Characterization and genesis of soils derived from sedimentary rocks in the Crocker Formation, Sabah, Malaysia


Author : Wong Mum Keng, Paramananthan Selliah, Ng Tham Fatt1, Meor Hakif Amir HassanPublication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of MalaysiaNumber : 69Page : 125-134Year : May 2020DOI : doi.org/10.7186/bgsm69202011


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Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 69, May 2020, pp. 125 - 134

Characterization and genesis of soils derived from sedimentary rocks in the Crocker Formation, Sabah, Malaysia

Wong Mum Keng1,2, Paramananthan Selliah3, Ng Tham Fatt1,*, Meor Hakif Amir Hassan1

1 Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Malaysia
2 FGV Research and Development Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia
3 Param Agricultural Soil Survey (M) Pte. Ltd., Malaysia
* Corresponding author email address: ntf@um.edu.my

Abstract: Soil properties in three rain forest types and six different elevations (921, 1173, 1317, 1556, 1727 and 1932 m above sea level) were studied at Mount Alab, Sabah. The chosen study site consisted of soils derived from sedimentary rocks of the Crocker Formation aged from Late Eocene to Early Miocene. Results of this study showed that soils with difference in elevation demonstrated considerable variations in term of morphological and physicochemical properties depending on the nature of the parent materials. At the highest elevation, the soil profile presented with a thin surface organic layer. On the other hand, the soils changed from Inceptisols to Ultisols with decreasing elevation. All soils were moderately acidic with an abundance of sand in these soil profiles due to the dominance of sandstones in their parent materials. Clay fraction of these soil profiles was dominated by clay-sized quartz while illite, kaolinite, interstratified illite-vermiculite, gibbsite and vermiculite were present in low or minor amounts. The chemical properties of the soils were significantly affected by topographical positions. The highest value of total organic carbon and total nitrogen were
obtained at the summit, whereas, toeslope had relatively more exchangeable calcium and aluminium. Therefore, soil quality was better at higher topographical positions in this study.

Keywords: Soil physicochemical properties, sedimentary rocks, topographical positions

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm69202011