Excavability of inter-bedded quartzites and phyllites of the Lower Carboniferous Sungai Perlis Beds at Bukit Teluk Batu, Terengganu Darul Iman

Author : John Kuna Raj*, Ahmad Nizam Hassan, Ahmad Zulhilmy
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 161-169
Volume Number : 49
Year : 2023
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/wg493202301

Warta Geologi, Vol. 49, No. 3, December 2023, pp. 161–169

Excavability of inter-bedded quartzites and phyllites of the Lower Carboniferous Sungai Perlis Beds at Bukit Teluk Batu, Terengganu Darul Iman

John Kuna Raj1,*, Ahmad Nizam Hassan2, Ahmad Zulhilmy2
1 No. 83, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi 2, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Geo Solution Resources, 53C, Jln SG 3/10, Pusat Bandar Sri Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

* Corresponding author email address: jkr.ttdi.tmc@gmail.com

Abstract: North-south striking quartzites and phyllites of the Carboniferous Sungai Perlis Beds with steep eastward and westward dips give rise to the ridge at Bukit Teluk Batu. The strata with individual bed thicknesses of 0.5 to 2.0 m, are strongly jointed and weathered to variable depths; slope cuts showing three broad weathering zones i.e., an upper pedological soil, an intermediate saprock, and the bottom bedrock. The pedological soil is 2 to 4 m thick and consists of yellow to red, firm to stiff, silty clays with quartz clasts and lateritic concretions. The saprock is some 15 to 20 m thick and consists of alternating bands of yellow to brown and grey, loose to dense, sands (representing completely to highly and moderately weathered quartzites), and soft to hard, clayey silts and silts (representing completely to highly and moderately weathered phyllites). Original bedrock minerals, textures and structures are distinctly preserved in the saprock zone which can be separated into sub-zones IIA, IIB and IIC. Bedrock, at depths exceeding 20 m, consists of steeply dipping, pink to dark grey, slightly weathered quartzites and phyllites. Seismic refraction surveys show the pedological soil to have p-wave velocities <500 m/s, whilst the saprock has velocities between 700 and 1,200 m/s, and the bedrock, velocities >2,100 m/s. Borehole standard penetration tests show the pedological soil to have N values <15 and the saprock N values >20, whilst the bedrock requires coring. The pedological soil and saprock have been excavated by scraping and ripping, though the bedrock zone is non-rippable; its upper surface marked by the teeth marks of scrapers. It is concluded that seismic refraction surveys and borehole standard penetration tests in areas of inter-bedded quartzites and phyllites can allow for differentiation of weathering zones and prediction of their excavability.

Keywords: Sungai Perlis Beds, quartzites and phyllites, weathering zones, pedological soil, saprock, bedrock, rippable, non-rippable


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Manuscript received 12 June 2023;
Received in revised form 4 October 2023;
Accepted 30 October 2023
Available online 30 December 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7186/wg493202301

0126-5539; 2682-7549

Published by the Geological Society of Malaysia.
© 2023 by the Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License 4.0

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