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Fieldwork Guide: Langkawi

1st Year Fieldwork

7-11 Sept 2015

1.0 AIMS

The main aims of this fieldwork are as follows:

1. Identification of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks based on visual
examination of hand specimens and at outcrops in the field.
2. Ability to distinguish between the main types of rocks based on their mineralogy,
texture, physical and chemical properties and their mode of occurrence and formation.
3. Ability to recognize simple geological structures and understand the geological processes
in their formation.
4. Understanding of the geological background and geological processes in the formation
of landforms and geological landscapes that are observable on the surface of the earth.
5. Preliminary understanding of the major disciplines of geology such as petroleum
geology, engineering geology, economic geology, environment geology and heritage


Geological fieldwork is generally safe when a certain number of precautions are taken during
this activity. Among them are:
1. Always exercising caution and think before doing something. In particular, when crossing
roads make sure there are no vehicles approaching.
2. Dress appropriately for geological fieldwork. You should be able to move freely and have
adequate protection from the weather. Proper shoes which provide good grip and
protection for the feet should be used. No slippers are allowed. A raincoat should be
part of the field work kit.
3. When approaching a rock outcrop, especially a quarry face, a road cut or a similar
exposure, look above to ascertain that there are no loose blocks at higher levels. When
hammering rocks at an outcrop protect your eyes and face and also make sure that no
one else is endangered from pieces of rocks resulting from the hammering. Under no
circumstances should anyone hammer rock at a higher level of a road cut or quarry face
when people are present at lower levels.
4. Follow all instructions and report any accidents or injury urgently to the field work
5. Observe cleanliness; all rubbish, in particular stereofoam and plastic packings should be
disposed off in proper rubbish bins. If no rubbish bins are located at a site, the rubbish
should be taken along until a rubbish bin is found.

The Langkawi islands consist of a group of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, approximately 30
km off the coast of northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. These islands form a part of the state of
Kedah. The main and largest island is also referred to as Langkawi, with the town of Kuah which
can be considered as a gateway to the islands. Only a few of the other island are inhabited. Fig.
1 show the location of Langkawi Islands.

Fig. 1: Location of Langkawi Islands, Peninsular Malaysia.

The Langkawi Islands represent one of the more interesting locations for geological studies since
all the three major rock types, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic are found on these
islands. In addition, this is probably one of the few places in Malaysia where an almost complete
sequence of sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age are exposed, ranging in age from Cambrian to
Permian. There are four sedimentary rock formations, namely Machinchang, Setul, Singa and
Chuping Formations from oldest to youngest in age. These sedimentary formations were
intruded by the Gunung Raya granite, resulting in various types of contact metamorphism. A
major fault, the Kisap Thrust Fault which an approximate north-south direction in the eastern
part of Langkawi and a westward transport direction has resulted in the older Setul and possibly
Machinchang Formation from the east to overlay the younger Chuping and Singa Formation
along the central axis of Langkawi. Ongoing weathering, erosion, transport and deposition has
lead to the deposition of unconsolidated sediments in the valleys and coastal plains.
The geological map of Langkawi in shown in Fig. 2 and the stratigraphy in Fig. 3.
Fig. 2: General Geology of Langkawi. (Kisap Thrust Fault shown as dashed lines)
Fig. 3: Stratigraphy of Langkawi

Day 1, 07 September 2015 (Monday) Day 4, 10 September 2015 (Thursday)

0700 Assemble at UTP Bus Terminal 0800 Assemble and depart from hotel
0730 Depart from UTP to Kuala Perlis Jetty 0830 STOP 7
1430 Arrive in Kuala Perlis 1030 STOP 8
1500 Ferry to Langkawi 1300 Lunch
1600 Arrive in Langkawi 1430 STOP 9
1630 Check-in hotel and rest 1700 Back to hotel and rest

Day 2, 08 September 2015 (Tuesday)

Day 5, 11 September 2015 (Friday)
0800 Assemble and depart from hotel
0830 STOP 1 0730 Assemble
0800 Depart from hotel to Jetty
1030 STOP 2
0900 Ferry to Kuala Perlis
1230 Lunch
1000 Arrive Kuala Perlis
1430 STOP 3
1100 Bus to UTP
1700 Back to hotel and rest 1630 Arrive UTP

Day 3, 09 September 2015 (Wednesesday)

0800 Assemble and depart from hotel

0830 STOP 4
1030 STOP 5
1230 Lunch
1430 STOP 6
1700 Back to hotel and rest

Group STOP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9




I: Penarak II: Kisap III: Durian Perangin IV: Kilim Jetty V: Pasir Hitam Beach

VI: Teluk Yu VII: Bukit Malut VIII:Telaga Tujuh IX: Pasir Tengkorak

I. Penarak

V5 II. Kisap
III. Durian Perangin
IV IV. Kilim Jetty
III V. Pasir Hitam Beach
VI. Teluk Yu
VIII VII. Bukit Malut
VIII. Telaga Tujuh
IX. Pasir Tengkorak

Date: 07 – 11 September 2015
Venue: Langkawi
Participant: 90 students, 7 lecturers, 3 technologists and 2 GAs

Stop Locality GPS location Lithology Description and major geological

I Penarak 06⁰ 18’17.3”N Granite - Minerals: quartz, feldspar, mica
99⁰ 51’32.4”E - Fractures

II Kisap 06⁰ 23’43.7”N Setul Formation - Highly deformed or fractured

99⁰ 51’21.1”E limestone
- Slickensides are common
III Durian Perangin 06⁰ 24’08.5”N Singa Formation - Banded hornfels
99⁰ 49’11.9”E - Metamorphism
IV Kilim Jetty 06° 24' 19.0" N 99° Setul Formation - Well-bedded limestone
51' 27.9" E - Gentle dipping beds
V Pantai Pasir 06° 25' 27.4" N 99° Quaternary - Black-coloured sands
Hitam (Black 47' 28.6" E sediments - Recent sedimentation features
Sand Beach)
IV Teluk Yu 06⁰ 25’20.2”N Granite and - Porphyritic granite: feldspar
(Opposite 99⁰ 46’50.2”E Quaternary (phenocryst), quartz, dark
Malaysia sediments minerals
kraftangan - Differential weathering
museum) - Xenoliths: dark-coloured and
fine-grained rocks in granite
VII Bukit Malut 06⁰ 17’43.8”N Singa Formation - Metamorphosed argillaceous
99⁰ 47’16.4”E rocks/ hornfels
VIII Telaga Tujuh 06⁰ 22’57.9”N Granite - Granite/pegmatite
Waterfall (the 99⁰ 40’23.2”E - At least 3 fracture sets
1 waterfall)
IX Pasir Tengkorak 06⁰ 25’50.5”N Machinchang - Sandstone and mudstone
Beach 99⁰ 43’37.2”E Formation - Cross bedding
- Tafoni structures


Location: N 06⁰ 18’17.3” E 99⁰ 51’32.4”

The Kuah granite is well exposed along the coast near the Sanatorium. The granite composed of
quartz, feldspar and mica (biotite and muscovite) with subordinate tourmaline. Two samples of
the granite from Langkawi were dated by both the K:Ar and Rb:Sr methods. The analysis gave
the ages of 217+/-8 Ma and 209+/-6 Ma respectively, indicating late Triassic age (Jones, 1978).

The granite outcrops at Kuah which is probably parts of a single large stock also occur at Pulau
Dayang Bunting, Pulau Tuba and Pulau Bumbon Besar.

Location: N 06⁰ 23’43.7” E 99⁰ 51’21.1”

Well-polished Fault plane

The outcrop is a limestone quarry that is now abandoned. Slickensides and intense fracturing
occurs within this rock unit suggesting the presence of faults. It is clear that the rocks have
suffered some fault movements (Tan, 1981).

The fault is known as Kisap Thrust. Since its postulation by Koopmans (1965), Kisap Thrust has
been frequently cited in papers on Malaysian geology. Its implications on the geology and
tectonic history of the Northwest Peninsular Malaysia is fairly considerable as it has also been
generally regarded as one of the major faults in the Peninsula.
Location: N 06⁰ 24’08.5” E 99⁰ 49’11.9”

This waterfall which has 14 tiers is located on the northern slope of Gunung Raya. Lithologically,
the waterfall is made up of dark-grey banded hornfels. It is interpreted that this hornfels was
formed as a result of contact metamorphic processes on the argillaceous rocks of the Singa
Formation during the emplacement of the Gunung Raya granite.
7.4 STOP VI Kilim Jetty
Location: N 06° 24' 19.0" E 99° 51' 27.9"

The limestone is outcropping at the sea side. Everywhere it is characterized by rugged karst
topography. This terrain in Langkawi is marked by abrupt and irregular slopes, cliffs and bare
exposures of grey and white rock with numerous intervening hollows and valleys (Jones, 1978).
Limestone are commonly composed of carbonate minerals e.g. calcite and dolomite. The
solution process has obviously played an important role in the moulding of the carbonate rock’s
surface to its present form. The marine erosion can be distinguished at the foot of the limestone
cliffs and bears evidence of former higher sea-levels.
7.5 STOP V Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach)
Location: N 06° 25' 27.4" E 99° 47' 28.6"

This popular tourist spot is named after the black placer sands on the beach. The black sand is
composed of mostly tourmaline with minor amounts of ilmenite and zircon derived from the
eroding margins of the Raya Granite and concentrated by the repeated winnowing away of the
lighter minerals such as quartz and micas or clays by the beach processes (Lee, 2002).
7.6 STOP VI Teluk Yu
Location: N 06⁰ 25’20.2” E 99⁰ 46’50.2”

The area is located at foothill of the Gunung Raya. The lithology is granite which is grey in colour
with porphyritic texture.

The granite is rich in feldspar minerals with very coarse grained (> 1cm), which is considered as
phenocryst and formed in darker-coloured groundmass. Xenolith (marked circle in the figure) is
common in the granite which is fine-grained and grey in colour. The beach is rich with black
sands (commonly tourmaline) which derived from Gunung Raya granite nearby.The weathering
of the granite has produced elongated rock bodies.
Location: N 06⁰ 17’43.8” E 99⁰ 47’16.4”

The outcrop of Bukit Malut is a slope cut. This location consists of mudstone which belongs to
the Singa Formation. This mudstone had underwent contact metamorphism due to the heat
from the granite intrusion, forming hornfels but still retaining its original sediment structure.
Location: N 06⁰ 22’57.9” E 99⁰ 40’23.2”

Telaga Tujuh composes of igneous rock (granite) which is located near to the boundary of
Machinchang Formation Sandstone. The grain size of the granite ranges from medium to coarse.
The phenocrysts are quite well arranged and might possibly indicate the direction of flow of
magma during cooling process (Jones, 1978). The waterfall provides a superb section in the
marginal granite over a 80 feet drop. The continuous expanse of massive, coarse-grained
porphyritic granite has been smoothed by the flow of water and above the main falls a series of
seven potholes has been eroded in the rock.
Location: N 06⁰ 25’50.5” E 99⁰ 43’37.2”

Medium-grained sandstone with subordinate coarse-grained sandstone and shale are found
here. The total thickness of the formation reaches up to 2,830 m (Lee, 1983). At this locality, the
gently dipping and warping sandstone is part of the upper part of the Machincang Formation.
The sandstone exhibits internal cross bedding and bedding-top ripple marks. Ball and pillow
structures can also be observed. It formed due to the escaping mud, a unique end product from
excessive loading of sand over water-saturated mud. Other sedimentary structures occurring at
this locality are load cast, flame structure, convolute bedding and truncated sandstone lenses.
Another unique feature here is tafoni structure which is a honeycomb-like structure formed by
salt dessication, particularly on the exposed thick shale and fine-grained sandstone beds.
Various shapes of the tafoni are controlled by the joint systems, fracture patterns and directions
of the seasprays.