Characterization of the black shales of the Temburong Formation in West Sabah, East Malaysia

Amer M. Burgan, Che Aziz Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sediments under investigation constitute part of the Temburong Formation outcropping in the Tenm area; West Sabah has been assessed and characterized in detail using organic petrology, geochemical techniques and a variety of organic geochemical parameters. The aims of this study are to assess the type of organic matter, thermal maturity and established paleoenvironment of deposition based primarily on Rock-Eval pyrolysis data and biomarker distributions. Geochemical (Rock-Eval, Tmax value ranging from 486° to 542°C typical of high maturity), the gas chromatograms of the saturated hydrocarbon fractions of the Temburong Formation display monomodal n-alkane distributions and nearly identical regular sterane compositions with a slight predominance of C27 regular steranes. These are consistent with open marine depositional environments dominated by marine biological matter. Another related feature of these rock extracts is the presence of a high relative abundance of gammacerane, indicating an anoxic marine hypersaline source depositional environment. This suggestion is supported by the presence of pyrite framboids as additional evidence of poorly oxygenated (anoxic) bottom waters. The relatively high abundance of common land-plant derived biomarkers, such as bicadinanes and oleananes, is a clear indication of a major terrigenous input to the source of these extractable organic matters. The predominance of oleanane biomarkers in the Temburong Formation is indicative of angiosperms input and Tertiary source rocks. The high C29/C30 hopane ratios, moderate development of C33-C35 hopanes, high abundance of tricyclic terpanes and a slight predominance of C27 regular sterane over C28 and C29 steranes are characteristic features tending to suggest a significant marine influence into these source rocks. The high abundance of C24 tetracyclic terpanes could be associated with higher land-plant, algae or microbial sources, thereby suggesting a mixed source input. The 22S/ (22S+22R) C32 hopane ratio has reached an equilibrium, and this is supported by the high maturity level as indicated by the 22S/ 22S C31-33 extended hopane ratios and 20S/ (20S+20R) C29 regular steranes ratios.Based on this study, the Temburong Formation seems to have a substantial amount of land-derived organic matter transported into the marine depositional setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-98
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Scientific Research
Volume30
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Malaysia
Borneo
biomarker
rocks
Rocks
Embryophyta
Biomarkers
organic matter
depositional environment
source rock
Biological materials
biomarkers
rock
common land
embryophytes
thermal maturity
algae
paleoenvironment
Angiosperms
angiosperm

Keywords

  • Framboids pyrite
  • Organic matter
  • Rock-eval
  • Sabah
  • Temburong Formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Characterization of the black shales of the Temburong Formation in West Sabah, East Malaysia. / Burgan, Amer M.; Ali, Che Aziz.

In: European Journal of Scientific Research, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2009, p. 79-98.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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