Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 46–58 | Cite as

Runnel development on granitic boulders on the foothills of Mount Kinabalu (Pinosuk Gravel Formation, Sabah, N Borneo)

  • Dominique Dodge-WanEmail author
  • Ramasamy Nagarajan


Runnels are characteristic erosional features on karstified soluble rocks and can occasionally develop on less soluble rocks (i.e. sandstones and granites) but are poorly reported in Malaysia. This research summarizes boulder distribution, size, petrology and runnel morphology in a Pleistocene post-glacial mudflow on Mount Kinabalu. The goal is to investigate the runnel formation on granites. Colonization of boulders by cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens and higher plants is observed and related to rock surface meso-scale and micro-scale features. The coarse porphyritic texture of the granite contributes to the fragmentation and mechanical weathering of large K-feldspar crystals in the runnels. The damp runnel micro-environment is preferentially covered with mosses further enhancing weathering and erosion. As runnels deepen, the remnant protruding fins of rock weaken and may break off. The runnels are subaerial pseudokarst features, not the result of dissolution.


Runnel Granite Flutes Weathering Kinabalu Pinosuk Gravel Formation Pseudokarst 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied GeologyCurtin University Sarawak, CDT 250Miri, SarawakMalaysia

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