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DFE04-OR-013

INDONESIAN PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION


Proceedings, Deepwater And Frontier Exploration In Asia & Australasia Symposium, December 2004

DEFORMATION OF CENOZOIC BASINS OF BORNEO AND WEST SULAWESI

Peter Baillie*
Herman Darman**
Thomas H. Fraser***



ABSTRACT

The history and development of the peri-Borneo
basins are controlled by major regional tectonic
events. Tectonism has also had an important effect
on geomorphology and hydrology of the Neogene
delta systems around the periphery of the island.
These systems formed as a result of the ability to
accommodate massive amounts of sediment that
became available due to Neogene uplift.

In gross geometry, the deltas are broadly similar,
characterised by an inner onshore deformed zone,
the modern delta and shallow shelf, a zone
dominated by growth faults which may extend
down the delta slope and an deepwater outer zone
of folding and associated thrust faults.

From the Oligocene the geological evolution has
been the result of two opposing forces; the opening
of the South China Sea which commenced in the
Oligocene and westerly-directed compression as
micro-continental material initially sourced from
the Australian Plate (Australoid material) moved
westwards since the Miocene. Overall sinistral
wrenching has produced zones of deformation
extending through Borneo that are the loci of the
Neogene delta systems. In western Sulawesi,
Neogene compression produced the West Sulawesi
Fold Belt.

INTRODUCTION

The tectonic evolution of South East Asia, and in
particular the island of Borneo, has long been the
subject of vigorous geological debate. The region
lies within a tectonically complex zone where three
major plates the Indo-Australian, Philippine-
Pacific and Eurasia interact and collide.



* TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company
** Brunei Petroleum Co. Sdn. Bhd.
*** Resource System Diagnostics
The Neogene depositional systems around the
periphery of Borneo (peri-Borneo) contain
numerous world-class hydrocarbon accumulations,
with original in-place resources greater than 10
billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet of gas
(Longley, 1996, table 1; Graves and Swauger, 1997;
Figure 1). Petroleum exploration over the past ten
years has been extended into the deep-water domain
with significant discoveries, particularly in the
shelf-break and more distal parts of the Mahakam
Delta and the Sabah Basin where several active
petroleum systems have been recognised within
geological settings where there is a complex
interplay between tectonics and sedimentation.

In this paper we compare and contrast the structural
development of the peri-Borneo Neogene
depositional systems and the deepwater West
Sulawesi Fold Belt.

GEOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

A full discussion of the geological evolution of
Borneo and the Makassar Strait is beyond the scope
of this paper for an introduction to the geology of
the region, the reader is referred to Hutchinson
(1996), Wilson and Moss (1999) and Hall (2002).

Broadly speaking, there are four relevant critical
events in its Cenozoic history (Figure 2):

A Paleogene tectonic event, widespread in
Sundaland (sensu Hutchinson 1996, the south-
east Asian continental parts of the Eurasian
Plate), extensional in the Makassar Strait and
largely compressional in Northwest Borneo.

Neogene compression which resulted in the
initial uplift of Borneo and subsequent
significant increase in sediment production
resulting in a series of delta systems built up
around Borneo.

The Oligocene to mid-Miocene (32 17 Ma)
opening of the South China Sea.
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The serial Neogene collisions with Australian
crustal material which assembled the disparate
elements which today comprise Sulawesi and
resulted in the development of the West
Sulawesi Fold Belt during Pliocene and
younger times.

Borneo occupies a core position within the
Indonesia-Philippines island arc system and has
undergone tectonic activity almost throughout its
geological history. Its position today with no
significant seismicity or igneous activity and
surrounded by volcanic arc activity suggests
otherwise igneous and/or volcanic activity occurs
in every geological era since the Devonian.
Basement rocks comprise mid-Paleozoic igneous,
metamorphic and sedimentary assemblages. A
major unconformity towards the end of the Eocene
marks the end of the accretion which had assembled
a Mesozoic landmass (Tate, 2001).

Middle Oligocene tectonism in much of Southeast
Asia and the northern margin of the Australian
continental plate, represents a major plate
reorganisation. The east-west-oriented strike-slip
fault systems that transported Australoid continental
fragments (Buton, Bunggai-Sula and others)
probably came into existence as a result of this mid-
Oligocene plate rearrangement (van der Weerd and
Armin, 1992).

Early Oligocene rifting initiated the formation and
development of sedimentary basins with sediment
thickness often exceeding 12 km. Significant
increase in sediment production, derived from the
uplifted Borneo hinterland, commenced in the Early
Miocene with major delta progradation
(Hutchinson, 1996; Hall, 2002).

The South China Sea developed in response to
rifting, sea floor spreading, and subsequent strike-
slip faulting during the Tertiary (Taylor and Hayes,
1986; Briais et al., 1993; Hall, 1996). A regional
middle Oligocene unconformity is probably related
to the commencement of sea-floor spreading.
Subduction below north-western Borneo ceased
progressively from southwest to northeast. In the
southwest, it stopped in the middle Oligocene; in
the northeast, it stopped at the end of the early
Miocene (Holloway, 1982; van der Weerd and
Armin, 1992).

Around the EarlyMiddle Miocene boundary
another major plate readjustment resulted in the
cessation of both sea-floor spreading in the South
China Sea and of subduction below Sabah and
Palawan, the opening of the Sulu Sea oceanic basin
and obduction of ophiolites in Sabah. This event
correlates with unconformities in the Sabah and
Tarakan basins and inversion in the Kutai Basin
(van der Weerd and Armin, 1992; McClay et al.,
2000)

The Makassar Strait, the site of Wallaces famous
biogeographic divide, separates the islands of
Borneo and Sulawesi its geological development
has also been subject to debate. Hamilton (1979)
interpreted the Makassar Strait as being underlain
by oceanic crust. On the basis of high gravity
anomalies and limited seismic interpretation, other
workers (e.g. Wissmann, 1984; Situmorang, 1989)
considered basement to comprise extended
continental crust formed as a result of Paleogene
rifting.

The sedimentary section underlying the north
Makassar abyssal plain is contiguous with the lower
part of the Kutai Basin in the west. Interpretation of
gravity and seismic data has suggested a short-lived
Eocene sea-floor spreading event, with thinned
continental crust near the basin margins (van de
Weerd and Armin, 1992; Cloke et al., 1999; Moss et
al., 2000, Fraser et al., 2003). Fraser et al. (2003)
demonstrated west-directed compression and
thrusting of Neogene sediments adjacent to the west
Sulawesi coast, suggesting that the westward
translation of New Guinea extends through Borneo.


PERI-BORNEO DEPOSITIONAL SYSTEMS

The Neogene delta systems around the north, west
and eastern periphery of Borneo represent trapping
of sediment which became available due to early
Neogene uplift of southern and central Borneo (e.g.
Hall, 1996, 2002). They are not developed to the
south because the stable craton precludes the
development of the necessary accommodation
space. Figure 3 (modified after Longley, 1996)
summarises the stratigraphy of the Cenozoic
depositional systems relevant to this paper.

In gross geometry, the deltas are broadly similar,
characterised by an onshore proximal deformed
zone, the modern delta and shallow shelf, a zone
dominated by growth faults which may extend
down the delta slope and an deepwater outer zone
of folding and associated thrust faults, leading to the
abyssal distal plain.

In detail, there are significant differences,
particularly in the shallow and onshore sections.

These differences are largely tectonic in origin and
shed some light on the geological evolution of
Borneo.

Pembuang Basin

The Pembuang Basin is an intracratonic basin
developed in southern Borneo during late
Cretaceous to Paleogene times. The basin remains
undisturbed by later regional events and is
unexplored.

Sarawak Basin

The offshore Sarawak Basin, located on the
northern margin of Borneo (Figure 1), is bounded to
the north by the South China Sea and to the south
by deformed early Tertiary and older sediments and
basement rocks. It comprises a basement high and
two sub-basins containing up to 13 km of
sedimentary infill. Whereas the eastern sub-basin
formed during the late Oligocene, the western sub-
basin is Neogene in age. Formation of the basin has
been attributed to predominantly dextral strike-slip
tectonism (Mat-zin and Swarbrick, 1997).

Basement and the eastern sub-basin are separated
by a fault zone. Faults within the zone are
characterised by variable fault throw and age of
fault movement along strike. Features include
negative flower structures, local fault inversion,
stratigraphic evidence for both extension and
compression through time and change in the
direction of fault throw along strike (Mat-zin and
Swarbrick, 1997).

Further east, the Tinjar and West Baram lines are
also interpreted as polyphase strike-slip faults. The
West Baram Line has a strong bathymetric
expression and is coincident with major axial
changes in the offshore Cenozoic anticlines and
synclines. It sharply differentiates the Sarawak
Basin (Luconia Platform) and south-western
termination of Neogene deformation in the adjacent
Sabah Basin (Mat-zin and Swarbrick, 1997; Milsom
et al., 1997, Figures 1 and 2).

Sabah Basin

The Sabah Basin (also known as the Northwest
Borneo Basin and the NW Sabah Basin) forms the
continental margin of Brunei and Sabah. It lies
northwest of the West Baram Line between the
South China Sea in the northwest and the Sulu Sea
and Celebes Sea regions in the east (Milsom et al.,
1997; Fraser and Ichram, 1999; Madon et al., 1999;
Darman and Damit, 2003). The basin developed in
response to rifting, sea-floor spreading, and
subsequent strike-slip faulting during the Tertiary
(Hall, 1996).

Several tectono-stratigraphic provinces are
recognised and three major phases of structural
deformation have been recognised in the basin (Bol
and van Hoorn, 1980; Madon et al., 1999) Late
Miocene in central and southern parts of the basin
corresponding with a regional unconformity, Early
Pliocene folding in the northeast and Late Pliocene
along the western (outboard) margin.

Thrusting in the deepwater Sabah Basin abruptly
terminates on the Baram Line (e.g. Hutchinson,
1996; Milsom et al., 1997, Figure 2). The Baram
Line connects with the Sangkuliarang Fault, south
of the Mangkalhiat Peninsula at the northern end of
the Makassar Strait.

The predominantly Neogene Baram Delta, a major
depocentre within the basin is a mud-rich wave-
dominated system which has prograded over the
active convergent margin of Northwest Borneo
since the late Oligocene. The delta system has
evolved over a broad active deformation zone
resulting from the complex interaction between
deltaic growth faulting and basement tectonics
(Sandal, 1996; Tan et al., 1999).

The late Tertiary stratigraphy comprises a series of
seaward-younging synclinal basins, bordered by N-
trending faults and shale daipirs (Crevello et al.,
1997). In gross geometry, the offshore delta is
characterised by an inner zone characterised by
down-to-basin (growth) faults, and an outer zone of
west-verging folding and associated thrust faults
(Figure 4).

Within the inner, growth fault-dominated zone, two
syn-depositional fault types are recognised: down-
to-basin growth faults and landward-dipping
counter-regional faults. The disposition of counter-
regional faults controls sedimentation patterns
(Darman and Damit, 2003). Large faulted anticlines
are possibly related to the inversion of older faults
while other structural highs are cored by shale
diapirs whose location is related to basement
structures (Sandal, 1996).

The distal, deepwater fold and toe-thrust zone is
largely generated by gravity slumping a deep
decollement probably exists near basement but has
not been imaged on the seismic available to us.
Folding commenced in the late Miocene and

continues to the present day with the sea-floor
topography reflecting underlying structure.
Turbidites have ponded within swales formed
behind hanging-wall anticlinal ridges (Figure 4).

Structuring in the Baram system is primarily
controlled by gravitational and sedimentary loading
with strong influence of older basement-related
structures. Sand/shale ratios and the degree of
under-compaction play a decisive role in the
deformation style, together with the degree of
decoupling from the underlying basement (Sandal,
1996).

Sandakan Basin

Four depocentres (Balabac, Bancauam, Sandakan
and Dent) are found offshore of the northern coast
of Borneo coast adjacent to the Sulu Sea. Separating
ridges and horsts are a continuation north-east from
the onshore geology (Hutchinson, 1996, Figure
3.9A).

The principal depocentre, the Sandakan Sub-basin,
is located in the southern portion of the Sulu Sea
primarily in Philippines waters and contains up to
15 km of Neogene fluvio-deltaic rocks and their
deepwater equivalents. Active delta progradation
commenced in the middle Miocene following a
period of intra-arc rifting and widespread volcanic
activity (Graves and Swauger, 1997).

Large northeast-dipping growth faults are present
on the upper part of the delta slope and toe-of-slope
compressional folds are present in the northeast,
deep-water sector of the basin. Outboard of the
folds, the sedimentary succession thins to 2.5 km
and downlaps onto Eocene oceanic crust (Graves
and Swauger, 1997, Figure 9). The petroleum
system is challenged both by the lack of sand, and
maturity (as the delta progrades onto the relatively
cool oceanic crust of the Sulu Sea).

Tarakan Basin

The Tarakan Basin (sensu lato) is assembled from
two contrasting depocentres, now contiguous due to
major shear displacements since the mid-Miocene.
The geohistory of the basin is intimately linked to
the development of the Sabah and Sandakan basins.
Four major Paleogene to Neogene depocentres the
Tidung (Northern Tarakan), Berau, Tarakan and
Muara (Muaras) sub-basins are recognised within
the Tarakan Basin (Noon et al., 2003; Meng and
Anuar, 1999). The Tarakan Sub-basin includes the
Neogene Tarakan Delta. A zone of thrusting and
shale diapirism occurs on the outer part of the delta
system (Figure 5; Darman et al., 1995).

The south-western part of the basin constitutes a
passive continental margin with Late Eocene-
Recent sediments on continental to oceanic crust
created during the middle-Late Eocene opening of
the adjacent Celebes Sea. Rifting ceased during the
early Oligocene with quiet marine conditions
prevailing until the middle Miocene uplift of the
Borneo hinterland which triggered a massive influx
of sediments. During Neogene lowstands, turbidites
were redeposited in the north-eastern and deep-
water area as unconfined toe-of-slope fans ahead of
the prograding Tarakan Delta. During Plio-
Pleistocene delta outbuilding, this succession was
buried by rapidly prograding slope deposits, which
induced gravity-driven toe thrusting. Small basins
were formed between thrust ridges and filled by
slope deposits. In the southern part of the delta,
westward-dipping normal faults limited
progradation, resulting in excessive thickening of
the Pliocene-Pleistocene deltaic sequence and
limiting sediment influx into the deepwater area
(Hemmes et al., 2000).

The petroleum system enjoys an abundance of sand
reservoir material, but top/side seal can be a
challenge, along with maturity issues within the
younger rocks. There is evidence for at least two
distinct source rocks, becoming more marine with
increasing depth.

A regional structural cross section is shown as
Figure 6. Miocene rocks crop out onshore, where
thrust faulting (?inversion) has produced three sub-
circular structural basins (Meng and Anuar, 1999).
In the delta region and immediately offshore, the
basin is characterised by northeasterly-trending
growth faults and northwesterly-trending folds, with
the intensity of deformation increasing towards a
convergent margin at the north of the basin.
Tectonic inversion is almost absent in the offshore
basin (Darman and Sidi, 2000).

The onshore inversion at 10.5 Ma and 5.5 Ma
provided large pulses of sediment within the
easterly-prograding delta system and subsequent
resedimentation as deepwater turbidites.

Kutai Basin

The Kutai Basin of east Kalimantan, formed in the
eastern part of the Sunda craton, is the largest and
deepest basin in Indonesia. Basin initiation was in
the mid- to late Eocene with the centre of deposition

gradually moving eastwards to the present-day
Mahakam Delta (Moss et al., 1997). The basin is
bounded to the southwest by the Adang Fault and to
the north by the Sangkulirang Fault. We note that in
gross geometry the southern margin of the basin
appears to be a mirror image of the NW Borneo
zone which includes the carbonate-prone Luconia
Platform and mud-rich Baram Delta (see Milsom et
al., 1997, Figure 2).

The Mahakam fluvio-deltaic system, located in the
eastern part of the Kutai Basin on the eastern
Sundaland margin, is a major depocentre with over
14 km of sediment accumulated since the
Oligocene, the bulk since the main phase of clastic
sedimentation commenced in early to middle
Miocene times (van de Weerd and Amin, 1992;
Moss et al., 1997; Allen and Chambers, 1998). The
delta is dominated by fluvial and tidal processes,
with very low wave energy (Allen, 1996).

Uplift of northeast-trending coast fold belts
(Samarinda Anticlinorium) caused the river to
incise across the structures and thus become
locked, also diminishing the effect of fluvial
floods in the delta (Allen and Chambers, 1998).
Northwest-directed contractional deformation,
producing reactivation and inversion of older
extensional faults, began around 14 Ma and
continues until the present day (Moss et al., 2000;
McClay et al., 2000). Chambers and Daley (1996)
demonstrated relatively small amounts of
shortening, around 7%, and interpreted the
Samarinda Anticlinorium as a series of detachment
folds over a deep, regionally-inverted Eocene basin.

Simultaneously, the uplift provided a renewed
sediment supply resulting in further eastward
progradation of the delta system and renewed
higher uplift in the northern part of the basin
generated a gravity-driven extension-toe-thrust
system (Figure 6).

Contraction of the system while delta progradation
continued produced reactivation of extensional
growth faults to produce detached, uplifted
anticlines and tightening and amplification of the
delta-toe fold-and-thrust belt (McClay et al., 2000;
see also Fraser et al., 2003, Figure 8).

Inversion took place in multiple phases: 20 Ma
(weak), 15 Ma (moderate), 10.5 Ma (strong), and
5.5 Ma (strong). These events are recognised as
sequence boundaries in offshore seismic data and
are interpreted to result from differential
movements along both the Adang/Lupar and
Sangkulirang/Baram fault systems. Progressive bi-
directional translocation along the major NW/SE
faults (or shear zones) produces apparent rotation
(cf. Hall, 1996).

A schematic geoseismic section across the middle
and outer parts of the delta is shown as Figure 6.
Toe-thrust anticlines are the dominant structure in
the current deep-water sector of the delta system
and often displace strata to the seabed.

WEST SULAWESI FOLD BELT

Outboard of the Mahakam delta system and the
Paternoster Platform, the Makassar Strait comprises
a broad abyssal plain approximately 2.2 km deep
where the Neogene section is flat-lying and then a
steep slope and narrow shelf beneath which a fold-
and-thrust belt continues onshore to the Lariang and
Karama regions of Sulawesi (Bergman et al., 1996,
Calvert, 2000; Calvert and Hall, 2003; Fraser et al.,
2003).

The West Sulawesi Fold Belt (WSFB, Fraser et al.,
2003; Figure 7) lies immediately west of the Palu-
Koro Fault, a major dextral and subsequently
sinistral crustal lineament, initially set up during the
Eocene by spreading within the Celebes Sea.
Continuing pulses of compression produced the
west-verging structures of the WSFB, as successive
micro-continental material initially sourced from
the Australian Plate (Australoid material) moved
westwards during the Miocene to collide with and,
by early Pliocene times, eventually over-ride the
eastern margin of the basin, forming the submarine
component of the WSFB.

The first of these incoming Australoid micro-
continents was Buton, closely followed by Tukang
Besi. The vector of the initial collision was clearly
NNW (by present-day reckoning), whereas later
collisions are more directly northwest. This
variation is significant since this influences the
trans-Borneo shears, as well as the direction of
incoming stress (from the east and south) influenced
the direction of outgoing compressional
displacement in the WSFB.

The sharp leading edge of the fold-and-thrust belt is
apparent on seismic sections (Figure 7) together
with a series of stacked thrust sheets and overlying
piggy-back basins. Based on restoration of balanced
cross-sections, Coffield et al. (1996) calculated
shortening of 16 per cent. Seismic evidence also
shows several flower structures being preserved
between the present day Mangkalihat Peninsula and

Sulawesi. These positive flower structures represent
periods of severe transpression. The incoming
direction of sinistral compression may be extended
into the island of Borneo along three structural
freeways (Fraser et al., 2003, Figure 2). The
northern boundary of the Muara and Berau sub-
basins is the Maratua Fault, which represents an
Eocene transform associated with extension within
the Celebes Sea (Wissman, 1984; Fraser and
Ichram, 2000) later providing an escape route for
some of the ensuing Australoid compressional
events.

Strain resulting from wrench-related stress is also
evident in the relatively-undeformed central part of
the deepwater Makassar Strait where small faults
and small positive and negative flower structures
are present (Figure 8). There appears to be an
empirical relationship between fault density and the
Eocene volcanic edifices recognised by Moss et al.
(2000) and Fraser et al. (2003).

The age of folding is well-constrained onshore
Sulawesi where continental alluvial plain and
marine deposits of the Plio-Pleistocene Pasangkayu
Formation (Celebes Molasse of previous workers)
formed in response to uplift of the hinterland.
Continuing deformation is recorded on offshore
seismic sections and syn-depositional folding of
younger parts of the Pasangkayu Formation (Calvert
and Hall, 2003; Fraser et al., 2003).

The WSFB is the direct result of transpression and
collision, resulting from movements on the strike-
slip fault system, which have (temporarily) created
the island of Sulawesi. During the Plio-Pleistocene,
prior extensional settings in the Makassar Strait
became compressional as fragments of micro-
continental material initially sourced from the
Australian Plate (Australoid) collided with the
south-eastern corner of Sundaland. This collision
not only assembled the island of Sulawesi into its
current (ephemeral) K-shape but also formed the
WSFB, progressively obscuring the original
Eocene rift system in the Makassar Strait
(Fraser et al., 2003).


DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS

Wood (1985) first showed that most of the
Cenozoic basins of Borneo occur adjacent to major
northwesterly-trending shear systems. The Trans-
Borneo Shear links the Lupar Line of Sarawak
with the Adang (or Paternoster) Fault of
Kalimantan.
South of the Lupa-Adang system, Borneo has been
a relatively undisturbed craton, since at least
Cretaceous times (Hutchinson, 1996, Figure 3.8A),
viz. the Pembuang Basin.

Seismic evidence in the northern Makassar Strait
shows the presence of major flower structures
between the present day Mangkalihat Peninsula and
Sulawesi (Fraser et al., 2003; Figure 9). These
positive flower structures represent periods of
severe transpression. The incoming direction of
sinistral compression may be extended into Borneo
along three structural freeways (Figure 10). The
northern boundary of the Muara and Berau sub-
basins is the Maratua Fault, which represents an
Eocene transform associated with extension within
the Celebes Sea (Wissman, 1984; Fraser and
Ichram, 2000) later providing an escape route for
some of the ensuing Australoid compressional
events.

The Mangkalihat Fault is a structural freeway and
has repeatedly been re-activated by successive
compressional events translated along the Palu-
Koro fault zone. At the present day it separates the
Muara and Berau Basins from the Mangkalihat
Ridge itself. The most complex of these structural
freeways is the Sangkulirang Fault Zone. It forms
the principal part of the southern margin of the
Mangkalihat Peninsula and probably post-dates the
Maratua Fault. Alternating dextral and sinistral
movements produce alternating releasing and
restraining bends, which cause half graben
inversion.

The sinistral wrench systems are the western
extremity of one of the most important and longest
structural elements in the Western Pacific and
Southeast Asia. The eastern end is the Sorong Fault
System, the southern boundary of both the Molucca
Sea and the Philippine Sea plates with the
Australian Plate (Hall and Wilson, 2000). The
Sorong Fault has been responsible for translating
continental fragments from the northern margin of
the Australian Plate (i.e. the Birds Head of New
Guinea) into the outer edge of Sundaland (Pigram
and Panggabean, 1984; Hutchison, 1996). This fault
system was initiated no later than the early
Miocene, the result of oblique convergence of
Australia and the Philippine Sea, Caroline and
Pacific plates, and continues to the present day.

The question of whether there has been significant
Neogene rotation of Borneo has been an important
aspect of the geological debate about the origins of
the island. Limited paleomagnetic data suggests that

there has been no movement of southern Borneo
relative to the Malaysian Peninsula, at least since
the Cretaceous (Hutchinson, 1996, Figure 2.18B).
The lack of post-Mesozoic deformation (Pembuang
Basin) supports this view.

Hall (1996) suggested around Borneo rotation
began around 20 Ma with a pole of rotation lay
close to northwest margin of Borneo. Moss et al.
(1997) suggested that Borneo underwent Neogene
counter-clockwise rotation of no more than 25.
They noted that Borneo is a large island and could
be divided into several blocks having separate block
rotations influenced by major faults and questioned
the view that Borneo behaved as a single block for
the late Mesozoic and probably for the Tertiary.

As noted previously, differential lateral movements
along the major fault zones (including the
Adang/Lupar, Sankulirang/Baram and Sabah
systems) produce resultant offset similar to rotation.
The tectonic freeway first recognised in the
northern Makassar Straits is probably one of a series
of sub-parallel trans-Borneo shear zones.

Borneo is sandwiched between two expanding
areas, the first being driven in part by the Neogene
greater Sorong fault system, the second by
Oligoceneearly Miocene South China Sea
spreading and extension. These opposing forces
result in differential movements in various parts of
the freeway system as determined by the principal
stress vector pertaining at a particular time.

In the meantime, the peri-Borneo deltas acted as
tape recorders, faithfully recording the complex
interplay between tectonics, sediment supply and
sea level. It is impossible to unravel the whole story
by study of a particular sector. It is imperative to
study the whole system onshore, the modern delta
system and shelf, delta slope and toe and adjacent
deepwater areas.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TGS, WesternGeco and Migas are thanked for
access to proprietary data.


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Figure 1 - Regional locality map showing location of peri-Borneo Neogene depocentres and
hydrocarbon resources (modified after Graves and Swauger, 1997); WSFB =
location of West Sulawesi Fold Belt.

Figure 2 - SE Asia Paleo-reconstructions (modified after Fraser et al, 2003, reconstructions after Hall, 2002). Colour coding: yellow, Sundaland continental
area with pale yellow for Sunda Shelf; red, Australia and derived continental material; blue, oceanic plate; deep yellow, stretched continental crust
of the South China Sea; green, volcanic arc, ophiolites and accreted material; cyan submarine arc regions, hot spots and oceanic plateaux;
turquoise, Jurassic ocean crust northwest of Australia.

Figure 3 - Peri-Borneo basins stratigraphic summary (modified after Longley, 1996).


















































Figure 4 - Seismic and geoseismic sections showing styles of deformation, Baram Delta;
inset shows location of sections.

Figure 5 - Schematic geoseismic section, offshore Tarakan Delta; inset shows location of section.

















































Figure 6 - Seismic and geoseismic sections showing styles of deformation, Mahakam Delta
(geoseismic section modified after Moss et al., 2000) inset shows location of
section.

Figure 7 - Seismic image showing western margin of West Sulawesi Fold Belt. Scale bar is 20 km; numbers on right hand side are two-way-time; inset shows
location of section.


















































Figure 8 - Seismic sections showing small-scale wrench-related faulting, central Makassar
Strait; numbers on left two-way-time in seconds, scale bar is 2 km.














































Figure 9 - Three interpreted seismic sections, Makassar Strait offshore extension of Palu-
Koro fault zone in vicinity of Mangkalihat Peninsula showing recent strike-slip
deformation (tectonic freeway). Each section oriented SW-NE; scale bar on
each section 10 km; numbers on left hand side are two-way-time; interpreted
seismic horizons Early Pliocene (yellow), Top Miocene (red), Late Miocene
maximum flooding surface (lilac) and mid-Eocene (green).

Figure 10 - Sketch map of Borneo and Sulawesi showing major wrench faults and trans-Borneo tectonic freeways.