The Paleo-Lupar: Bathymetric and seismic evidence for a submerged Late Pleistocene river valley on the Sunda Shelf, off Sarawak

Warta Geologi 49 No 2
Author : Mazlan Madon
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 45-54
Volume Number : 49
Year : 2023

Warta Geologi, Vol. 49, No. 2, August 2023, pp. 45–54

The Paleo-Lupar: Bathymetric and seismic evidence for a submerged Late Pleistocene river valley on the Sunda Shelf, off Sarawak

Mazlan Madon
Malaysian Continental Shelf Project, National Security Council, Level G Perdana Putra, 62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Present address: 6, Jalan Kelab Golf 13/6G, Seksyen 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Malaysia
Email address:

Abstract: This article presents bathymetric and seismic evidence of a submerged Late Pleistocene river valley on the Sunda Shelf, off Sarawak. The submarine feature identified as the Paleo-Lupar is detectable in digital elevation models (DEM) at water depths of about 40 m near the Lupar river mouth to more than 100 m to the north nearer the shelf edge. Bathymetric profiles revealed an ~30 km-wide submarine valley, with individual channels that, in places, can be more than 80 m deeper than the surrounding seabed. The Paleo-Lupar is one of several major paleo-rivers that drained the Sunda Shelf when sea level was lowest during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) around 21 ka BP and were subsequently submerged due to the sea level rise that has since occurred.

Keywords: Paleo-Lupar, Sunda Shelf, bathymetry, submerged river valley, incised valley


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Manuscript received 17 April 2023;
Received in revised form 12 July 2023;
Accepted 26 July 2023
Available online 30 August 2023


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