Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 8, Issue 10, pp 8549–8565 | Cite as

Provenance and tectonic setting of Miocene siliciclastic sediments, Sibuti formation, northwestern Borneo

  • R. Nagarajan
  • John S. Armstrong-Altrin
  • Franz L. Kessler
  • Elisa L. Hidalgo-Moral
  • Dominique Dodge-Wan
  • Nur Iskandar Taib
Original Paper


Provenance and tectonic setting of sandstone and mudstone units of the Miocene Sibuti Formation from northwest Borneo have been studied based on the mineralogy, major and trace element geochemistry data. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) data revealed that the sandstones and mudstones were abundant in quartz, pyrite, clay, and heavy minerals such as zircon, rutile, and some detrital cassiterite. Geochemically, the sandstones and mudstones are classified into quartz arenite, litharenite, sublitharenite, arkose, and wacke. Quartz arenites are enriched with SiO2, Zr, and Th and depleted in Al2O3, CaO, and other elements compared to other sandstone types, indicating high maturity and intensive weathering. Chemical index of alteration (CIA: 77–90), plagioclase index of alteration (PIA: 86–100), and A-CN-K diagram suggest intense weathering in the source area. Elemental ratios such as La/Sc, Th/Sc, Cr/Th, La/Co, and Th/Co are similar to sediments derived from the felsic rocks. Also, the provenance discrimination diagrams suggest recycled continental nature of these clastic sediments which are mostly derived from metasedimentary source (Rajang Formation). Discriminant-function diagram for the tectonic discrimination of siliciclastic sediments revealed that the sediments of Sibuti Formation were derived from a collision zone, which is consistent with the geology of the study area.


Provenance SEM-EDS Miocene Chemical weathering Malaysia 



First author (RN) would like to thank his bachelor degree students for their help during field work and sample processing. We thank Carlos Linares-López for SEM-EDS. This study was financially supported by Curtin University Research Performance fund awarded to RN. JSA is grateful to the Director, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México for granted permission for an academic stay at the School of Engineering and Science, Curtin University from 29 July 2013 to 9 August 2013 with institutional fund (project no. 616). Authors are indebted to reviewers and editor for their reviews and suggestions on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 42 kb)


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Nagarajan
    • 1
  • John S. Armstrong-Altrin
    • 2
  • Franz L. Kessler
    • 3
  • Elisa L. Hidalgo-Moral
    • 4
  • Dominique Dodge-Wan
    • 1
  • Nur Iskandar Taib
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Applied Geology, Faculty of Engineering and ScienceCurtin UniversityMiriMalaysia
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Unidad de Procesos Oceánicos y CosterosUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMéxico
  3. 3.LUNDIN Malaysia B.VKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.Posgrado en Ciencias del Mar y LimnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMéxico
  5. 5.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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