Quaternary period: A palynological study of selected lowland and lower
montane sites. Unpublished PhD Thesis. University of Hull.

Morley, R.J., 1991. Tertiary stratigraphic palynology in Southeast Asia:
Current status and new directions. Bulletin of the Geological Society of
Malaysia, 28, 1-36.

Morley, R.J., 1998. Palynological evidence for Tertiary plant
dispersals in the Southeast Asian region in relation to plate tectonics and
climate. In: Hall, R., & Holloway, J.D. (Eds.), Biogeography and geological
evolution of SE Asia. Backhuys, Leiden, 211-234.

Morley, R.J., 2000. Origin and evolution of tropical rain forests. Wiley
& Sons, London. 362 p.

Morley, R.J., 2011. Cretaceous and Tertiary climate change and the past
distribution of megathermal rainforests, In: Bush, M.B., Flenly, J.R., &
Gosling, W.D. (Eds.), Tropical rain forest responses to climate change, 2nd
edition, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 1-34.

Morley, R.J., 2018. Assembly and division of the South and
South-East Asian flora in relation to tectonics and climate change. Journal of
Tropical Ecology, 34, 209-234.

Morley, R.J., & Flenley, J.R., 1987. Late Cainozoic vegetational
and environmental changes in the Malay Archipelago. In: Whitmore, T.C. (Eds.),
Biogeographical evolution of the Malay Archipelago. Oxford Monographs on
Biogeography 4, Oxford Scientific Publications, 50-59.

Morley, R.J., Hasan, S.S., Morley, H.P., Jais, J.H.M., Mansor, A., Aripin,
M.R., Nordin, M.H., & Rohaizar, M.H., 2020. Sequence biostratigraphic
framework for the Oligocene to Pliocene of Malaysia: High-frequency
depositional cycles driven by polar glaciation. Palaeogeography,
Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 561, 110058.

Morley, R.J., & Morley, H.P., 2013. Mid Cenozoic freshwater wetlands
of the Sunda region. Journal of Limnology, 72, 18-35.

Morley, R.J., Salvador, P., Challis, M.L., Morris, W.R., &
Adyaksawan, I. R., 2007. Sequence biostratigraphic evaluation of the North
Belut Field West Natuna Basin. In: Proceedings Indonesian Petroleum
Association, 31st Annual Convention, Jakarta, IPA-07-G-120.

Muller, J., 1959. Palynology of recent Orinoco delta and shelf
sediments. Micropaleontology, 5, 1-32.

Muller, J., 1966. Montane pollen from the Tertiary of northwest Borneo.
Blumea, 14(1), 231-25.

Muller, J., 1968. Palynology of the Pedawan and Plateau Sandstone formations
(Cretaceous-Eocene) in Sarawak, Malaysia. Micropaleontology, 14, 1-5.

Muller, J., 1981. Fossil pollen records of extant angiosperms. The Botanical
Review, 47, 1-142.

Pearson, D.L., 1984. Pollen/spore color “standard”. Phillips
Petroleum Company Geological Branch.

Poliakova, A., & Behling, H., 2016. Pollen and fern spores
recorded in recent and late Holocene marine sediments from the Indian Ocean and
Java Sea in Indonesia. Quaternary International, 392, 251-314.

Poumot, C., 1989. Palynological evidence for eustatic events in the
tropical Neogene. Bulletin des Centres de Recherches Exploration Production Elf
Aquitaine, 13, 437-453.

Richards, P.W., 1996. The tropical rain forest, 2nd edn. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge. 600 p.

Richardson, J.B., & Rasul, M., 1990. Palynofacies in a Late
Silurian regressive sequence in the Welsh Borderland and Wales. Journal of the
Geological Society, 147, 675-686.

Sia, S.G., Abdullah, W.H., Konjing, Z., & Koraini, A.M., 2014.
The age, palaeoclimate, palaeovegetation, coal seam architecture/mire types,
paleodepositional environments and thermal maturity of syn-collision paralic
coal from Mukah, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences,
81, 1-19.

Sia, S.G., Abdullah, W.H., Konjing, Z., & John, J., 2019.
Floristic and climatic changes at the Balingian Province of the Sarawak Basin,
Malaysia, in response to Neogene global cooling, aridification and grassland
expansion. Catena, 173, 445–455.

Somboon, J.R.P., 1990. Palynological study of mangrove and marine
sediments of the Gulf of Thailand. Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences,
4(2), 85-97.

Staplin, F.L., 1968. Sedimentary organic matter, organic
metamorphism, and oil and gas occurrence. Bulletin Canadian Petroleum Geology,
17, 47-66.

Tang, L., Mao, L., Shu, J., & Caiming Shen, 2020. Major types of
Quaternary pollen and spores and their characteristics in different regions of
China, In: L. Tang et al. (Eds.), Atlas of Quaternary pollen and spores in
China. Science Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd., Singapore, 89-126.

Uyop Said & Ahmad Jantan, 1994a. Palynological study of
sedimentary rocks from Keratong Paloh Hinai Road, Pahang, D.M. Warta Geologi,
20(3), 230.

Uyop Said & Ahmad Jantan, 1994. The palynomorph assemblage from
Tebedu, Sarawak: Its significance on the lower boundary of Caytonipollenites
zone. Warta Geologi, 22(3), 211.

Uyop Said, Rasanubari Asmah Rahmah Abdul Hamid, & Mohd Musryzal
Mohamed Ariffin, 2003. Early Cretaceous palynomorphs from Kampung Tanah Runtuh,
Kluang, Johor. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, 46, 143-147.

Watanasuk, M., 1990. Mid Tertiary palynostratigraphy of Thailand. Journal
of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences, 4(3), 203-218.

Wolfenden, E.B., 1960. The geology and mineral resources of the Lower
Rajang and adjoining area, Sarawak. British Borneo Geology Survey Memoir, 2.

Wong, Y.L., 2011. Stratigraphy of the Ransi Member of the Middle Eocene
to Oligocene Tatau Formation in the Tatau-Bintulu area, Sarawak, East Malaysia.
MSc Thesis, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. 256 p.

Wood, G.R., Gabriel A.M., & Lawson, J.C., 1996. Palynological techniques
processing and microscopy. In: Jansoniun, J. & McGregor, D.C. (Eds.),
Palynology: Principle and application. American Association of Stratigraphic
Palynologist Foundation, 29-50.

Zachos, J., Pagani, M., Sloan, L., Thomas, E., & Billups, K.,
2001. Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to Present.
Science, 292, 686-693.

Zainal Abidin, N.S., Mustapha, K.A., Abdullah, W.A., & Konjing, Z.,
2022. Paleoenvironment reconstruction and peat-forming conditions of Neogene
paralic coal sequences from Mukah, Sarawak, Malaysia. Scientific Reports, 12,
8870.

 

Manuscript received 4 April 2022

Received in revised form 30 August 2022

Accepted 7 September 2022

Available online 30 November 2022

 

 

0126-6187; 2637-109X / Published by the Geological Society of Malaysia.

 

© 2022 by the Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License 4.0

 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm74202202

 

 


Notice: Undefined index: request in /home/gsmorgmy/public_html/wp-content/plugins/jet-engine/includes/components/listings/render/listing-grid.php on line 1246