Warta Geologi, Volume 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: franzlkessler32@gmail.com

Abstract: 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.

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

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/wg462202001