The shaping and demise of the Tusan Beach “Drinking Horse”, southwest of Miri, Sarawak

Warta Geologi, Vol. 46, No. 2
Author : Franz L. Kessler, John Jong
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 33 - 44
Volume Number : 46
Year : 2020

Warta Geologi, Vol. 46, No. 2, August 2020, pp. 33–44


The shaping and demise of the Tusan Beach “Drinking
Horse”, southwest of Miri, Sarawak


Franz L. Kessler1,*, John Jong2

1 Goldbach Geoconsultants O&G and Lithium
Exploration, Germany

2 JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration (Malaysia)
Limited, Malaysia

* Corresponding author email address:


The Miri-Bekenu coastline is formed by Neogene clastic rock formations that
are poorly consolidated. These formation outcrops are shaped by weathering
elements of tropical rainfall, wind and coastal erosion, and deformation
processes such as tectonic uplift, structural faulting and folding. The
geological monuments of the Miri area such as the iconic Tusan Beach “Drinking
Horse” cliff structure generally withstand weathering degradation and coastal
erosion poorly. Further to this, housing projects, road constructions and
encroaching new plantations had their share in destructing geological
landmarks. In this article, we discuss the case study of the “Drinking Horse”
starting from its creation, the impact of weathering elements and coastal
erosion, plus human interferences that resulted in its ultimate demise.
Nonetheless, due to its seaward-dipping sedimentary layers (including thin
clay-rich beds), it was predestined for gravity sliding. Coupled with pounding
erosion, the cliff inevitably collapsed and any prior preservation effort
carried out to protect the structure would have been in vain.


“Drinking Horse”, Bekenu, Miri, Pantai Bungai, Tusan Beach




0126–5539; e-ISSN 2682-7549