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Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

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A detrital heavy mineral viewpoint on sediment provenance and tropical weathering

in SE Asia
Inga Sevastjanova , Robert Hall, David Alderton
SE Asia Research Group, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Understanding heavy mineral preservation is important for interpreting generation, pathways, provenance and
Received 15 July 2011 geochemistry of sediments. Despite this, many assumptions about heavy mineral stability are based on ancient
Received in revised form 9 February 2012 strata and few studies consider modern sediments, particularly those in tectonically active tropical areas such
Accepted 8 March 2012
as SE Asia. We report new heavy mineral data on 69 river sand samples from the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra,
Available online 24 March 2012
in which one aim was to nd provenance indicators specic to these areas. Identications were performed using
optical microscopy and conrmed with SEM-EDS. In the Malay Peninsula heavy minerals record granitic and
Heavy minerals contact metamorphic provenance. Variable amounts of zircon, tourmaline, hornblende, andalusite, epidote,
Detrital monazite, rutile and titanite, and minor amounts of pyroxene, apatite, anatase, garnet, diaspore, colourless spinel,
Provenance cassiterite and allanite are typical of this source area. The composition of assemblages from Sumatra indicates
Weathering contributions from two major sources: the modern volcanic arc (I) and the basement (II). Abundant pyroxene,
SE Asia particularly hypersthene (up to 70%), is diagnostic of the volcanic arc source. Vesuvianite, garnet, andalusite,
tourmaline, chrome spinel, rutile, anatase and corundum, are present only in small amounts (b 3%), and are inter-
preted as recycled from the basement. Zircon, apatite, hornblende, epidote, and olivine are also common in
Sumatra and are likely to have a mixed provenance. Abundance of ferromagnesian silicate minerals suggests
mild weathering, possibly reecting several processes: dilution of natural etching uids by heavy rainfall, high
erosion rates, rapid transport and short grain residence time in the river. The heavy mineral assemblages of
modern rivers are very different from those recorded by the few previous studies of Cenozoic sediments of the
Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. Assemblages in the Cenozoic basins are signicantly more mature than those of
modern rivers. The differences cannot be explained simply by dissolution of susceptible minerals during one
sedimentary cycle and instead imply rapid source area unroong.
2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction 2002; Dickinson and Gehrels, 2003; Grifn et al., 2006; Howard et al.,
2009; Bahlburg et al., 2010; Clements and Hall, 2011). However, zircon
Heavy mineral analysis has a wide range of applications, e.g. study- studies alone are not likely to detect contributions from mac and ultra-
ing provenance of siliciclastic rocks, reconstructing ancient sedimentary mac source rocks, in which zircon is rare or absent. Rutile geochemis-
routes, subdividing and correlating unfossiliferous siliciclastic strata, try is valuable for differentiating between various metamorphic source
mining and exploration and forensic science (e.g. Mange and Wright, rocks (e.g. Zack et al., 2004; Triebold et al., 2007; Meinhold, 2010) and
2007 and references therein). Most heavy minerals are restricted to this mineral may also be present in quartz veins and granites, pegma-
specic source rocks and are sensitive indicators of provenance, provid- tites, carbonatites, kimberlites, xenoliths of metasomatised peridotite
ed that there are statistically distinguishable differences between (Meinhold, 2010 and references therein). However, detrital rutile is
sediment source areas. It is a holistic approach, which gives insights derived predominantly from metamorphic rocks in which it is most
into all types of rocks that contribute detritus to siliciclastic sediments. abundant (e.g. Force, 1980; Zack et al., 2004; Triebold et al., 2007).
Other techniques such as single-mineral geochemistry are valuable for Detrital garnet (Morton et al., 1994; Takeuchi, 1994; Sabeen et al.,
advanced interpretations when potential source areas have already 2002; Morton et al., 2005; Takeuchi et al., 2008), tourmaline (Henry,
been identied. For instance, detrital zircon UPb dating, Hf isotope 1985), amphibole (e.g. Mange-Rajetzky, 1981), pyroxene (e.g.
analyses or trace element patterns are rewarding for studying prove- Cawood, 1990; Cawood, 1991), FeTi oxides (Basu and Molinaroli,
nance of sediments derived from crustal rocks (e.g. Belousova et al., 1991) and many other minerals (e.g. von Eynatten and Gaupp, 1999;
Mange and Morton, 2007) have been successfully used in provenance
Corresponding author. Tel.: + 44 1784 443896; fax: + 44 1784 434716. studies. Therefore, single-mineral geochemistry and geochronology
E-mail address: (I. Sevastjanova). supplement, but do not substitute for, the heavy mineral analysis.

0037-0738/$ see front matter 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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180 I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

Initial heavy mineral assemblages undergo modications during the to weathering but resistant to diagenetic dissolution because weather-
sedimentary cycle (Morton and Hallsworth, 1999; van Loon and Mange, ing takes place at acidic pH conditions, while diagenetic dissolution
2007). Heavy minerals (e.g. zircon, monazite, xenotime, allanite, rutile, occurs under saline and alkaline pH conditions (e.g. Morton, 1985).
apatite, etc.) contain trace elements. Therefore, understanding heavy Early experimental studies (Nickel, 1973) supported these suggestions.
mineral transport and preservation is signicant not only for prove- However, recent studies show that for most minerals, and not only for
nance studies, but also for interpreting the geochemistry of sediments apatite, dissolution rates increase at lower pH and higher temperatures
(e.g. van Loon and Mange, 2007). However, despite decades of intensive (Grandstaff, 1977; Rimstidt and Dove, 1986; Zhang, 1990; Knauss et al.,
studies (e.g. Bramlette, 1941; Blatt and Sutherland, 1969; Grimm, 1973; 1993; Zhang et al., 1993; Franke and Teschner-Steinhardt, 1994; Zhang
Nickel, 1973; Morton, 1985; Pettijohn et al., 1987; Morton and et al., 1996; Chen and Brantley, 1998; Frogner and Schweda, 1998;
Hallsworth, 1999; Milliken, 2007; Morton and Hallsworth, 2007), Valsami-Jones et al., 1998; Pokrovsky and Schott, 2000; Oelkers and
these modications are still poorly understood. Schott, 2001a, b; Oelkers and Poitrasson, 2002; Guidry and Mackenzie,
SE Asia is important because it is estimated to yield 2025% of the 2003; Golubev et al., 2005; Charat et al., 2007; Harouiya et al., 2007).
global sediment supplied to the world's oceans (Milliman et al., 1999). Natural weathering rates are several orders of magnitude lower
Being situated in a tropical climate, SE Asia is a particularly rewarding than those measured in the laboratory (White and Brantley, 2003).
area for studying heavy mineral provenance, weathering and post- This may be due to the depletion of reaction surface, accumulation of
depositional dissolution. SE Asian landmasses are surrounded by leached layers and secondary precipitates (Murakami et al., 2003;
offshore Cenozoic hydrocarbon-bearing basins that are lled with White and Brantley, 2003). Dissolution rates may also vary because of
thick (up to 14 km in the Malay Basin, e.g. Petronas, 1999) deltaic and heterogeneities in overall chemical composition of the mineral, the
shallow-marine detrital strata. Provenance studies suggest that this presence of defects and dislocations in the crystal structure, inherited
detrital material has been derived from local SE Asian sources exsolution features, Eh values the presence of bacteria and other factors
(e.g. van Hattum et al., 2006; Smyth et al., 2007; 2008; Hall et al., (e.g. Santelli et al., 2001; Wilson, 2004; Duro et al., 2005). In the subsur-
2008; Witts et al., 2011). Thus, areas which are devoid of the Cenozoic face, dissolution is also inuenced by pore stress, uid pressure and
sedimentary cover, such as the Malay Peninsula, provide a unique pore uid saturation. A combination of these processes may result not
opportunity for studying heavy mineral assemblages of the source only in dissolution along the grain boundaries, but also in secondary
rocks. The Cenozoic basins, where these assemblages were deposited, precipitation from oversaturated pore uids (e.g. Sheldon and
give insights into the processes that have affected heavy minerals dur- Wheeler, 2003).
ing transport and after deposition. SE Asia also hosts a range of granitic, It is difcult to predict the time or depth of burial required for
(contact) metamorphic, metasomatic and placer mineral deposits (e.g. completely dissolving a certain mineral species from an assemblage.
Hutchison and Tan, 2009) that contain rare minerals of restricted For instance, in PaleoceneEocene sandstones of the Central North
paragenesis (Table 2). When found in detrital sediments, many of Sea, calcic amphibole disappears from heavy mineral assemblage at a
these minerals can be used as sensitive indicators of provenance. depth of 600 m. Depth-induced decrease of diversity of heavy mineral
Studying heavy minerals in river sands has proven an effective way assemblages and advancing corrosion marks on mineral grains suggest
of characterising heavy mineral assemblages at the source areas in other that this disappearance is due to diagenetic dissolution (e.g. Morton and
regions of the world (e.g. Grifn et al., 2006). However, almost no such Hallsworth, 2007). However, in other basins, calcic amphiboles are
studies have been undertaken in SE Asia. In the present study, we dis- common at greater depths, e.g. up to 2 km in the Miocene Bengal
cuss heavy mineral data from 69 river sand samples in the Malay Penin- Basin and up to 4 km in the Pliocene Kura Basin (Uddin and Lundberg,
sula and Sumatra and 103 microprobe analyses of detrital garnets from 1998; Morton and Hallsworth, 2007).
six samples in the Malay Peninsula. New data reveal abundance of fer- Heavy minerals that are regarded as susceptible to dissolution (e.g.
romagnesian silicate minerals that suggests only a mild effect of tropical Morton and Hallsworth, 1999) are also common in sandstones of
weathering on heavy mineral assemblages and emphasise the need to quite different ages. Unsurprisingly, hornblende, pyroxene, and locally
consider tectonic controls on heavy mineral weathering and post- olivine, are abundant in recent coast and shelf sediments in the
depositional dissolution. Data presented here also add new details to a Mediterranean (e.g. Mange-Rajetzky, 1983) and in volcanic arc-
previous provenance model for the North Sumatra Basin (Morton derived sediments offshore eastern Korea (Chough, 1984) and in the
et al., 1994). The heavy mineral assemblages of modern rivers are Pacic Oceania (Dickinson, 2007). However, amphiboles and pyroxenes
more diverse than those recorded from the North Sumatra Basin (e.g. together with other unstable minerals are found in much older
Morton et al., 1994). These differences cannot be explained simply by deposits. They are preserved in Plio-Pleistocene siliciclastic sediments
dissolution of susceptible minerals during one sedimentary cycle and of the southern Apennines, Italy (Acquafredda et al., 1997), Upper
require signicant provenance changes to have occurred within a MiocenePliocene back-arc sandstones of Halmahera, eastern Indone-
short time-spanmost likely due to rapid source area unroong, sia (Nichols et al., 1991), Lower Miocene intra-arc Waitemata Basin
although the role of paleo-climate cannot be completely isolated. sediments, New Zealand (Hayward and Smale, 1992), Oligocene
Barrme thrust-top Basin, France (Evans and Mange-Rajetzky, 1991;
2. Heavy mineral stability revisited Evans et al., 2004), Middle Eocene to Lower Miocene forearc sandstones
of the Azuero-Son Complex, NW Panama (Krawinkel et al., 1999),
Heavy mineral assemblages in siliciclastic rocks and sediments are Cretaceous to Paleogene volcaniclastic complexes of Sikhote-Alin
not identical to those in their source rocks. Initial heavy mineral assem- and Kamchatka (Malinovsky and Markevich, 2007), Middle to
blages are changed throughout the sedimentary cycle (i.e. during Upper Jurassic volcaniclastic conglomerates and sandstones in New
sediment release and transport, and after deposition) by hydraulic sort- Zealand (Noda et al., 2004), and in Ordovician oceanic arc-derived
ing (different behaviour of minerals during transport that is inuenced sedimentary rocks in Southern Uplands, Scotland (Mange et al., 2005)
by their specic gravity and shape), dissolution, growth of authigenic and western Irish Caledonides (Dewey and Mange, 1999; Mange et al.,
minerals and mechanical abrasion (e.g. Morton and Hallsworth, 1999; 2003). Abundant hornblendes are preserved in Lower Cretaceous
van Loon and Mange, 2007; Garzanti et al., 2011). sandstones in the Eastern Alps (von Eynatten and Gaupp, 1999) and
Some authors (Morton and Hallsworth, 1999; 2007) argue that in all even in NeoproterozoicLower Cambrian conglomerates and arkose
geological settings, minerals dissolve in a similar order. Ferromagnesian sandstones of Arabia (Weissbrod and Nachmias, 1986; Weissbrod and
silicate minerals (e.g. olivine, pyroxene, and amphibole) are most liable Bogoch, 2007).
to dissolution, whereas Ti-minerals (rutile and anatase), tourmaline, These examples indicate that our understanding of heavy mineral
and zircon are most stable. It is also argued that apatite is susceptible stability versus dissolution during weathering and diagenesis is still
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I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194 181

Abundances of detrital heavy minerals in different sand grain-size fractions of ve samples that were selected from the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra for a pilot-test in order to identify the optimal grain-size interval for further heavy
fragmentary and it is difcult to distinguish between true prove-



nance and dissolution effects in ancient heavy mineral assemblages.
With this in mind, a study of heavy minerals from river sands in the
Malay Peninsula and Sumatra was initiated with the aim (i) to char-

acterise present day heavy mineral assemblages shed from the

Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, (ii) to identify provenance indicators

specic to each source area and (iii) to give insights into alterations

of heavy mineral assemblages that occur during transport in tropical




3. Geological background

The Malay Peninsula and Sumatra form western Sundaland in SE




Asia. Sundaland includes Indochina, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra,


Java, Borneo and the shallow Sunda Shelf (Hamilton, 1979; Hall and



Morley, 2004). This region is underlain by fragments of continental


crust and volcanic arcs of Gondwanan origin (Audley-Charles, 1988;



Metcalfe, 1988; Sengr et al., 1988; Metcalfe, 1996, 2011) (Fig. 3)

that amalgamated during the Permian and Triassic. Sundaland is in-

truded by PermianTriassic, locally Jurassic and Cretaceous granitoids.



Granitoids that stretch in a narrow belt across Thailand, the Malay

Peninsula and Indonesian Tin islands are cassiterite-bearing (e.g.

Cobbing et al., 1992).




Sedimentary rocks in Western Sundaland range in age from the

Cambrian to recent. However, the oldest strata, the Upper Cambrian

shallow marine-deltaic siliciclastic rocks, are common only on the Lang-




Numbers in bold show abundances of mineral species that are present in the analysed samples, but not in all analysed grain-size fractions.

kawi Islands and in the NE Malay Peninsula (e.g. Hutchison and Tan,

2009). Lower Palaeozoic marine siliciclastic and calcareous rocks are




common on the Sibumasu Block, but are not exposed on the East Malaya
and the Sukhothai Arc Blocks. There are also the CarboniferousPermian

glacial-marine pebbly mudstones present on Sibumasu, both in the

Malay Peninsula and Sumatra (e.g. Metcalfe, 1996; Barber and Crow,
Insufcient grains





2009). They indicate that this block was attached to Gondwana during
glaciation. The Middle-Upper Palaeozoic strata on the East Malaya and

Sukhotai Arc contain warm-water Tethyan/Cathaysian biotas that

indicate that these fragments separated from Gondwana earlier


than Sibumasu (e.g. Metcalfe, 2011). From the Late Mesozoic onwards,

the Malay Peninsula became subaerially exposed. Upper Jurassic

Lower Cretaceous alluvial and uvial strata of the Malay Peninsula



(Rishworth, 1974; Harbury et al., 1990; Racey, 2009) can be correlated


with the regionally extensive, laterally continuous Khorat Group red-

beds in Indochina (Racey, 2009). In the Malay Peninsula, most of the
Mesozoic succession has been subsequently eroded. In Sumatra, the Me-




sozoic is represented by the Upper JurassicLower Cretaceous Woyla


Group, composed of an east-facing accretionary complex of ophiolites,

pelagic and volcaniclastic sediments, mlanges, and basalticandesitic
volcanic rocks (Barber, 2000; Barber et al., 2005; Barber and Crow,



2009). The Woyla Nappe is interpreted as an intra-oceanic volcanic arc


with carbonate fringing reefs that developed in the Meso-Tethys

Ocean and collided with West Sumatra Block in the mid Cretaceous (at




about 90 Ma) (Barber, 2000; Barber et al., 2005; Barber and Crow,


2009; Hall et al., 2009).





After the mid Cretaceous (90 Ma) Sundaland experienced prolonged

Late CretaceousPaleogene emergence (Hall and Morley, 2004; Hall,


2009; Clements et al., 2011; Hall, 2011). On land, in the Malay Peninsu-
la, Cenozoic sediments are of limited distribution. These are continental

Reddish-brown hornblende.





coal-bearing lacustrine and alluvial sediments and minor basalts






Green-brown hornblende.

(Gobbett and Hutchison, 1973; Hutchison and Tan, 2009) (Fig. 1). In
125250 m
250500 m

125250 m
250500 m

125250 m
250500 m

125250 m
250500 m

125250 m
250500 m

Sumatra, there are deep sedimentary basins lled with siliciclastic and
63125 m

63125 m

63125 m

63125 m

63125 m

calcareous Cenozoic strata, as well as minor PaleoceneEarly Eocene

mineral analyses.


and Early Miocenerecent volcanic and plutonic rocks (McCourt et al.,

1996; Bellon et al., 2004; Barber et al., 2005). Throughout Western




Sundaland sedimentary rocks are metamorphosed at low to moderate

Table 1


grades, while high grade metamorphic rocks are of limited distribution


(Figs. 1 and 2).

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182 I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

4. Present day topography and drainage
A border
The Main Range
0 50 100 Province
Sundaland is a relatively low-lying region with maximum elevations
kilometres The Eastern
rarely exceeding 2000 m. In the Malay Peninsula, mountains form pre- Province
dominantly northsouth trending features and the most prominent of 6 N Modern
these are the Main Range, the Kledang Range, and the Eastern Belt. Cenozoic,
There is also a group of isolated small mountains forming the north siliciclastic
and volcanic
south trending Central Belt. There are ten major drainage basins in pen- Jurassic-
insular Malaysia (Fig. 1). The main watershed follows the Main Range. continental
Rivers west of the Main Range drain into the Sunda Shelf and the 5 N Triassic,
Singapore Strait. As there are two major mountain ranges on the eastern volcaniclastic,
and minor
coast, the Eastern Belt and Tahan Range, some rivers also drain towards limestone

the lower inland area. The Pahang River collects streams from central Permian-
peninsular Malaysia and ows through Lake Bera (Tasik Bera) onto siliciclastic,
4 N
the Sunda Shelf. It has been suggested that in the recent past the Pahang Permian,
limest one,
River ew into Lake Bera and then became the present Muar River to siliciclastic
and volcanic
ow into the Melaka Strait (Gobbett and Hutchison, 1973) on the oppo- Carbonifer ous,
site side of the peninsula. metapelites
Geologically the Malay Peninsula can be divided into three zones, 3 N Silurian-
De vonian,
Eastern, Central and Western (e.g. Hutchison, 1975, 1977; Khoo and limest one
and siliciclastic
Tan, 1983) that are bounded by major fault zones and lie on the East Cambrian,
Malaya, Sukhothai Arc and Sibumasu basement blocks respectively
Eastern Zone
(Fig. 1). At present, the most widely exposed lithologies are granitoids, (East Malaya)
2 N Western Zone
contact metamorphic metapelites, limestones and locally (in the (Sibumasu)
Central Zone) Mesozoic red-bed and volcaniclastic turbidites (Fig. 1).
These lithologies are sources of detritus in modern rivers. Central Zone
(Sukhothai Arc)
The Barisan Mountains are the most prominent topographic feature
101 E 102 E 103 E 104 E
of Sumatra and are 1,650 km long and 100 km wide. They form the
major drainage divide in Sumatra and modern rivers split the island
into 15 drainage basins (Fig. 2). Modern Sumatran rivers are underlain
B Heavy mineral
Heavy mineral
and garnet
by Cenozoic volcanic rocks and siliciclastic sedimentary basins. sample
Kelantan drainage

The Kedang River basin


5. Samples and methods


Range outlines

5.1. Samples

Detrital heavy mineral abundances and zircon morphological types
were studied in 69 river sand samples collected from 11 drainage basins

in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra (Figs. 1 and 2). G. Tahan



Samples were chosen to cover a range of lithologies exposed in each


basin. River basin outlines were determined from the HYDRO1K data-

base that is based on the USGS GTOPO30 DEM (Suggate and Hall, 4 N

2003). Source lithologies were characterised from published literature,

Per ak
SRTM-derived digital elevation models (DEM) and published geological Pahang
and river maps (Gobbett and Hutchison, 1973; Senathi Rajah et al.,
1976; Hutchison and Tan, 2009) that were digitised using MapInfo Selangor Lake
Professional GIS software. 3 N

5.2. Heavy mineral analysis

Heavy minerals were separated in sodium polytungstate (SPT) 2 N
solution (2.89 g/cm3) using the funnel technique (e.g. Mange and
Maurer, 1992). A pilot-test was performed on ve samples in order Muar
to choose the grain-size fraction in which all signicant heavy mineral
species are present in sufcient amounts (Table. 1) (e.g. Mange and 101 E 102 E 103 E 104 E
Otvos, 2005). The 63250 m fraction was selected based on the results
of this test. Fig. 1. A. Simplied geological map of the Malay Peninsula (modied from Gobbett and
The SPT heavy fraction was split in halves, using a quartering Hutchison, 1973). Dashed lines show approximate boundaries of the Eastern, Central
approach (Mange and Maurer, 1992). One half was used for heavy and Western Zones in the Malay Peninsula. These zones lie on the East Malaya, Sukhothai
Arc and Sibumasu basement fragments respectively. B. Modern river drainage patterns of
mineral analysis. Heavy minerals were mounted on glass slides and the Malay Peninsula modied from Hydro1K database. Base mapSTRM-derived digital
identied using Nikon and Zeiss Axiolab microscopes. Optical identi- elevation model (DEM).
cations were veried with semi-quantitative SEM analysis of grains
that were hand-picked from the same samples. Identications of hyper-
sthene were conrmed using X-ray powder diffraction on one sample
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I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194 183

Granitoids Fault
siliciclastic sediments Cretaceous
Recent volcanic Devonian-Permian
basic and acid rocks Bentong-Belitung
Accretionary Complex
basic volcanic
Lower Jurassic-
Upper Cretaceous
Woyla Accretionary Complex
2 N Carboniferous(?)-Triassic


n Isl

an Ban


2 S




4 S
0 100 200

96E 98E 100E 102E 104E 106E 108E

Banda (LKS7- omitted) B
Major drainage divide

4 N
River basin outline




2 N






105 Hari
103 107 108
101 110
2 S 100

94 88

87 72

92 71



50 53 67
96 Mesuji
4 S 45
96 17 13
38 35 96 19
33 15

96E 98E 100E 102E 104E 106E 108E

Fig. 2. A. Simplied geological map of Sumatra (modied from Barber et al., 2005). B. Modern river drainage basins of Sumatra (based on from Hydro1K database) overlain on the
SRTM-derived DEM.

5.3. Zircon typological studies ratio (l:w), rounding and zoning, and the following categories were
Half of the SPT heavy fraction was run through a Franz Magnetic
separator at 20 tilt angle, and 0.1, 0.4, and 1.7 A voltages. The non- (1) Colourless: (1.a) elongate (l:w>3:1), (1.b) euhedral, (1.c)
magnetic (>1.7 A) fraction from Sumatran samples was mounted on subhedral/subrounded, (1.d) rounded, (1.e) anhedral and (1.d) sur-
glass slides for zircon typological studies (e.g. Mange-Rajetzky, 1995). rounded by volcanic glass;
In the Malay Peninsula samples, zircon typological studies were carried (2) Zoned;
out using heavy mineral grain mounts. In all cases, detrital grains were (3) Purple: (3.a) rounded and (3.b) other;
mounted in Canada balsam, which was then hardened by heating to (4) Brown
105 C. Zircons were classied based on their colour, length to width (5) Red.
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184 I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

6. Results

6.1. Heavy minerals

6.1.1. The Malay Peninsula

Bentong-Raub 34 river sand samples from seven river drainage basins have been
analysed from the Malay Peninsula (Fig. 1). Heavy mineral assemblages
ai Ar c
contain variable amounts of tourmaline (085%), amphibole (076%),
zircon (076%), monazite and xenotime (062%), andalusite (061%),

rutile (023%), titanite (018%), chlorite (018%) and epidote

(016%). Cassiterite, apatite, anatase, garnet, colourless spinel, allanite,
diaspore and kyanite occur locally in minor amounts (b3.5%).
Tarutao Distribution of these heavy mineral species within the Malay
The Malay
Peninsula is not uniform. Zircon, tourmaline, amphibole and andalusite
The Sunda
Peninsula Shelf
are the most common minerals that are present throughout the Malay
Peninsula, but in variable amounts. The chiastolite variety of andalusite
is common only in the Eastern and Central Zones. Monazite (and xeno-
time) concentrations are found only in the Western Zone and near
Singapor e

Kuantan in the Eastern Zone. Titanite is abundant in the northern part


Sumatr a ? of the Malay Peninsula (Fig. 4).

6.1.2. Sumatra


35 samples were analysed from four drainage basins in Sumatra



(Fig. 2). Heavy mineral assemblages of modern river basins in South


Sumatra are dominated by orthopyroxene (2370%), clinopyroxene


(1552%), amphibole (0 25%), locally with zircon (024%), chlorite

(012%), olivine (09%), apatite (05.5%), epidote (04%), garnet
(04%), and andalusite (03%). Vesuvianite, tourmaline, Cr-spinel,
rutile, anatase, and corundum are also present locally in smaller
amounts (less than 3.5%). These minerals are evenly distributed in the
study area (Fig. 4).
Orthopyroxene (mostly hypersthene) is strongly pleochroic, sug-
Fig. 3. Principal features and model ages of continental basement beneath western gesting volcanic provenance. Pyroxene habits vary from fresh euhedral
Sundaland (modied from Lan et al., 2003; Hall, 2008; Sone and Metcalfe, 2008; to corroded with hacksaw-terminations and rarely skeletal shapes.
Metcalfe, 2009; Sevastjanova et al., 2011). Black dashed line separated basement frag-
Clinopyroxene (mostly augite) appears more corroded than orthopyr-
ments that were part of Sundaland by the Mesozoic.
oxene. Pyroxene (both ortho- and clino-) is often surrounded by fresh
brown volcanic glass. Amphibole is predominantly green-brown horn-
blende, but rare reddish-brown amphibole (oxyhornblende) is also
present. Olivine is fresh or rounded and rarely hacksaw terminations
5.4. Point counting are developed on the rounded grains (Fig. 6). Some olivine is altered
to iddingsite.
Point counting was performed using a Petrog automated stepping
stage and software. The line point-counting method (e.g. Mange and 6.2. Zircon types
Maurer, 1992) with step sizes between 300 and 500 m was used in
the present study. Whenever possible, at least 200 heavy minerals Detrital zircons in the Malay Peninsula are predominantly colourless
were identied and counted from each slide, which is a sufcient num- euhedral and subhedral, while rounded zircon grains are rare (Fig. 4). A
ber for characterising abundances of common species (e.g. Mange and striking feature of detrital zircon assemblages from the Malay Peninsula
Maurer, 1992). Heavy mineral slides were also examined for the pres- is the abundance of brown zircons. Sumatran detrital zircons are
ence of other species that were not detected during counting. When predominantly colourless euhedral, colourless subhedral and purple.
present, such species were identied as traces (tr. b0.5%). Whenever Zircons that are surrounded by volcanic glass are common in all river
possible, 100 counts per sample were made for zircon typological basins, but are particularly abundant in the Musi Basin (Fig. 4). Such
studies (e.g. Mange-Rajetzky, 1995; Lihou and Mange-Rajetzky, 1996). zircons are predominantly stubby (width:length less than 3:1). Volca-
nic glass that surrounds zircons is colourless, unlike that surrounding
pyroxenes (brown) (Fig. 5).
5.5. Detrital garnet microprobe analyses
6.3. Detrital garnet microprobe analyses
Detrital garnets were hand-picked, mounted in araldite resin,
polished and analysed with a Jeol733 Superprobe and an attached 103 garnets were analysed from six samples in the Malay Peninsula
Oxford Instrument ISIS/INCA microanalytical energy-dispersive (Fig. 7). Three garnet groups were identied. Group I (n= 54) includes
technique. Analyses were performed at the Research School of Earth ugrandite garnets that are predominantly grossular (6892%) and
Sciences at UCL-Birkbeck using 15 kV accelerating voltage, 0.1 nA andradite (227%) in composition. Group I garnets also contain alman-
beam current, 2 m spot size and 60 s counting time. Data were dine (19%), spessartine (03%) and minor (b1%) uvarovite (00.2%).
calibrated against silicate, pure metal and oxide standards. Almandine, Group II (n= 33) includes spessartine-rich pyralspite garnets that
andradite, grossular, pyrope, spessartine and uvarovite end-members are mainly almandine (1485%) and spessartine (1184%) in composi-
were calculated using in-house MINPREP and FORMULA programs tion. Group II garnets also contain grossular (023%), pyrope (018%),
(R. Hall, pers. comm., 2007). andradite (04%) and minor uvarovite (00.2%).
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I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194 185

Sumatr a The Malay Peninsula



Heavy minerals






















West ern Zone


(and x enotime)

Muar Selangor



Central Zone


Oxyhorn blend e
Eastern Zone


a b
green - brown, blue-green and colourless, other: cassiterite, vesuvianite, kyanite, chloritoid, spinel, chrome spinel, and allanite





















Zircon types


Western Zone



Muar Selangor


IS46 Red
Brow n
Purp le Other


IS11 Purp le Round ed

IS12 Zoned
Centr al Zone

IS16 With glass



IS25 Subhedral/
IS26 Subrounded
IS28 Euhedral

IS31 Elongate

Eastern Zone

Ter engganu




Fig. 4. Distribution of detrital heavy minerals and zircon types in river sands from the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. Grey boxes on the left of each diagram show the names of the basins,
from which the analysed samples were collected (see Figs. 1 and 2). For the Malay Peninsula diagrams (B and D), black boxes on the left show which zones these river basins are draining.

Group III (n=16) includes all other garnets that are not included into contact metasomatic. (I) The granitic heavy mineral assemblage
Groups I and II. Group III garnets are predominantly almandine (5487%) includes zircon, brown tourmaline, green-brown amphibole, andalusite
in composition and they also contain pyrope (130%), grossular (226%), (but not the chiastolite variety), monazite (and xenotime), titanite,
spessartine (014%) and minor andradite (00.5%) and uvarovite epidote (secondary) and minor cassiterite, apatite and allanite. Of
(00.2%). these minerals zircon is ubiquitous. Euhedral/subhedral habit, colour
Group I garnets are common in all analysed samples. Group II garnets and abundant PermianTriassic and locally Cretaceous UPb ages of
are present in all samples, with the exception of IS18 (Central Zone) and detrital zircons (Sevastjanova et al., 2011) suggest a rst-cycle granitic
IS36 (Eastern Zone). Group III garnets are present in IS37B (Eastern Zone), provenance for this mineral. Green-brown hornblende is most common
IS18 (Central Zone) and IS6 (western Zone). in the Eastern Zone, while in the Western Zone it is only present in its
north-western part; and brown tourmaline is most common in the
7. Discussion Western Zone. Titanite (Fig. 5) and andalusite (Fig. 5) are common
only in the northern and north-western part of the Malay Peninsula.
7.1. Provenance Andalusite is typically considered as a contact metamorphic mineral
(e.g. Deer et al., 1992; Mange and Maurer, 1992). However, the com-
7.1.1. The Malay Peninsula mon andalusite in this area is interpreted to be of magmatic origin
Heavy minerals in river sands from the Malay Peninsula indicate two because it is inclusion-free (e.g. Clarke et al., 2004) (Fig. 6). A granitic
important assemblages, (I) granitic and (II) contact metamorphic/ provenance for andalusite is supported by the observation of Azman
Table 2
Distribution of potentially provenance-diagnostic heavy minerals in SE Asia.
Based on Fitch (1952; Ingham and Bradford, 1960; MacDonald, 1967; Alexander, 1968; Leong, 1968; MacDonald, 1971; Bradford, 1972; Gobbett and Hutchison, 1973; Jones, 1978; Heng, 1982; Manning, 1982; wan Hassan, 1989; Krhenbuhl, 1991;
Cobbing et al., 1992; wan Hassan, 1994; Azman et al., 1999; Khoo, 2002a, 2002b; Azman, 2003, 2005; Azman and Singh, 2005; Barber et al., 2005; Mitchell et al., 2007; Hutchison and Tan, 2009).

Mineral Source rocks Malay Sumatra Other

Peninsula SE Asia

Allanite The tin belt granitoids, and Toba tuffs + + +

Anatase Secondary in granitoids and authigenic +/ +/ +/
Andalusite The Eastern Province contact metamorphic schists, rarely the Main Range Province granitoids +++ ++ ?
Apatite Acid-intermediate igneous and volcanic, and metamorphic ++ ++ ++
Cassiterite The Main Range Province granitoid, pegmatite veins, skarns, and Cenozoic placers + + +

I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

Clinozoisite Locally common in metamorphic rocks + ? ?

Author's personal copy

Corundum The Main Range contact aureole (with carbonates) + +/ +
Clinopyroxene Volcanic and rarely in metamorphic rocks +/ +++ +
Chrome spinel Ophiolites +/ +/ +
Detrital chlorite Low grade metamorphic rocks + + +
Diamond Unknown sedimentary source + +
Diaspore The Main Range Province granitoid contact aureole (with carbonates) and possibly in Cenozoic volcanics (?) +/ ? ?
Diopside Locally common in metamorphic rocks + + +
Epidote Secondary in granitoids and volcanic rocks + + +
Fluorite Very rare in the Main Range Province granitoids +/ +/ ?
Garnet Contact aureoles and schists +/ +/ ++
Glaucophane Not known from the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra +
Hornblende, actinolitic The Main Range Province granitoids; rarely contact metamorphic aureoles ++ ? ?
Hornblende, blue-green The tin belt granitoids +/ +/ +/
Hornblende, green-brown The Eastern Province granitoids, Cenozoic volcanic rocks, and tin belt contact metamorphic aureoles +++ ++ ++
Kyanite Rare high grade metamorphic, e.g. the Taku Schist +/ ? +
Malayaite Discovered from the Perak State in the Malay Peninsula; very rare elsewhere in the world; occurs in skarns +/
Monazite The Main Range Province granitoids, Kuantan area in the Eastern Province, and placers ++ + +
Olivine Basic volcanic rocks +/ +/ +/
Orthopyroxene Volcanic rocks + +++ ?
Rutile Metapelites, Cenozoic placers, and rarely in granitoids +/ +/ +/
Silimanite Rare high grade metamorphic, e.g. the Taku Schist and contact aureoles +/ +/ +
Staurolite Very rare in metamorphic rocks +/ +/ ?
Titanite The tin belt granitoids, particularly in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula ++ + +
Topaz Aluminium-rich contac metamorphic rocks, e.g. tourmalinecorundum rocks in the Kinta Valley + + +
Tourmaline The Main Range Province: evolved leucogranites, pegmatite veins, contact aureoles, greisens, and metasedimentary rocks ++ + ++
Tremolite Rare in metamorphic rocks +/ +/ +
Vesuvianite (Idiocrase) The Main Range contact aureole (with carbonates) + + ?
Xenotime The Main Range Province granitoids, Kuantan area in the Eastern Province, and placers ++ + ?
Zircon Acid igneous and volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary +++ +++ +++
Zoisite Locally common in metamorphic rocks + ? ?
+++, very common; ++, common; +, present; +/, locally present; , not found; ?, no data; CPX, clinopyroxene; OPX, orthopyroxene.
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I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194 187

Ti Ti Cas Cas

Chst Chst And Mon Mon

Hy Aug

Hy Zir Zir Aug
g g g


g 0 50 100 m

And: andalusite, Aug: augite, Cas: cassiterite, Chst: chiastolite, Hb: hornblende,
Hy: hypersthene, Mon: monazite, Ol: olivine; Ti: titatnite, Ves: Vesuvianite,
g: volcanic glass
Fig. 5. Selected examples of detrital heavy minerals from the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. Images with the light backgrounds are in plane polarised light, whereas images with the
black backgrounds are in crossed polars. Note that hypersthene and augite are surrounded by brown volcanic glass, suggesting derivation from the ash-borne tuffs. Also note that
zircons which are surrounded by colourless volcanic glass are not elongate.

(2005) that the Malay Peninsula's Main Range Province S-type granit- identify with condence garnet that is derived from pelitic, basic and
oids contain andalusite but not cordierite. Monazite forms local concen- intermediate volcanic and ultrabasic protoliths (Suggate, 2011). It is
trations in river sediments of the Western Zone and around Kuantan in also impossible to identify metamorphic conditions based on garnet
the Eastern Zone. compositional data (Suggate, 2011). The comparison of new garnet
(II) The contact metamorphic/contact metasomatic heavy mineral data from the present study with the database of Suggate (2011)
assemblage includes abundant inclusion-rich andalusite and rare shows unequivocally that grossular-rich garnet that is diagnostic of
garnet, diaspore and vesuvianite. Andalusite characteristic of this the Malay Peninsula (Group 1) is derived from a calc-silicate and
assemblage is common in the Eastern Zone and is interpreted as derived skarn protolith (Fig. 7). This interpretation is consistent with previously
from the contact metamorphic Carboniferous metapelites which are published work of Deer et al. (1992) and Mange and Maurer (1992),
abundant in this area. Common inclusions and the presence of the who suggested that grossular garnet is common in skarns and other
chiastolite (Fig. 5) variety support a contact metamorphic origin for contact metamorphic calc-silicates, as well as rodingites. Spessartine-
this mineral (e.g. Clarke et al., 2004). rich garnet has a granitoid protolith (Deer et al., 1992; Suggate, 2011).
Based on the systematic compilation and analysis of the garnet com- We, therefore, interpret spessartine-rich garnet from the Malay Penin-
positional database, Suggate (2011) concluded that extreme protolith sula (Group II) to be derived from the contact aureoles of the granitoid
types, such as skarns, calc-silicates, peridotites, eclogites, blue schists intrusions. It is difcult to interpret provenance of other Malay Peninsu-
and granitoids yield garnets of source-specic compositions, which la's garnet (Group III), which is of non-extreme composition, but this
can be used as provenance indicators. However, it is impossible to group is not abundant (15% of all garnet analyses). Garnet contact
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188 I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

chiastolite monazite hornblende


olivine 0 50 100m olivine olivine

Fig. 6. Selected examples of backscattered electron microphotographs of heavy minerals from the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.

metamorphic provenance is also supported by association of grossular basement. The Cenozoic volcanic arc assemblage includes strongly pleo-
with vesuvianite, which is a typical mineral of skarns or regionally chroic hypersthene (Fig. 5), augite and oxyhornblende. Some pyroxenes
metamorphosed impure limestones (Deer et al., 1992; Mange and are surrounded by fragile volcanic glass and this suggests a contribution
Maurer, 1992). Furthermore, andradite garnet and vesuvianite are directly from air-borne tuffs.
found in skarns around the Main Range Province granitoids in other Minerals recycled from the unexposed basement are present only in
areas of the Tin Belt, in southern Thailand (e.g. Schwartz et al., 1995). small amounts. These are garnet, andalusite, tourmaline, chrome spinel,
Spessartine-rich garnet was also described from the Tin Belt aplites rutile, anatase, and corundum. Zircon, apatite, green-brown amphibole,
and pegmatites of Peninsular Thailand and Phuket (Manning, 1983). epidote, olivine and vesuvianite (Fig. 5) are also common in Sumatra
Garnet of contact metamorphic provenance is also consistent with the and are likely to have a mixed provenance.
abundance of chiastolite variety of andalusite, a common contact meta- Vesuvianite is present locally, indicating a contribution from contact
morphic mineral, in heavy mineral assemblages of the Eastern Zone. metamorphosed impure limestones (e.g. Deer et al., 1992; Mange and
The medium and high-grade metamorphic minerals, colourless Maurer, 1992) either from the pre-Cenozoic basement or from the xe-
spinel and kyanite, are sporadically present in the Central and Eastern noliths in young volcanic rocks. The presence of rounded olivine along
Zone of the Malay Peninsula. These indicate a minor contribution from with fresh angular olivine suggests derivation from multiple sources
rare, poorly studied and isotopically undated schists, e.g. the Taku Schist and rounded grains show that olivine can survive transport.
(Hutchison and Tan, 2009). Some detrital zircons in Sumatra are surrounded by colourless
Several provenance-diagnostic heavy minerals were identied for volcanic glass (Fig. 5) and this indicates a contribution from acid volca-
the Malay Peninsula Tin Belt granites. These include PermianTriassic nic rocks. Zircon elongation is considered as a factor reecting grain
brown zircons, monazite (and xenotime), chiastolite and, if present, crystallization velocity (e.g. Corfu et al., 2003). Stubby and equant
cassiterite, diaspore, colourless spinel and allanite. However, the distri- forms are associated with slowly cooled intrusions, whereas elongate
bution of these minerals within the peninsula is not uniform. acicular shapes occur as a result of rapid crystallization and are tradi-
Cassiterite (Fig. 5), which is common in the peninsula's Tin Belt gran- tionally interpreted as of volcanic origin (e.g. Corfu et al., 2003). Howev-
itoids is uncommon (max. 3.5%) in river sands, possibly due to its high er, in Sumatra, zircons that are surrounded by volcanic glass (an
specic gravity (~7.15 g/cm3) and high settling velocity (Fletcher, 1994; unequivocal sign of volcanic provenance) are mostly stubby (w:l b 3:1).
Fletcher and Loh, 1996). Studies of tin-bearing placers in SE Asia (e.g. An abundance of volcanic hypersthene is a unique signature of
Aleva, 1985) and elsewhere in the world (e.g. Yim, 1994) suggest that Sunda Arc provenance. In volcanic arcs rocks elsewhere in the world,
under normal ow conditions most of detrital cassiterite is trapped in hypersthene is subordinate to associated clinopyroxene (usually
placers close (0.51 km) to its source (Aleva, 1985; Yim, 1994). Fine augite) (e.g. Camus et al., 2000; Carn and Pyle, 2001; Handley, 2006).
cassiterite grains recycled from pre-existing placer deposits can occasion- Detrital orthopyroxene is more abundant than detrital clinopyroxene
ally travel for distances greater than 0.5 km in the river valleys (Aleva, in sands derived from the pyroxene-andesites of the Inner Kuril volca-
1985). Fletcher and Loh (1996) noted that cassiterite is unevenly distrib- nic arc (e.g. Noda, 2005). However, in most other sands of andesitic
uted in river sands from the Malay Peninsula. Therefore, when present in provenance, clinopyroxene is the most common transparent heavy
SE Asian sedimentary basins, cassiterite can be a sensitive indicator of the mineral (e.g. Dickinson, 2007; Markevich et al., 2007).
Tin Belt provenance (e.g. van Hattum et al., 2006) but the absence of In contrast to those from the Malay Peninsula, compositions of heavy
cassiterite offshore does not necessitate a different provenance. mineral assemblages in Sumatran river sands are uniform (Fig. 4). How-
ever, several episodes of volcanic activity have been recognised through-
7.1.2. Sumatra out the Cenozoic in this area and the composition of erupted rocks has
Heavy minerals from river sands in Sumatra suggest contributions changed through time. Paleogene volcanic rocks consist of basalts and
from two major sources: (I) the Cenozoic volcanic arc and (II) the variable pyroxene-rich mac lavas and agglomerates (e.g. Rock et al.,
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I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194 189

IS36 Almandine IS37B Almandine

n=17 n=17

Calc-silicate Calc-silicate
Peridotite Peridotite
protolith protolith
protolith protolith
(Group 1) (Group 1)

Other Other
garnets garnets





Other garnets Other garnets

Blue-schist Granitoid Blue-schist Granitoid

protolith protolith protolith protolith
(Group 2) (Group 2)

Spessartine Spessartine

IS12 Almandine IS18 Almandine

n=12 n=18

Calc-silicate Calc-silicate
Peridotite Peridotite
protolith protolith
protolith protolith
(Group 1) (Group 1)

Other Other
garnets garnets





Other garnets Other garnets

Blue-schist Granitoid Blue-schist Granitoid

protolith protolith protolith protolith
(Group 2) (Group 2)

Spessartine Spessartine

IS6 Almandine IS7 Almandine

n=24 n=15

Calc-silicate Calc-silicate
Peridotite Peridotite
protolith protolith
protolith protolith
(Group 1) (Group 1)

Other Other
garnets garnets



(Group 3)



Other garnets Other garnets

Blue-schist Granitoid Blue-schist Granitoid

protolith protolith protolith protolith
(Group 2) (Group 2)

Spessartine Spessartine

Fig. 7. Ternary diagrams showing abundances of almandine, grossular and andradite, pyrope, and spessartine end-members in detrital garnets from the Malay Peninsula. Provenance
elds from Suggate (2011).

1982). Locally, basalts are intruded by Miocene diorites. Miocene volcanic Cenozoic sandstones derived from Sumatra may not be identical to
rocks are calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline basalts, andesites, and those observed in modern rivers. Nonetheless, the presence of volca-
dacites. PleistoceneHolocene volcanic rocks include calc-alkaline andes- nic minerals is expected in all Cenozoic sediments derived from this
ites, dacites, and rhyolites with rare basalts. These are less variable, but on area.
the whole more acid, than the NeogenePaleogene volcanic rocks Rare occurrences of minerals derived from the basement do not
(e.g. Rock et al., 1982). Therefore, heavy mineral assemblages in allow detailed characterisation. However, it is expected that heavy
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190 I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

minerals derived from the pre-Cenozoic basement of Sumatra would be 7.3. Implications for sediment provenance in the North Sumatra Basin
similar to those in modern rivers of the Malay Peninsula.
These new data add important details to the heavy mineral
7.2. Heavy mineral dissolution during transport provenance model for Miocene sedimentary rocks of the North
Sumatra Basin (Morton et al., 1994). Based on heavy mineral data,
Heavy mineral assemblages in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra are supplemented by garnet and tourmaline geochemistry, Morton et al.
immature, despite the position of these areas at the heart of the humid (1994) suggested that in the Early Miocene sediments were shed to
tropics. Apatite is common in granitic and volcanic source rocks but rare this basin from the east-southeast (the Malay Peninsula or Asahan
in the river sediments, suggesting selective dissolution during weather- Arch), while in the Middle-Late Miocene sandstones were sourced
ing. However, other minerals commonly regarded as less durable, such from the Barisan Mountains in Sumatra.
as amphibole, pyroxene, monazite, xenotime, andalusite, titanite, and Heavy mineral suites common in the Miocene sandstones of the
olivine, are preserved and locally abundant. Although corrosion and North Sumatra Basins are dramatically different from those in Sumatran
etching marks on the surfaces of these grains (Fig. 5) suggest some dis- river sands. The North Sumatra Basin lacks hypersthene, augite and
solution, the abundance of these minerals indicates mild dissolution hornblende, which are abundant in modern rivers draining the Barisan
that only signicantly affected apatite. Furthermore, rounding of olivine Mountains (Fig. 4). These discrepancies cannot be explained simply by
suggests that this mineral survives transport in tropical rivers. Round- the dissolution of these mineral species during weathering or after
ing can be produced during rst cycle transport but may also indicate deposition. Profound lateritic weathering inferred from the presence
recycling of olivine from the pre-Cenozoic basement, e.g. from the of diaspore by Morton et al. (1994) would be expected to result in
Woyla Group. The diversity of heavy mineral species and preservation dissolution of phosphate minerals. Apatite, abundant in the Miocene
of olivine, pyroxene and amphibole suggest high erosion rates, rapid sandstones of the North Sumatra Basin, contradicts this inference.
transport and short grain residence time in the river. This is in Furthermore, diaspore does not directly indicate lateritic weathering,
agreement with the high present day sediment yields typical of SE as it is present not only in sedimentary bauxites, but is also a common
Asia (Milliman and Syvitski, 1992; Milliman et al., 1999; Syvitski and product of hydrothermal alteration of aluminous minerals, e.g. silliman-
Milliman, 2007; Kao and Milliman, 2008). ite, kyanite, andalusite, pyrophyllite or corundum (e.g. Deer et al.,
Models based on U-series isotopes suggest that the mean sand-grain 1992).
residence time in global rivers varies between ~1 and 500 kyr (e.g. Morton et al. (1994) showed that garnets in the MiddleUpper
Vigier et al., 2006). The shortest residence is typical of highland drain- Miocene sandstones of the North Sumatra Basin, which they inter-
ages, e.g. Iceland (0.986.3 kyr, Vigier et al., 2006) the Andes (34 kyr, preted as derived from the Barisan Mountains in Sumatra, are
Dosseto et al., 2006a), and SE Australia (Dosseto et al., 2006b). In the pyrope-poor grossular and spessartine varieties. However, new data
Amazon lowlands mean sediment residence time is longer, 100 obtained in this study show that grossular and spessartine garnets
500 kyr (Dosseto et al., 2006a). The authors know of no sediment resi- are also common in the Malay Peninsula (Fig. 7). North Sumatra and
dence time studies in SE Asia. However, by analogy with other short riv- the Malay Peninsula are both underlain by fragments of Gondwana-
ers draining mountainous regions it is assumed that the mean grain derived continental crust that is intruded by granitoids and it is there-
residence time in rivers of the Malay Peninsula does not exceed several fore argued here that heavy mineral assemblages derived from the
thousand years. Even more rapid transport is expected for the volcanic Malay Peninsula cannot be condently distinguished from those de-
arc-derived sediments in Sumatra. Deposition of material from turbidity rived from the pre-Cenozoic basement of Sumatra. However, by the
currents, pyroclastic ows, mass ows and air-borne-tuffs typical of Miocene the basement of Sumatra was not producing abundant
volcanic arcs (Marsaglia et al., 1995; Underwood et al., 1995) is almost detritus because it was covered by the EoceneOligocene volcanic
instantaneous on a geological time scale. For instance, sediment accu- rocks, volcaniclastic sediments and was the site of sediment deposi-
mulation rates from the rain-triggered lahar deposits at the Merapi Vol- tion. Since granitic and metamorphic minerals are abundant in both
cano, Central Java vary between 3.54 cm/min to 20 cm/min (Lavigne the Belumai and the Keutapang sandstones, it is proposed here that
and Thouret, 2003). the Malay Peninsula was a major source of sediments in the North
Seasonal climate uctuations and episodic heavy rainfalls, such as Sumatra Basin throughout the Miocene and not only during the
those typical of SE Asia, can further reduce grain residence time in the Early Miocene.
river. Kao and Milliman (2008) demonstrated that in Taiwan, dry- and Previous provenance models for the North Sumatra Basin (e.g.
wet-season discharges vary by 12 orders of magnitude. Typhoon- Kallagher, 1989; Morton et al., 1994; Samuel et al., 1997) do not account
induced oods increase river discharge by 23 orders of magnitude in for several other signicant observations. The Miocene formations in
a single day. Such events can account for a major part of the annual the North, Central, and South Sumatra Basins are distinctively different
sediment discharge even when they last only several hours to a few from those in the Barisan Mountains and in the forearc basins. The
days (Syvitski and Milliman, 2007; Kao and Milliman, 2008). Miocene strata in the basins east of the Barisan Mountains are predom-
According to van Baren and Kiel (1950) heavy mineral assemblages inantly shales; and coarse immature sandstones that are locally tuffa-
on the shallow-marine shelf around Sumatra and Java are dominated ceous are common only along the Eastern Foothills of the Barisan
by hypersthene, augite, and hornblende. Both corroded and fresh grains Mountains (e.g. Barber et al., 2005). This suggests only a small contribu-
that are locally surrounded by volcanic glass are common in these areas. tion from the Barisan Mountains and the nearby Cenozoic volcanic arc
Andalusite and staurolite are abundant in offshore Borneo, whereas into these basins.
epidote and blue-green hornblende are prominent in the South China In contrast, volcanic material is abundant in Miocene shelf deposits
Sea (van Baren and Kiel, 1950). This suggests that only an insignicant and deep-water turbidites of the forearc basins (Kallagher, 1989;
selective loss of heavy mineral species from the heavy mineral assem- Samuel et al., 1997; Barber et al., 2005). Kallagher (1989) has shown
blages occurs on the Sunda Shelf. that epidote, amphibole, tourmaline, tremolite, zircon, and minor rutile,
Rapid sediment transport minimises mineral interaction with natural apatite, sillimanite, spinel, and hypersthene are common in Pleistocene
etching uids, and in a monsoonal climate such uids are diluted by strata of the West Aceh Basin. There are no heavy mineral studies of the
heavy rainfall. Mild heavy mineral weathering has also been observed in Miocene strata in the forearc basins. However, trace amounts of olivine,
other modern tropical settings, e.g. in the Gulf of Carpentaria (Haredy, hornblende, and tourmaline were identied in thin-sections of the
2008). It is therefore argued from the present study that, in contrast to Miocene sandstones from Nias (the Nias Beds) (Kallagher, 1989). The
common assumptions, detrital heavy minerals may have high preserva- presence of olivine and amphibole suggests that signicant post-
tion potential in tectonically active tropical areas, such as SE Asia. depositional dissolution is unlikely to have taken place.
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I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194 191

EARLY MIOCENE The new interpretation based on the present study supports the sug-
20 Ma gestion of Morton et al. (1994) that during the Miocene sediments were
shed into the North Sumatra Basins from the Malay Peninsula and
? Sumatra. We agree that occurrences of chrome spinel in the Middle
Upper Miocene sandstones of this basin mark sediment inux from the
Woyla Group that was caused by the uplift of the Barisan Mountains.
The exposure of the Barisan Mountains from the Mid Miocene onwards
could have been further amplied by eustatic sea level fall (e.g. Haq
et al., 1987). However, we argue that the Malay Peninsula remained a
dominant source area for sediment in the North Sumatra Basin through-
out the Miocene. We suggest that only a minor contribution from the
Miocene volcanic rocks was shed into the North Sumatra Basin, and


most of these immature assemblages were shed towards the Sunda Fore-

arc Basins. This is consistent with the conclusion of Barber et al. (2005)

with regard to the migration of the major drainage divide in Sumatra


during the Cenozoic.

? Wide present day exposure of granitoids in the Malay Peninsula,
which were emplaced at deeper crustal levels, suggests a signicant
unroong of this area. There are a few geobarometric studies based on
Transgression the aluminium content in granitic hornblendes, and contact metamor-
phic mineral assemblages, from in situ samples and pebbles derived
LATE MIOCENE from these rocks (Hutchison, 1989; Khoo, 2002a; Azman and Singh,
10 Ma 2005). The accuracy of these data is not always clear, but they suggest
? that between 6 and 14 km of overburden strata may have been re-
moved from the Malay Peninsula since granite emplacement in the Me-
sozoic. This is consistent with denudation estimates for other areas in SE
Asia. Hall and Nichols (2002) estimated that average thickness of 6 km
crust has been removed from Borneo during the Cenozoic and denuda-
tion rates per unit area of Borneo are comparable to those of the Hima-
layan orogen (Hall and Nichols, 2002). Such rapid source area unroong
is likely to have resulted in a complete removal of certain rock types
from the source area. This partly explains the dramatic differences in

heavy mineral assemblages between SE Asian river sands discussed in


this study and the North Sumatra Basin sandstones (Morton et al.,
r en


? 8. Conclusions

1. Granitic and contact metamorphic heavy mineral assemblages pre-
0 250 500 km vail in river sands from the Malay Peninsula. Several provenance-
diagnostic heavy minerals are identied for this area which includes
deep sea highland possible drainage divide the Tin Belt granitoids. These are brown zircon, monazite, chiastolite
and, if present, cassiterite, colourless spinel, diaspore and allanite.
Fig. 8. Simplied map showing the Miocene sedimentary pathways in western Sundaland. However, the distribution of these minerals within the peninsula is
Red box shows an approximate location of the North Sumatra Basin. Distribution of high- not uniform. Dense minerals (e.g. cassiterite) are rarely transported
lands and deep sea modied from Barber et al. (2005). White areas show emerged low- large distances and therefore absence of any of these minerals
lands or shallow-marine shelf. In the Early Miocene sediment were shed from the Malay
Peninsula. The Barisan Mountains became emergent as a result of ongoing uplift and
offshore does not necessitate a different provenance.
eustatic sea level changes (e.g. Haq et al., 1987). 2. Detrital heavy minerals in modern Sumatran river sands are derived
from two major sources: the active volcanic arc (I) and the basement
(II). Abundant hypersthene and augite are diagnostic of the volcanic
Abundant volcaniclastic sediments in the forearc and recycled sedi- arc source. Vesuvianite, garnet, andalusite, tourmaline, chrome spinel,
ments in the North Sumatra Basin suggest that during the Miocene the rutile, anatase and corundum, are present only in small amounts
Barisan Mountains were shedding detritus predominantly towards E (b3%), and are interpreted to be recycled from the basement. Zircon,
and SE. This suggests either (a) a different drainage divide or (b) higher apatite, hornblende, epidote, and olivine are also common in Sumatra
sediment yields for rivers discharging into the forearc. A different posi- and are likely to have a mixed provenance from these two sources.
tion for the drainage divide compared to the present day ts well with 3. An abundance of pyroxene, amphibole and locally monazite and
the palinspastic reconstructions of Barber et al. (2005) that suggest ca. olivine suggests mild weathering. This possibly reects dilution of
30 km eastwards migration of the divide since the Middle Miocene natural etching uids by heavy rainfall in a monsoonal climate, high
(Fig. 8). Algorithms used for predicting present day sediment yields erosion rates, rapid transport and short grain residence time in the
(e.g. Milliman and Syvitski, 1992; Milliman et al., 1999) suggest that river.
small mountainous rivers, such as those draining the eastern slope of 4. Comparisons of heavy mineral assemblages from tropical rivers
the Barisan Mountains, would have transported very large volumes of draining SE Asia with previously published data from the North
detritus. At present, higher sediment yields are expected for the forearc Sumatra Basin reveal signicant provenance changes within the
basins, compared to those close to the Malaka Straits (e.g. Suggate and last 57 Ma (since the Late Miocene). These changes are most likely
Hall, 2003). A similar situation is probable during the Miocene. caused by the rapid unroong of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.
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192 I. Sevastjanova et al. / Sedimentary Geology 280 (2012) 179194

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This contribution is dedicated to the memory of Dr Maria Anna Charat, C., Schott, J., Oelkers, E.H., Lartigue, J.-E., Harouiya, N., 2007. Kinetics and mecha-
Mange-Rajetzky, who is deeply missed by her friends and colleagues. nism of natural uorapatite dissolution at 25 C and pH from 3 to 12. Geochimica et
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Maria is sincerely thanked for her tremendous help with heavy mineral Chen, Y., Brantley, S.L., 1998. Diopside and anthophyllite dissolution at 25 C and 90 C
identications and for useful discussions about the dissolution of heavy and acid pH. Chemical Geology 147, 233248.
minerals in SE Asia. IS thanks the International Association of Sedimen- Chough, S.K., 1984. Fine-grained turbidites and associated mass-ow deposits in the
Ulleung (Tsushima) back-arc basin, East Sea (Sea of Japan). In: Fine-grained
tologists (IAS) for an award from the Postgraduate Grant Scheme that
Sediments: Deep-water Processes and Facies: Geological Society, London, Special
made it possible to visit Maria in UC Davis and improve heavy mineral Publications, 15, pp. 185196.
identications. Clarke, D.B., Dorais, M., Barbarin, B., Barker, D., Cesare, B., Clarke, G., El Baghdadi, M.,
The work presented here was funded by the SE Asia Research Group Erdmann, S., Frster, H.-J., Gaeta, M., Gottesmann, B., Jamieson, R.A., Kontak, D.J.,
Koller, F., Gomes, C.L., London, D., Morgan, G.B., VI, Neves, L.J.P.F., Pattison, D.R.M.,
and we thank our sponsors and colleagues, in particular Dr Benjamin Pereira, A.J.S.C., Pichavant, M., Rapela, C.W., Renno, A.D., Richards, S., Roberts, M.,
Clements, Dr Michael Cottam, Dr Ian Watkinson, Dr Simon Suggate, Rottura, A., Saavedra, J., Sial, A.N., Tosell, Ugidos, J.M., Uher, P., Vilaseca, C., Vison, D.,
Indra Gunawan, Lorin Davis, Duncan Witts and Lanu Cross. We also Whitney, D.L., Williamson, B., Woodard, H.H., 2004. Occurrence and origin of andalusite
in peraluminous felsic igneous rocks. Journal of Petrology 132.
thank Dr Andy Beard for help with garnet microprobe analyses and Clements, B., Burgess, P.M., Hall, R., 2011. Subsidence and uplift by slab-related mantle
Dr Andy Morton for discussions about the North Sumatra Basin. Finally, dynamics: a driving mechanism for the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic evolution of
we thank an anonymous reviewer and Professor Basu, whose com- continental SE Asia? In: Hall, R., Cottam, M.A., Wilson, M.E.J. (Eds.), The SE Asian
gateway: history and tectonics of the AustraliaAsia collision: Geological Society,
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