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Chapter 1

Introduction and previous research

Sumatra, with an area of 473 606 km 2 is the largest island in the Indonesian archipelago and the
fifth largest island in the world.The island stretches across the equator for 1760 km from NW to
SE, and is up to 400 km across (Fig. 1.1). Administratively, and for the purposes of this Memoir,
Sumatra includes the Mentawaiislands from Simeulue to Pagai, which with Enggano form
aforearc chain to the SW, and the 'Tin Islands' of Bangka and Billiton and the Riau islands to the
east. The backbone of the main island is formed of the Barisan Mountains, which extendthe
whole length of Sumatra in a narrow belt, parallel to, andgenerally only a few tens of kilometres,
from the SW coast. The main peaks (which are mainly Quaternary or Recent
volcanoes)commonly rise 2000 m above sea level, culminating in MtKerinci at 3805 m. Short,
steep river courses drain the Barisans towards the SW, often cuttting deep gorges, while towards
the east the rivers follow long meandering courses across broad coastal plains and swamps to the
Malacca Straits, which separate Sumatra from the Malay Peninsula, or to the Java Sea.
Eastwards, across the Java Sea, lies the almost equally large island of Borneo(Indonesian
Kalimantan), and Java lies immediately to the SE across the narrow Sunda Strait. The Malacca
Strait and the Java Sea form the southern parts of the Sunda Shelf (Fig. 1.1). Across the shelf the
seafloor is shallow with a depth of less than 200 m and remarkably flat. Virtually the whole of
the shelf was exposed at the peak of the last glaciation. To the SW, Sumatra is separated from a
linear ridge with emergent islands extending from Simeulue in the north to Enggano in the south,
by marine basins more than 1000 m deep, which increase to a depth of more than 2000m in the
south. To the SW of the ridge the seafloor slopes steeply into the Sunda Trench, 5000 m deep in
the NW, deepening to >6000 m towards Java in the SE. The floor of the Indian Ocean, with a
depth of about 5000 m, lies to the SW beyond the trench, extending all the way to to India and
the east coast of Africa. Immediately to the west of Sumatra the floor of the Indian Ocean is
covered by the thick sediments of the Nicobar Fan, the currently inactive eastern lobe of the
Bengal Fan, composed of debris eroded from the Himalayas. The fan is separated from the main
part of the Bengal Fan to the west by seamounts of the north-south trending Ninety- East Ridge
(Fig. 1.2). In terms of present-day tectonics Sumatra forms the active southwestern margin of the
Sunda Craton (Sundaland), the southeasternpromontory of the Eurasian Plate (Fig. 1.2). The

relative 7.7 cm a- NNE-directed motion of the Indian Ocean results in oblique (c. 45 ~subduction
at the Sunda Trench. Seismic profiles across the landward side of the Sunda Trench imaged the
removal of packages of sediment from the downgoing plate to build a forearc ridge accretionary
complex (Hamilton 1979; Karig et al. 1980) (Fig. 1.3).Oblique subduction results in the
northwestward movement of a'sliver' plate (Curray 1989), decoupled both from the downgoing
Indian Ocean Plate and the Sundaland Plate, along the Wadati-Benioff seismic zone, which dips
northeastwards at c. 30 ~ and along the vertical Sumatran Fault System. The Wadati-Benioff
zone intersects the fault at a depth of some 200 km. The active Sumatran Fault System runs the
whole length of the Sumatra, through the Barisan Mountains, from Banda Aceh to the Sunda
Strait, and is paralleled by a line of Quaternary volcanoes, mainly quiescent, but some currently
active (Fig. 1.4).
Geologically, Sumatra forms the southwestern margin of the
Sunda Craton, which extends eastwards into Peninsular Malaysia
and into the western part of Borneo (Fig. 1.2). A Pre-Tertiary
basement is exposed extensively in the Barisan Mountains
(Fig. 1.4) and in the Tin Islands of Bangka and Billiton. The
oldest rocks which have been reliably dated are sediments of
Carboniferous-Permian age, although Devonian rocks have
been reported from a borehole in the Malacca Strait, and
undated gneissic rocks in the Barisan Mountains may represent
a Pre-Carboniferous continental crystalline basement. All the
older rocks, which lie mainly to the NE of the Sumatran
Fault System, show some degree of metamorphism, mainly to
low-grade slates and phyllites, but younger Permo-Triassic sediments
and volcanics are less metamorphosed. The area to the
SW of the fault is composed largely of variably metamorphosed
Jurassic-Cretaceous rocks. The Pre-Tertiary basement is cut by
granite plutons that range in age from Permian to Late Cretaceous.
Locally within the Barisans the basement is intruded by Tertiary
igneous rocks and is overlain to the NE and SW by volcaniclastic
and siliciclastic sediments in hydrocarbon- (oil and gas)

and coal-bearing Tertiary sedimentary basins. These basins have

backarc, forearc and interarc relationships to the Quaternary to
Recent volcanic arc. Lavas and tufts from these young volcanoes
overlie the older rocks throughout the Barisans and, in particular
cover an extensive area in North Sumatra around Lake Toba
(Fig. 1.4). Recent alluvial sediments occupy small grabens
within the Barisan Mountains, developed along the line of the
Sumatran Fault and cover lower ground throughout Sumatra.
These alluvial sediments are of fluvial origin immediately
adjacent to the Barisans, but pass into swamp, lacustrine and
coastal deposits towards the northeastern and southwestern
margins of the island.
History of geological research in
Sumatra before-WWII
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Sumatra
was explored by geologists and engineers working for mining
and petroleum companies under the auspices of the Bureau of
Mines in the Dutch East Indies Colonial Administration. In 1925
a 'Palaeobotanic Expedition to Djambi (Jambi)' was undertaken
to collect samples of the 'Djambi Flora'. This early work is
summarized by Rutten (1927) in his 'Lectures on the Geology
of the Netherlands East Indies'. Between 1927 and 1931 the
Netherlands Indies Geological Survey conducted a mapping
programme in South Sumatra with the production of a series of
sixteen 1:200 000 Geological Map Sheets (e.g. Musper 1937),
and carried out other geological studies in Central and Northern
Sumatra (Musper 1929; Zwierzijcki 1922a, b, 1930a). Unfortunately,
as a result of the global economic depression, this
mapping programme was discontinued in 1933, before the
mapping of the whole island was complete. However, the cessation
of fieldwork provided an opportunity to publish the results

of the 1925 Palaeobotanic expedition to Djambi (Zwierzijcki

1930a; Jongmans & Gothan 1935). Exploration by mining and
petroleum companies continued throughout Sumatra, but for
commercial reasons most of the reports remained confidential
and unpublished. However, some of the results, notably for
elo 1 O0 ~
t <o0o _9 Active Volcanoes
,and over 000m
Land 1000-2000m
Land 100-1000m
Land below 100m
Submarine contours in metres
-- ---- Provincial boundaries
I' ' ' /
106 ~ 108 ~
South China Sea
o~ / ~'..
/ 2~ "Anfimbas
I ~ Is

,,,atun ,o
Riau Is
_9 Tambelan
.o~, Is
Sunda Shelf
SO UTI--~ )" k,, (,. /.,
0 1 O0 200 300 400 500km
J Ao
Java Sea
96 ,, 98 ~ 100 ~ 102" 104" 106" "
Fig. 1.1. Topography and bathymetry of Sumatra and surrounding areas with boundaries of
administrative provinces and principal cities.
work carried out in Siberut, Nias and Simeulue and the other Outer
Arc Islands on behalf of the Nederlands Pacific Petroleum
Maatschappij and the Geological Service of the Baatafsche
Petroleum Maatschappij before WWII (Elber 1939; Den Hartog
1940a, b; Hopper 1940), were made available to van Bemmelen
(1949, 1970) during the preparation of his major synthesis of
'The Geology of Indonesia'.
Van Bemmelen began work on this comprehensive and masterly

summary, immediately before WWII. The first manuscript version

of this work was completed in Bandung between 1937 and 1941.
When Java was invaded by the Japanese in 1942 van Bemmelen
was taken into custody as a prisoner of war. There are reports
that during the war he was permitted by the Japanese authorities
to continue work on the volume. Van Bemmelen says that he
entrusted his manuscript to an official of the Geological Survey,
but after the war this official refused to return it (van Bemmelen
1949, 1970). On his release from captivity van Bemmelen returned
to the Netherlands, where he was commissioned to rewrite
the volume by the Director of the Netherlands East Indies
Bureau of Mines. Work commenced in 1946 and the first edition
was published by the Government Printing Office in the Hague
in 1949. A second edition was published in 1970. The volume
provides a complete summary of the state of knowledge of the
stratigraphy, structure, igneous history and mineral deposits of
the whole of Indonesia at that time. For Sumatra, van Bemmelen
(1949, 1970) developed a tectonic synthesis in which deformation
proceeded as a series of waves, across the island from NE to
SW, with the earliest cycle having occurred in the Malay
Peninsula during the Triassic, and the most recent continuing in
the outer arc islands at the present day.
90 ~
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INDIAN KeelinIsg~ 1i 76
110 ~
\i 1
,,," 20 ~
90 ~ 100 ~
Christmas o
500 1000km
Fig. 1.2. The tectonic setting of Sumatra
with the floor of the Indian Ocean
subducting beneath the southwestern
margin of the Sundaland Craton. The
deformation front of the Sumatran
subduction system is indicated by the

toothed line; spreading centres and

transform faults are shown in the Andaman
Sea (after Curray et al. 1979).
Post-WWII research
Little geological work was possible during the years immediately
after the end of WWII, but following Indonesian Independence in
1947 the Geological Survey of Indonesia (GSI) was established in
the old Bureau of Mines building in Bandung. From 1969 to 1974
the Mapping Division of (GSI) commenced a systematic programme
of mapping in the Padang area of West Sumatra, in collaboration
with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), as
part of the First Five Year Development Plan (PELITA I).
Several 1:250 000 Geological Map Sheets were published as a
result of this programme (Silitonga & Kastowo 1975; Rosidi
et al. 1976; Kastowo & Leo 1973). As part of this collaboration
a senior geologist of the USGS, Warren Hamilton, was commissioned
to prepare a series of maps and a memoir reviewing the
geology of the Indonesian region in plate-tectonic terms
(Hamilton 1977, 1979). Hamilton's (1979)Tectonic Map, which
includes Sumatra, shows clearly present views of the tectonic
setting of Sumatra.
SEATAR Programme
In 1973 a meeting was convened by the United Nations Committee
for the Coordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources
in Asian Off-shore waters (CCOP) in Bangkok which established
the Studies in East Asian Tectonics and Resources (SEATAR)
Programme. At that time a review of the current understanding
of the tectonics of eastern Asia was prepared by Deryck Laming
on behalf of CCOP-IOC (1974). As a result of the meeting it
was proposed to concentrate research along a series of transects
across the island arc systems of East and SE Asia. Subsequently

A. J. Barber (University of London) and Derk Jongsma (BMR)

were engaged by CCOP as Technical Consultants to prepare a
report on the current state of knowledge along the lines of
these transects (CCOP-IOC 1980). One of the selected transects
ran from the Malay Peninsula across northern Sumatra and the
forearc island of Nias to the Sunda Trench. Although the final
report for this transect was never published, a great deal of
important research was carried out by American researchers
Sunda Complex Sumatran Fault MALACCA STRAIT
Toba Caldera Backarc Basin NE
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SW Nicobar Fan Trench Ridge Forearc Basin
0 1 ~ ~ _~.-j:l ~ . . . . .
i .... n .... m .... n .... I Jh,.L-~~-~:.~ Earyli er accretiona-r y complexes Z..LLL4J.J. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i .... "'
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Z_LLL~L~I I 1 \ 1 I I I I I I I ~ , l = , l ~ i, i~=!i I I I I I I I I
~(I I I I I~TI~I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
I I I I I I I I I I I I I~l I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I [ I I
''' :":: ~::~l :~, :~ :~ :i : ~:i: i: I:~I:~ :~ :~ :i :~:~ :'~: ~ :i: ~::~ :~ :~ :I I:I :II ~:I: II :Ii : I:I I:I I:I I:I
I:l :li: i: I:Ii : ~::~ :E ::U::R::A::~::":i:A::~:: :~::1::~::':~:: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Fig. 1.3. Diagrammatic section across the Sumatran Subduction System from the floor of the
Indian Ocean to the Malay Peninsula, drawn to scale.
under the auspices of the SEATAR Programme, particularly in Nias
and the surrounding seas (Curray et al. 1982; Karig et al. 1980;
Moore & Karig 1980). Also in conjunction with the SEATAR Programme,
Cobbing et al. (1992) made a detailed study, including
isotopic dating, of the granites on the Tin Islands of Bangka and
Billiton, supported by the UK Overseas Development Administration
as a contribution to the work of :COP.
Since the effective termination of the SEATAR Programme,
US research in Sumatra has been concentrated on neotectonics,
an important part of which has been the monitoring of movement
along the Sumatran Fault System, using GPS location systems
(Prawirodirdjo et al. 1997).
Indonesian Petroleum Association
In 1971 the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) was established
by petroleum companies operating in Indonesia, in association
with the Indonesian national oil company, Pertamina.
Since its inception the IPA has held Annual Conventions which
continue to the present day. At these conventions papers on the
geology of Indonesia are presented and published as the Proceedings

of the Indonesian Petroleum Association. The IPA

Proceedings provide an invaluable source of information on the
geology of Indonesia. Most of the papers deal with Tertiary deposits
and details of the stratigraphy and structure of the oil and
gas fields of Indonesia, including those of Sumatra, but more
general papers on geology and tectonics have also been published.
The publication of the IPA Proceedings has resolved van Bemmelen's
(1949) complaint of the pre-WWII situation, in which large
amounts of geological data, accumulated by the oil companies,
remained unpublished for commercial reasons, and were not available
for the compilation of regional geological syntheses.
British and Indonesian Geological Surveys
Major UK involvement in the geology of Sumatra began in
1975 when the Institute of Geological Sciences (IGS, now the
British Geological Survey, BGS), in collaboration with the
Geological Survey of Indonesia (GSI), commenced a five-year
mapping and reconnaissance geochemical survey of northern
Sumatra to the north of the equator (Northern Sumatra Project,
NSP). In 1978 GSI was reorganized into a number of semi-autonomous
directorates and the Directorate of Mineral Resources
(DMR) became the designated Indonesian counterpart organisation
in the NSP. The work of IGS in the Northern Sumatra Project,
and subsequent projects by BGS in Sumatra, were funded from
the Technical Assistance and Technical Cooperation budgets of
the U.K. Overseas Development Administration (ODA).
The structural, stratigraphic, geochemical and tectonic results
of the Northern Sumatra Project have been presented in a series
of papers (Page et al. 1978, 1979; Cameron et al. 1980; Rock
et al. 1982; Aldiss & Ghazali 1984) and unpublished reports.
In a continuation of the NSP, geological maps and reports resulting
from the project were edited by BGS personnel, and published

by the Indonesian Geological Research and Development

Centre (GRDC), one of the constituent directorates of GSI,
as a series of 18 Geological Map Sheets at 1:250 000 scale,
with accompanying Explanatory Notes. Follow-up studies of
fossil localities, with the view of establishing the stratigraphical
ages of the sedimentary units in Sumatra, were carried out
by Metcalfe (1983, 1986, 1989a, b; Metcalfe et al. 1979) and by
Fontaine and his collaborators, under the auspices of :COP
(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). The results of the regional geochemical
stream sediment sampling survey were published in a joint
IGS/DMR Geochemical Atlas (Stephenson et al. 1982) and subsequently
DMR published sets of single element proportional
symbol distribution maps at 1:250000, for many of the
quadrangles to the north of the equator. Geochemical anomalies
found during the NSP were followed up by BGS and DMR
in the collaborative North Sumatra Geological and Mineral
Exploration Project (NSGMEP, 1985-1988). The results of a
separate programme of research into the mineralization in north
Sumatra, also funded by UK ODA, have been published by
Bowles et al. (1984, 1985) and Beddoe-Stephens et al. (1987).
University of London Southeast Asian Research Group,
In 1978 members of the University of London Southeast Asian
Research Group which had previously been active in Eastern
Indonesia, commenced a programme of research projects in
Sumatra, in collaboration with BGS, DMR and GRDC. In 1984
a joint University of London/BGS North Sumatra Basins
Study Project, was set up with funding from the UK Overseas
Development Administration, in collaboration with the Indonesian
Research and Development Centre for Oil and Gas Technology
(LEMIGAS) (Kirby et al. 1993). This project built on the major

involvement by LEMIGAS in this productive basin, where

one of the largest exploration blocks is operated directly by
Pertamina. The overall programme was largely concerned with
the stratigraphy, sedimentology and geophysics of the Tertiary
basins in northern Sumatra, with the University contribution
Concentrating on field studies of the relationship of the Tertiary
rocks to the underlying basement, with a view to understanding
the tectonic evolution, of these basins (Turner 1983; Tiltman
1987, 1990; Kallagher 1990). More recently the University of
London contribution, funded by the UK Natural Environment
Research Council (NERC), ODA and a number of oil companies,
98 ~
1 O0 ~
_4 ~
Line of
-4 ~
Quaternary-Recent volcanics

Tertiary Sediments and volcanics

Pre-Tertiary Basement
102 ~
0 100
. . . . . . . . . . . . | j (-:-:.:-:-:-:-:-:.:-:.:[... ...:i:~i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:iQ:i
104 ~
Active Volcano
Sumatran Fault System
Deformation Front of the
Sumatran Subduction
200 300 400
j~.'.ii::..~ ::!:iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiIii iiiiiiiiiiii. Bengku[ : : i ~ ' - "'-'" ""'""'"'"'""'"'-'"'"'-'"'"'I
106 ~
2~0 o2~4~~ pung

96~ 98 ~ 100 ~ \ 102 ~ 104 ~ 106 ~

Fig. 1.4. Simplified geological map of Sumatra showing the distribution of the main stratigaphic
units and the active volcanoes. Toothed line marks the deformation
front of the Sumatran Subduction System. The line of section in Fig. 1.3 is also shown.
became increasingly concentrated in the forearc islands, where
a series of geological mapping and gravity surveys were
completed (Situmorang et al. 1987; Milsom et al. 1990; Harbury
& Kallagher 1991; Samuel & Harbury 1996; Samuel et al.
1997). At the same time LEMIGAS collaborated with the
French CNRS (Centre National pour Recherche Scientifique) in
a number of studies in the forearc region using the Indonesian
Marine Research Vessel Baruna Jaya III (Diament et al. 1992;
Izart et al. 1994). Outside the bounds of the NSP, University of
London Staff and research students with funding from NERC,
ODA and a Consortium of petroleum companies collaborated
with LEMIGAS on studies on the Ombilin interarc basin
in central Sumatra (Lailey 1989; Bartram & Nugrahaningsih
1990; Howells 1997b), the Woyla Group in North Sumatra
(Wajzer et al. 1991; Barber 2000; McCarthy et al. 2001) and a
study of the Sumatran Fault System throughout the island
(McCarthy & Elders 1997).
Southern Sumatra Project
Geological mapping, gravity surveys and geochemical programmes
in Sumatra south of the equator were conducted by GRDC
and DMR during PELITA II (1974-79) and in successive five
year development programmes, continuing into the 1980s. In
1988 the Southern Sumatra Geological and Mineral Exploration
Project (SSGMEP) was established, and BGS joined DMR and
GRDC in the completion of these surveys and in research

r./i/o: d o
[ /B,,a n,.d a A...c..e."h / ~" . Lho. k. .s.e. .u.m. awe
i~".._o4. 2o U./;
"rebingt!pggi' I
; t7
/Sidikafang, ~,/Pematan( " Bagansiapiapi
" ~'(///"/~ / siantar" ." . / c - ~ / . / ' / / . / '
106I< '30,
NE Muarasiberut
., 0913 / ..."
6'- ~ " ' " t " ~ ~ ~ " -~,.%.f~
t3 1 O0 200 300 ................. 400 500kin %'7 /
Fig. 1.5. Coverage, sheet numbers and names of the 1:250 000 Geological Maps published by the
Indonesian Geological Survey, the Geological Research and
Development Centre, Indonesian Ministry of Mines and Energy.
programmes with funding from UK ODA Technical Cooporation
budget. This programme was completed in 1995 with the publication
by GRDC of the last of the forty three Geological Map
Sheets at 1:250000 scale, covering the whole of Sumatra
(Fig. 1.5) and 18 1:250000 scale Bouguer gravity anomaly
maps of southern Sumatra, including Bangka and Billiton
islands, but excluding the coastal swamps and the Barisan
Mountains. The collaborative geochemical survey was completed
in 1994 with the publication by DMR of 14 quadrangle boxed sets
of 1:250 000 single element proportional symbol geochemical

maps (up to 15 elements) with accompanying reports on the

geochemistry, geology and mineral occurrences. Subsequently
the Sumatra geochemical data was made available on CD-ROM
(Version 2 in 1999). In 1995 following a one-year 'Sustainability
Phase' of the SSGMEP a Geochemical Atlas of Southern
Sumatra was issued in digital form on CD-ROM (Machali et al.
1995). Publication in book form followed in 1997, with text in
both Bahasa Indonesia and English (Machali et al. 1997). An
evaluation of tectonic models for the Pre-Tertiary history of
Sumatra based on BGS/DMR/GRDC and University of London
research programmes has been published by Barber & Crow
(2003).With the completion of this major phase of UK
involvement in the study of the geology of the Sumatra, the
time is ripe to review the vast increase in our knowledge of
the geology of Sumatra since van Bemmelen's (1949, 1970)
Chapter 2
Seismology and neotectonics
Sumatra is an active (Andean) continental margin that would be
linked by land to SE Asia if sea level fell by as little as 50 m.
Present-day tectonic processes are controlled by three major
fault systems, the most obvious of which is the subduction thrust
which crops out in the Sunda Trench. The trench curves very
little in the 800 km between Enggano and Nias, i.e. off central
Sumatra (Fig. 2.1), but is markedly convex towards the Indian
Ocean both further north and further south. Water depths of
more than 6000 m are reached in the south but the maximum in
the north may be less than 5000 m. The difference is usually,
and convincingly, attributed to the presence on the Indian Ocean
plate of the Nicobar Fan, consisting of sediments, derived

ultimately from erosion of the Himalayas, which increase steadily

in thickness towards the north (e.g. Hamilton 1979). Continuing
subduction is attested by a Wadati-Benioff Zone (WBZ) that
extends to depths of the order of 200 km (e.g. Newcomb &
McCann 1987) and by volcanic activity in the Barisan mountains,
the peaks of which generally lie within a few tens of kilometres
of the coast. The change, of more than 45 ~ in the trend of the
trench between 96~ and 97~ (the 'Nias Elbow') may have
been initiated by subduction of the 2 km high Investigator Ridge
(Investigator Fracture Zone), which trends approximately northsouth
at about 98~ Sieh & Natawidjaja (2000) defined a
'Central Domain' of mainland Sumatra between the Nias Elbow
and the ridge intersection as anomalous in a number of ways
(notably in the differing trends of the Sumatran Fault and the
volcanic line) and as distinct from more regular Northern and
Southern domains on either side (Fig. 2.1).
Inland, the dextral transcurrent Sumatran Fault runs the entire
length of the island, from Banda Aceh to the Sunda Strait
(Fig. 2.1). A variety of names have been used for both the
overall fault system and parts of it, and new nomenclature
developed by Sieh & Natawidjaja (2000) divided it into 19 individual
segments. Even this detailed study failed to answer many
fundamental questions, and estimates of total lateral displacement
still vary from several hundred kilometres to as little as twenty
kilometres. The 150km suggested by McCarthy & Elders
(1997) seems to be about the mean of the published values. The
fault trace coincides roughly with the watershed of the Barisans
and with the volcanic line, although most of the volcanoes lie
somewhat to the NE of the fault and only nine of the fifty youngest
centres lie within 2 km of it (Sieh & Natawidjaja 2000). A more
precise correlation is with the subduction thrust, since for most

of its length the distance between the Sumatran Fault and the
trench axis differs by no more than 30 km from the average
value of 290 km. The largest deviations are a narrowing within
the bight of the Nias Elbow and a broadening in the region
further to the NW.
The third and most enigmatic of Sumatra's major fault systems
is the Mentawai Fault, at the outer margin of the forearc basin
(Fig. 2.1). In many publications the name is reserved for the
segment extending from the Sunda Strait to Nias (Samuel &
Harbury 1996) or the Batu Islands (Diament et al. 1992), but the
same disturbance zone continues at least as far as the Andaman
Sea (Malod & Kemal 1996) and possibly to the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands. Movement has been variously interpreted as
normal, strike slip or reverse (Sieh & Natawidjaja 2000). There
are considerable changes in appearance on seismic sections
even within the region from Nias southwards; the structure was
described by Sieh & Natawidjaja (2000) as a homocline and by
Karig et al. (1980) as a 'fault-flexure'.
Magnetic anomalies in the Indian Ocean south of Sumatra
trend east-west and were interpreted by Sclater & Fisher (1974)
as indicating Palaeogene ages for most of the crust adjacent to
the trench, with a possibility of Late Cretaceous crust in the
extreme SE. Transforms such as the Investigator Fracture Zone,
which may offset the anomalies by several hundred kilometres,
run almost precisely north-south. With the trend of the trench
varying from N40~ to N60~ and the direction of the Indian
Ocean-Sumatra convergence vector being about N15~ (Fig. 2.1),
Sumatra has long been recognized as a key area for studies of
the partitioning of strain between thrust and transcurrent faults
during oblique convergence (Fitch 1972; McCaffrey 1992, 1996;
Malod & Kemal 1996). The suggestion, originally made by

Fitch (1972), that the oblique motion is to a first approximation

accommodated by orthogonal subduction at the trench and
dextral slip along the Sumatran Fault, is now widely accepted.
To the extent that this is true, the forearc region must be decoupled
from both the Indian Ocean and Eurasia. The commonly used
term 'sliver plate' (e.g. Curray 1989) suggests more strength and
rigidity than could reasonably be expected of such a long and
narrow strip of lithosphere, and any analysis of subduction
beneath Sumatra must take into account the probability of independent
movements of forearc fragments (e.g. McCaffrey 1991).
Estimates of the movements of the Indian Ocean relative
to Sumatra are shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.4. Changes in magnitude
and direction from NW to SE are dictated by the East
African location of the pole of rotation (Larson et al. 1997). If partitioning
of orthogonal and transcurrent strain between, respectively,
the trench and the Sumatran Fault were complete (and
movement occurred only along these features), then sites in the
forearc sliver would move parallel to the Sumatran Fault relative
to SE Asia, but at right angles to the trench relative to the
Indian Ocean. Trench-normal relative motion implies that the
forearc sliver 'tracks' across linear features on the Indian Ocean
Plate, such as the Investigator Fracture Zone, which have northsouth
trends (Fig. 2.1). If the long term movement between the
forearc and the Indian Ocean has actually been approximately
orthogonal, the intersection point of the Investigator Fracture
Zone with the trench, now near the Batu Islands, would have
been north of Nias less than 10 million years ago. The relief, of
more than 2 km, on the Investigator Fracture Zone might not
only impede such tracking but could be responsible for cyclical
uplift and subsidence in the forearc basin and ridge.
Slip partitioning and subduction of Indian Ocean lithosphere

produce high levels of seismicity in the Barisan Mountains, in

the forearc basin and along the forearc ridge (Fig. 2.2). The potential
for extremely destructive earthquakes was most recently
demonstrated by the Magnitude 9 event near Simeulue in December
2004 and by the resulting tsunami, which gave rise to one of
the worst natural disasters in recorded human history. However,
and despite the geological evidence for a long history of subduction
(e.g. Page et al. 1979), shocks deeper than 200 km are rare
(Fig. 2.3). Events below 300 km are confined to the extreme SE
and may be associated with north-directed subduction beneath
Java rather than NE-directed subduction beneath Sumatra. The
abrupt change in orientation of the active margin between these
two islands must produce considerable stress in the downgoing
Northern Domain
Central Domain
Southern Domain
1000 ~ LINE --~l
42-43 Batu
pora N.
Fig. 2.1. Sumatra: the neotectonic setting. The figure has been oriented on the main fault
direction. The India-SE Asia convergence vector changes significantly in both
direction and magnitude over the length of the island, from 52 mm a-1 directed at N10~ (at 2~
95~ to 60 mm a-l directed at N 17~ (at 6~ 102~ Convergence
data (and mainland structural domains) are from Sieh & Natawidjaja (2000). Elongated
rectangles in the forearc region indicate the locations of the zeros on the seismicity
cross-sections in Figure 2.3. The seismic image along Line 42-43 is shown in Figure 2.7. The
white stars mark the epicentres of the Enggano 2000 and Simeulue
2004 Great Earthquakes. Bathymetric contours at 200, 1000, 3000, 5000 and 6000 m are from
GEBCO (1997). Shading indicates sea floor deeper than 6000 m. I.F.Z.,

Investigator Fracture Zone. Onshore topography derived from the Global Relief Data CD-ROM
distributed by the National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colorado.
slab but this is not obvious in the patterns of shallow seismicity
shown in Figure 2.2 and discussed below.
Shallow seismicity
As in most active continental margins, shallow (<60 km depth)
earthquakes in Sumatra are distributed over wide areas of the
upper plate and are not restricted to the WBZ (Fig. 2.2).
Maximum shallow earthquake activity occurs within the sliver
defined by the Sumatran Fault in the east and by the subduction
thrust in the west and at depth, and is most intense along the
line of the forearc ridge. There must be considerable forearc
extension (see McCaffrey 1991 ) if the estimates of large variations
in rates of transcurrent slip (more than 400 km of offset in Aceh
but negligible displacements in the Sunda Strait; Curray et al.
1978) are correct (see also Bellier & Sebrier 1995). Although
there have been relatively few shocks of Magnitude 6 or greater
beneath the mainland, some have occurred, most notably in
the vicinity of the 'equatorial bifurcation' in the Sumatran Fault
identified by Prawirodirdjo et al. (2000).
The insets to Figure 2.2 attempt to show separately the distributions
of events within the uppermost 40 km of the crust and
at depths of between 40 and 60 km. Because of the uncertainties
inherent in determining the depths of shallow earthquakes (see
discussion in Engdahl et al. 1998), there will be events on one
map that should properly have been plotted on the other, but the
overall differences between the plots are likely to be real. The
40-60 km events are concentrated in a narrow zone centred on
the forearc basin and most are probably directly associated with
the subducted oceanic lithosphere, i.e. with the WBZ. There are,
however, some similarities with the patterns of shallower events,

noticeably in the tendency for epicentres to be concentrated in

short linear zones at right angles to the trench, presumably due
to some form of forearc segmentation. The most obvious examples
can be seen around Enggano and western Simeulue, i.e. close to
the sites of the Great Earthquakes (defined as earthquakes with
MW magnitudes greater than about 7.8) in June 2000 and December
2004 respectively. Interestingly, the Simeulue events cluster
along the crest of a basement ridge that defines the northwestern
boundary of a marine and sedimentary basin (Simeulue Basin)
where maximum water depths exceed 1000 m. The trend of the
linear alignments changes slightly north of the Nias Elbow to
partly match the change in orientation of the trench but, surprisingly,
NE-SW alignments of epicentres can be seen east of the
even more dramatic change between Sumatra and Java (Fig. 2.2).
A second feature of the shallow seismicity is the separation
of the shallowest earthquakes (Fig. 2.2; lower inset) into two
divergent zones, one along the forearc ridge (with a bend or
offset where the Investigator Fracture Zone enters the subduction
zone near the Batu islands), the other very approximately along
the west coast of Sumatra. The forearc basin itself is relatively
quiet seismically at these depths. The offset at the Investigator
Fracture Zone is interesting because Newcombe & McCann
(1987) noted that ruptures associated with Great Earthquakes do
not propagate across this region. In 1833 a Magnitude (Mw) 8.7
event faulted the plate margin for about 600 km from Enggano
to the Batu Islands, while the effects of the Mw 8.4 event in
1861 were confined to a 300 km segment between the Batu and
Banyak Islands.
The Wadati-Benioff Zone (WBZ)
In keeping with the continental margin setting, seismicity beneath
Sumatra is more diffuse than beneath a typical intra-oceanic arc.

This is illustrated in Figure 2.3, which shows hypocentre distributions

within three typical swathes, each 200 km wide. In the
extreme NE (Fig. 2.3a) the WBZ forms the lower boundary to a
seismogenic zone that extends up to the surface over a distance
of approximately 300 km from the trench. The greatest concentration
of events is at about I00 km from the trench and at
depths of about 50 km. In the swathe immediately south of the
equator, near the islands of Siberut and Sipora, there is a much
i Hypocentres above 40 km o "
oe L a t e * %* **" - . /Hypocentres 40-60 km
N e,++"
+++4o - 6o km onJy
0,~" o
300 kin - / 0
+I~ COo "' ,
o Oo
Oo o o
~ / o ",
_9 ,%: + 1
. . . . / +o /
40ku, o,,~* ] o '~0s / o

+ +++:+ +~+ I ~ ' ' . +I ~ o ~ /

I 6+ ~ ,e : ~
+ _9 ........ ~ + , + +
+,+ ++++ :++ ++ +++ ++.+:. .. I ... /o"o'|r e, +o o " <~"o obo"(V
++ ?++++++++++++++++++I ++;+++++++++ + ........ io +, . +++ + ' % ~++ +++ ++ '+++ +++
+I. . . . . . . . . o ...... o * ,i
_9 ,'+::~:~+;++++++++:~++I + o .~.~
]++, ;.:,:)+ +i] o
............... + + :i~':+i. i IO0~ 104~ o, oo
Fig. 2.2. Shallow selsmicity of Sumatra. Data downloaded from supplementary
material to Engdahl et al. (1998) using only events occurring between 1980 and
1996. Rectangles show locations of swathes cross-sectioned in Figure 2.3. Thick
lines within the rectangles mark the cross-section zeros. Insets show 0-40 km
and 40-60 km hypocentres separately_9
clearer development of a linear WBZ but the scatter is still considerable
(Fig. 2.3b). Sieh & Natawidjaja (2000), among others,
have claimed that the depth of the WBZ beneath the volcanic
line is considerably greater in this Central Domain (Fig. 2.1)
than to either the NW or the SE, although the maximum depth
of the seismic zone is actually smaller. The effect is not,
however, obvious in Figure 2.3.
The most intensely active part of the WBZ is in the extreme
south, near Enggano, where there are two main event clusters, at
about 40 and 70 km (Fig. 2.3c). The seismogenic zone continues
down to at least 200 km. The two deepest shocks might be
associated with Java subduction but, if associated with Sumatra,
indicate a pronounced steepening of the WBZ between 200 and
300 km.
Toba s e i s m i c i t y

A more comprehensive picture of Sumatra seismicity than is

provided by Figure 2.3 was presented by Hanus et al. (1996),
who plotted hypocentres within 50 km wide, NE-SW swathes
that together covered the whole of the island. Arguably their
most interesting plot was A15, which included the northern part
of the forearc island of Nias and much of the Toba caldera
(Fig. 2.1). The WBZ in this region dips at an angle of a little
more than 30 ~ and the deepest shocks occur between 200 and
250km. There is a small but noticeable gap in seismicity
beneath the volcanic line at depths of about 150 to 180 km and
a corresponding region of shallow seismicity immediately
beneath the volcanoes.
In detail, the picture provided by Hanus et al. (1996) is suspect
because of the reliance on International Seismological Centre
200 100 0 100 200 300
o 0+~+., o+..++ ~ I o ) o qto o+o..~ ~ .
o o og~. o,~ ~ "~ . o : .
o %~~ : o
o o o 1 O0
T R o o F ~ I l~ 1200
o . . .e o ' ~ . . ~, . . : o : : - i I I o 6
. . . . . . ~ - :,~ o o,~, o :
" . - $ 0 0 .: ~ a)
_9 _9 _9 o
200 100 0 100 200 300
o oGo o o o

o ~ " e~
: : . . . . o,, o ~o, ~ o
~g0 T 100 RO 100 F200 30g
o o bo 0
oo : o 0 o
~ o _9 oi~o.Oo < l l . _ , , . . o :
' + . . . . . . : : .o~ <'*"~lRm~-T~..,, ~
: :, .... i ~ +,~,.~ .
. ,~o ~++~_~l[llm~ o . . . . Ioo
. . . . :~ : " : A~o1 7<6>17~6 1.7.6. . .o .
South c) .:~ 300
Magnitudes 3 _9 4 o 5 o
Fig. 2.3. Cross-sections of seismicity, Sumatra subduction zone 1980 to 1996.
Each cross-section is based on a swathe drawn at right angles to arc. Each swathe
is 300 km across, except for the Simeulue swathe (inset, profile 2.3a), which is
only 100 km across. T, R and F in each case indicate the locations of,
respectively, the trench, the crest of the forearc ridge and the Sumatran Fault.
Locations of cross-section zeros are shown in Figure 2.1 and the swathe areas are
shown in Figure 2.2. For profiles 2.3b and 2.3c these zeros coincide with the crest
of the forearc ridge, but for 2.3a, where the ridge is poorly defined, the zero is in
the centre of the forearc basin. The star on the Simeulue swathe indicates the
location of hypocentre of the December 2004 event, after NEIC (2005). All other

data were downloaded from supplementary material to Engdahl et al. (1998).

Distances in kilometres, no vertical exaggeration.
(ISC, Thatcham, UK) hypocentre locations. These, being
derived from interpretations of teleseismic data based on global
velocity models, are inevitably of fairly low accuracy. The significance
of this limitation has been demonstrated by Fauzi et al.
(1996), who used additional data from a newly established (but
now permanent) network of short-period digital seismometers to
study earthquakes in the vicinity of Toba. The primary aim of
the work reported, which covered the period from October 1990
to April 1993, was to investigate a hypothesized break in the
downgoing slab due to subduction of the Investigator Fracture
Zone. Seismic activity was found to be unusually high in the
appropriate area but no discontinuity was detected and a limit
of 20 km was placed on the magnitude of any possible displacement.
There was more success with a subsidiary objective of
defining the shape of the WBZ as it followed the bend in the
offshore trench between Nias and Simeulue. In contrast to both
the ISC and Engdahl et al. (1998) data, hypocentres derived
from the local study and plotted for narrow cross-strike swathes
I Indian ~
: [Ocean/
SE Asia
52 mm/yr

0 300 km
k, pNgtra ih~ '~f~ S~
N ~l'~gal
Convergence velocity scale .... X
50mm/yr % ~ [! ~
Contours on the WBZ
in the Toba region, after %.
F. auz.i et a.l., 19.96 . * !~ I n d i a n .
June 2000 Enggano earthquake ~ Ocean/ I
Main ~ Aftershocks~ ~~ " conveSrEgAensciae [ /
shocks ~ k.' ~ vector I
December 2004 Simeulue & "~ 58 mm/ v r / 7.. ..
March 2005 Nias ,IL /
earthquakes Main shocks ~ ~
i _9
........ ............................. 6"S
Fig. 2.4. Movements of sites in Sumatra as determined
by GPS observations during the period 1989-1993
(Prawirodirdjo et al. 1997). Vectors show rates of
movement relative to a stable SE Asia. They imply stress
accumulation in parts of the forearc region, some
of which would have been released by the June
2000 earthquake near Enggano, the December
2004 earthquake near Simeulue and the March 2005

earthquake near Nias. The locations and mechanisms of

these earthquakes are indicated by the centres of the
lower hemisphere projection 'beachballs', from
Abercrombie et al. (2003) for Enggano and from NEIC
(2005) for Simeulue and Nias. Locations of aftershocks
of the Enggano earthquake for which fault-plane
solutions were calculated by Abercrombie et al. (2003)
are also shown. Major aftershocks to the Simeulue
earthquake occurred almost entirely NW of the limits of
the map. MS, Muara Siberut. S, Sinabang, PB, Pulau
Babi. The pecked grey lines show the locations of
barriers to propagation of ruptures from Great
Earthquakes inferred by Newcomb & McCann (1987).
were found to be tightly concentrated in very narrow zones that
changed in dip scarcely at all around the bend (Fig. 2.4). Estimated
depths also tended to be smaller than those based only on
teleseismic data, especially beneath the forearc basin.
A more recent seismological study of the Toba area used a temporary
network comprising 30 short-period and 10 broad-band
seismographs deployed for four months in the first half of 1995
(Masturyono et al. 2001). Tomographic methods were used
to define velocity variations beneath the caldera. The results
support the hypothesized existence of two distinct eruptive
centres, one in the south-central part of the lake and the other at
its northern end, which erupted at different times (Knight et al.
1986). Low velocity zones underlying these two centres and
extending down into the mantle are separated by a region with a
more typical crustal velocity structure.
Relative horizontal movements
The information on present-day tectonic processes in Sumatra provided
by seismology is now being supplemented by geodetic data

from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. Repeated

measurements at fixed pillars provide an essential complement
to earthquake studies, which record only episodic, although sometimes
very large, displacements. During seismically quiet periods,
GPS measurements monitor aseismic creep and can indicate
regions in which stress is increasing and may be released catastrophically
at some time in the future. Because of the short time
intervals over which observations are made (typically 3 to 5
years), GPS measurements must always be considered in the
context provided by estimates of long term relative plate motions.
Most of the GPS site markers in Sumatra were established by
BAKOSURTANAL, the Indonesian mapping and geodetic survey
authority, working in collaboration with various US institutes, and
most are located between 2~ and 2~ (Prawirodirdjo et al. 1997;
Genrich et al. 2000). Additional measurements were made at sites
near Bengkulu and Medan and on Nias and Billiton in the course
of the GEODYSSEA study, which covered the whole of SE Asia.
The GEODYSSEA results defined a 'Sunda' Block that includes
Borneo, the Malay Peninsula and Indochina and moves east relative
to Eurasia at 7-10 mm a -1 (Chamot-Rooke & Le Pichon
1999; Michel et al. 2001). Billiton Island and Medan are clearly
within this block, as is much of Sumatra east of the Sumatran
Fault, but motions near and to the west of the fault are much
more complex. The main BAKOSURTANAL campaign (sites
shown in Fig. 2.4) began in 1989. Detailed analyses of the data
obtained to 1996 in the Central Domain (Fig. 2.1) have been provided
by McCaffrey et al. (2000) and by Genrich et al. (2000). To
supplement these analyses, Prawirodirdjo et al. (2000) also considered
the results of conventional triangulation surveys extending
over a period of 100 years in the same area. These generally confirmed
the GPS estimates of 20-30 mm a-1 of dextral movement


on this portion of the Sumatran Fault, but revealed very considerable
differences in detail in both movement magnitudes and
Figure 2.4 shows the site motions relative to SE Asia as
interpreted by Prawirodirdjo et al. (1997) and (also relative to
SE Asia) the averaged long term Indian Ocean movement
vectors (Demets et al. 1990). Strain partitioning was evidently
only partially achieved, at least over the short time interval
involved, nor were movements confined to the main fault
systems. Sites east of the Sumatran Fault but within 50 km of it
were not stationary with respect to SE Asia but recorded small
but significant displacements to the north and NW. Similar patterns
near other major strike-slip features have been interpreted
as recording stress accumulations in wide regions of deformed
rock that are ultimately released by faulting (e.g. Armijo et al.
Sites in the forearc experienced much larger trench-parallel
displacements, but McCaffrey et al. (2000) argued that only
about two-thirds of the necessary slip was accounted for and
that most of the remainder must have been accommodated oceanward
of the crest of the forearc ridge. However, the situation
varied considerably from place to place. On forearc islands in
the Central Domain (between the Batu and Banyak Islands) the
trench-normal components were small, suggesting strong partitioning
of convergent and transcurrent movements, but it seems
that the forearc was largely coupled to the downgoing slab everywhere
to the south of the Batu Islands. The boundary between
the two regimes occurs in the region where the Investigator
Fracture Zone enters the trench. Prawirodirdjo et al. (1997) tentatively
interpreted the northwestwards decrease in coupling as a

consequence of the subduction of thick, water-rich sediments of

the Nicobar Fan, resulting in high pore pressures in the forearc
wedge and weakening of the upper plate by the introduction of
hydrothermal fluids. The change in coupling would thus be due
to the barrier to sediment flow from the NW presented by the
Investigator Fracture Zone, rather than directly to its presence as
an asperity on the lower plate. However, the magnitude of the
December 2004 Simeulue earthquake suggests a 'sticky', rather
than well-lubricated, fault zone.
The combination of gradual change in the orientation of the
Indian Ocean/SE Asia convergence vector and the change in
trench orientation at the Nias Elbow implies almost orthogonal
convergence across the trench in the vicinity of Simeulue
and the Banyak Islands. The Sumatran Fault, however, changes
direction much less noticeably, and the differences in curvature
of structures on the mainland and along the forearc ridge
produce a widening and deepening of the forearc basin NW of
Simeulue. Rather surprisingly, the GPS motions of the two sites
in the Banyak Islands were almost perfectly parallel to the trend
of the Sumatran Fault, and so to the trench further south. The
lack of GPS sites on Simeulue means that short-term neotectonic
patterns in this critical area remain, for the moment, undefined.
The data from GPS measurements and triangulation surveys
can be compared with long-term slip estimates based on geologic
and topographic offsets at the Sumatran Fault. Slip rates estimated
from stream offsets on SPOT imagery vary from
10 mm a -1 at the Sunda Strait to 23 mm a -1 near Lake Toba
(Bellier & Sebrier 1995). Much of this change occurs in the
Central Domain, where the rates estimated by Sieh & Natawidjaja
(2000) using geological offsets increase from 11 mm a i in
the SE to 27 mm a-1 in the NW. Slip rates estimated from GPS

observations vary much less, increasing by only 4 mm a -1, from

23 mm a-1 to 27 mm a-1, over the same distance (Genrich et al.
2000). Sieh & Natawidjaja (2000) suggested that the geologically
indicated changes in slip rates along the fault must have
developed only during the last 100 ka, because of the absence
of compressional accommodation structures, but left the geologicalGPS discrepancy unexplained. They also suggested
that the total slip on the Sumatran Fault might be little more
than the 20 km of the maximum verifiable geological offset,
and that the remainder of the roughly 100 km offset required
by stretching in the Sunda Strait might have been accommoTrench-orthogonal motion Trench-parallel motion
Fig. 2.5. GPS vectors and the Great Earthquake of June
2000. The upper diagram shows overall movement
vectors relative to SE Asia and their trench-parallel and
trench-orthogonal resolved components. The lower
diagrams compare these components individually.
Vector 1 is the regional convergence vector, after
Demets et al. (1990). The remaining vectors are GPS
vectors from the 1991-1993 campaign at sites at the
bases of the arrows, after Prawirodirdjo et al. (1997).
'Beachballs' show the locations of the two subevents
proposed by Abercrombie et al. (2002) for the June 2000
dated by slip on the Mentawai Fault. Their proposed deformation
history (which they emphasized was only one of a multitude
of possibilities) involved arc-parallel stretching during the
Pleistocene but provided no role for the segment of the Mentawai
Fault north of the Nias Elbow.

GPS data, the Enggano and Simeulue earthquakes and the

Mentawai Fault
During the period covered by published GPS measurements,
the southern forearc islands (Siberut to Enggano) were moving
NW relative to Sumatra at roughly the same rate as the underlying
Indian Ocean Plate (Fig. 2.4). Enggano, in particular, participated
in virtually all of the motion of the Indian Ocean during the period
of observation, which unfortunately in this particular case
extended only from 1991 to 1993 (Fig. 2.5). Much smaller relative
motions were recorded at two sites on the adjacent coast of the
mainland and therefore only a small part of the trench-parallel
motion required accommodation further inland, in the vicinity
of the Sumatran Fault. More than half the trench-parallel motion
and an even greater proportion of the trench-normal motion
must have been absorbed between Enggano and the coast, either
at one or more discrete faults or by distributed strain over the
width of the forearc basin.
Seismic reflection sections from many parts of the basin
favour localized faulting in the forearc basin, since deformation
of Late Neogene sediments is generally confined to the narrow
zone close to the eastern coasts of the forearc islands which was
named the Mentawai Fault by Diament et al. (1992). However,
the now numerous published images of this feature obtained on
crossings reported by Karig et al. (1980), Diament et al. (1992)
(Fig. 2.6a), Malod & Kemal (1996) and Schlfiter et al. (2002)
(Fig. 2.6b) and the excellent multichannel imagery obtained
by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) south of
Nias (Fig. 2.7), indicate a very complex and variable structure.
Considerable uncertainties remain as to its true nature. On some
seismic sections (e.g. Diament et al. 1992) it appears to be a
simple faulted anticline, while in other areas the zone of weakness

has been exploited by shale diapirs which conceal fundamental

structures (Milsom et al. 1995). The extreme linearity has been
used as an argument for a fundamentally transcurrent role
(Sieh & Natawidjaja 2000) but subsidence of the forearc basin
and elevation of the forearc ridge imply either normal or thrust
components. Where it emerges on land, in southeastern Nias, the
fault was interpreted by Samuel & Harbury (1996) as an originally
extensional fault that has suffered Pliocene to Recent subductionrelated
inversion. Significant transcurrent movement was regarded
as improbable. Interestingly, however, seismic section presented
by Schltiter et al. (2002) (Fig. 2.6b) shows the disturbance
as having moved away from the landward side of the forearc
ridge (which is itself fragmented in this region; see Fig. 3.1) to a
/'~ ~ ~ ~ " r (a)
l" i . . . . . . . . _9 2.5
Seismic sections from Diament et al. (1992) "~
Fig. 2.6. (a) Interpreted single-channel seismic reflection
sections across the Mentawai Fault in the southern part of
the Sumatra forearc basin (after Diament et al. 1992). Line
locations as shown. (b) Multi-channel seismic reflection
section across the Mentawai Fault south of Enggano, after
Schltiter et al. (2002). Location shown on (a). The greater
penetration achieved on the more recent survey suggests a
transcurrent origin for the feature which, in the nearby
southernmost single-channel section, appears to be a
simple faulted anticline.
Fig. 2.7. SIO Line 42-43, showing the Mentawai Fault
immediately south of Nias. Section provided by Scripps
Institution of Oceanography.

position within the forearc basin. This fact, and the image itself,
are more compatible with transcurrent than vertical motion.
Indeed, Schltiter et al. (2002) suggested that the transcurrent
function of the Sumatran Fault might be in the process of
shifting to the Mentawai Fault. This is an attractive hypothesis
but difficult to reconcile with the suggestion by Sieh &
Natawidjaja (2000) that the total offset on the Sumatran Fault is
rather small, despite the abundant evidence (including occasional
large earthquakes; Untung et al. 1985) for recent and continuing
offsets along it.
A further complication is introduced by a possible relationship
between the Mentawai Fault and the Batee Fault. The latter is a
dextral splay from the Sumatran Fault that trends offshore
near the Banyak Islands and was interpreted by Karig et al.
(1980) as displacing or terminating the Mentawai Fault near
Nias (Fig. 2.1). The Mentawai Fault is often shown as either
ending near Nias (e.g. Diament et al. 1992) or merging with the
Batee Fault, but a very strong gravity gradient indicates a major
structural discontinuity between the two westernmost islands in
the Banyak group (see Fig. 3.5). This is roughly the position
where a Mentawai Fault continuation would be expected if
the Batee Fault were not present. Moreover, the existence of
Mentawai-type structures still further north has been confirmed
by Izart et al. (1994) and by Malod & Kemal (1996) using
single-channel reflection data.
Additional insights into the role of the Mentawai Fault in
the Enggano area were provided in June 2000 by an Mw 7.9 earthquake
followed by a train of strong aftershocks (Fig. 2.5). P and S
wave studies of the primary event suggested that this comprised
two subevents, involving strike-slip within the Indian Ocean
Plate followed by thrust motion on the subduction fault

(Abercrombie et al. 2003). The events were too deep, and in the
wrong plate, to be due to failure on the Mentawai Fault, but
they do provide important data on its relationship to the transition
between the accretionary wedge and the continental margin.
Matson & Moore (1992) suggested that this transition occurs
near the east coast of Nias in the Central Domain and that the
subduction fault originally reached the surface in this area. Its
subsequent migration oceanwards was interpreted as a consequence
of the development of the accretionary wedge that now
forms the forearc ridge. This is consistent with the Malod &
Kemal (1996) interpretation of the Mentawai Fault along its
entire length as marking the transition between the wedge and
a rigid backstop of pre-existing basement. On this hypothesis,
the linearity of the fault is a consequence of the linearity of the
original subduction trace, which would, in turn, have been controlled
by the linearity of the former passive margin.
The significance of the Enggano composite earthquake to the
backstop concept is that the GPS results shown in Figure 2.5 indicate
that in this area, and possibly only for short periods, the accretionary
wedge moves with the subducting plate and must therefore
compress against the backstop, resulting in folding and reverse
faulting. Potential energy stored in this folded and faulted zone
can be released in large earthquakes in which the wedge moves
oceanwards and deformation near the backstop is reversed. Presumably
such reversals are only partial, so that deformation gradually
increases. At no point in this stick-slip cycle would large
earthquakes necessarily occur within the wedge, because accreted
material is usually too weak to sustain large local stress. Large
earthquakes will therefore be associated principally with the
unsticking of the wedge from the backstop or from the downgoing
slab along the main subduction thrust and with relative lateral

movement between locked and unlocked segments of

the forearc. Events of both types appear to have occurred in
June 2000, with the movement between segments of the Indian
Ocean plate increasing the stress and triggering failure along
the subduction thrust (Abercrombie et al. 2003).
The results of future GPS measurements in the Enggano-Bengkulu
area (there have, unfortunately, been no measurements on
Enggano since the earthquake) are thus likely to be very different
from those obtained between 1991 and 1993. Amongst other
things, they can be expected to provide insights into the highly
controversial question of the extent to which trench-parallel
motion is accommodated by the Mentawai Fault. It seems probable
that the new vectors will resemble the vectors shown in
Figure 2.4 for the islands north of Siberut, i.e. they will show
almost entirely trench-parallel motion, implying a primarily transcurrent
long-term function. The characteristics of both the main
earthquake and the extensive aftershock sequence suggest that
effects of the Enggano Great Earthquake are unlikely to be seen
in the forearc north of Bengkulu (Abercrombie et al. 2003), and
in fact no such effects have been observed in post-earthquake
GPS studies in the Central Domain (Bock et al. 2003). If this is
the case, then dangerous levels of stress must be accumulating
in the region from South Pagai to Siberut.
The June 2000 Enggano earthquake was completely overshadowed
by the December 2004 Simeulue event, information on
which was posted on the National Earthquake Information
Center website within a few days (NEIC 2005). The suggested
maximum displacement was 15 m, in a region where convergence
is more nearly orthogonal to the trench than it is further south (see
Figs 2.1 and 2.4). Bizarrely, in view of this latter fact, the results

from the only GPS site NW of the change of strike, on Pulau Babi
(PB on Fig. 2.4), suggest that during the 1989-1993 period the
forearc moved slightly further in a direction parallel to the
trench than did the Indian Ocean, the supposed driver of the
forearc motion. It also seems that about half of the Indian Ocean
trench-normal motion was accommodated between Pulau Babi
and Sumatra, which is less than at Enggano, but much more
than predicted by simple sliver-plate models. The motion of
Simeulue, a few tens of kilometres to the NW, might, of course,
have been different but there is no bathymetric or other evidence
for the placement by NEIC (2005) of an extensional (or any other)
boundary to a 'Burma Plate' immediately east of Pulau Babi.
Fault-plane solutions for the Simeulue earthquake are consistent
with either SW-directed thrusting dipping at about 10 ~ to the
NE or NE-directed reverse faulting dipping at about 80 ~ (NEIC
2005). The first of these is much the more likely, but thrusting
on a surface so nearly horizontal, when the Benioff Zone dips at
about 30 ~ in the vicinity of the hypocentre, raises some questions.
The Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor solution, however, places
the centroid west of the forearc ridge and beneath the eastern
wall of the trench (at 3.09~ 94.26~ cf. the NEIC epicentre at
3.30~ 95.96E~ Since, subject to errors introduced by faulty velocity
models, hypocentres correspond to points of rupture intiation
whereas centroids represent weighted average locations of
moment release (Meredith Nettles pers. comm. 2005), the results
can be interpreted as describing an event initiated in the vicinity
of the Mentawai Fault and propagating oceanwards and also
NW along the forearc. The complexity of stress patterns in the epicentral
area is indicated by the multiplicity of previous smaller
shocks, some of which had strike-slip solutions and others solutions
similar to that of the December 2004 event (see

Newcomb & McCann 1987, Fig. 2). The fact that the region
around the Mentawai Fault appears to respond to stress in different
ways at different places and at different times is consistent with the
fault itself being the expression of a fundamental geological discontinuity
rather than a simple break through an essentially homogeneous
rock mass.
The Simeulue event also spectacularly confirmed the extreme
segmentation of the forearc. Aftershocks occurred along 1200
km of the arc, from the site of the main shock as far as the northern
tip of the Andamans, but there was virtually no activity to the SE
(NEIC 2005). The bathymetric high northwest of Simeulue where
the epicentre was located may therefore be the surface expression
of a discontinuity similar to those associated with the Banyak and
Batu highs further south. The extents of Great Earthquake ruptures
are strongly correlated with the extents of deep marine basins
between Sumatra and the forearc ridge and, given that the NW
limit of the rupture zone of the 1861 event was not at Simeulue
but at the Banyak Islands (Newcomb & McCann 1987), it seems
possible that stress is still building up in a 'Simeulue Basin'
segment, to be catastrophically released at some time in the not
too distant future.
Vertical movements
It is more difficult to monitor vertical movements with GPS than
horizontal movements, both because of the generally smaller
displacements and because the accuracy is inherently lower.
At present, more reliable estimates of rates of vertical motion
are being obtained by observing short-term changes in relative
sea level. Natawidjaja et al. (2000) studied the submergence and
emergence of corals and deduced a pattern of progressive
landward tilting of the forearc ridge, with uplift within about
115 km of the trench axis and subsidence at all greater distances.

Instantaneous vertical movements of tens of centimetres associated

with large earthquakes were superimposed on this pattern.
Individual islands in the northern part of the forearc often record
similar tilting. Islets shown on Dutch colonial maps as protecting
Sinabang harbour, at the eastern end of the north coast of Simeulue
(S in Fig. 2.4), are now permanently submerged, and palm trees
are dying along much of the coast as salt water invades the soil
around their roots. Muara Siberut, the main town on Siberut
(MS on Fig. 2.4), is regularly flooded at high tide and some
nearby offshore 'islands' consist entirely of mangroves with
their roots submerged even at low tide.
On Nias the situation is more complicated, since the west coast
can be divided into two very different sectors. In the north the
coastal region is flat and swampy and the beach is broad and
gently sloping, but in the south there are cliffs 50-100 m high
and the sea floor shelves steeply. This section of the coastline is
concave seawards and appears to be a scarp created by failure of
an unstable slope (see Fig. 2.1). The relatively low gravity field
along the coast and offshore (see Fig. 3.5) suggests loss of mass
from this region and also supports the concept of failure of a
slope that has been uplifted to unsustainable elevations. On
the opposite (eastern) side of the island, rivers have been incised
in narrow valleys to depths of 5-10 m within a broad coastal
plain east of the Mentawai Fault, suggesting recent and rapid
uplift, but further north there is evidence of both uplift and
The uplift of the coastal plain on Nias could have been associated
with great earthquakes. Zachariasen et al. (1999) interpreted
the results of a detailed study of coral heads exposed around
the Mentawai Islands of Sipora and North and South Pagai,
south of Siberut, as recording aseismic subsidence followed by

co-seismic uplift related to the great earthquake of 1833. In this

area, and in contrast to areas further north, both aseismic and
co-seismic movements appear to have involved tilting towards
the trench. Deducing long-term regional displacement patterns
from measurements of movements over a few years, or even
over tens of years, is clearly never going to be a simple exercise.
Note added in proof
The earthquake activity in the central Sumatra forearc between 26
December 2004 and the end of April 2005 is summarized in Figure
2.8. The first four plots show how the seismicity associated with
the 26 December event gradually died away during the succeeding
three months. It is clear that even as late as March 2005, the
majority of events were part of the aftershock sequence.
However, on 28 March 2005 there was a further Great Earthquake,
with an epicentre just west of the Banyak Islands and an estimated
magnitude of 8.6. The distribution of aftershocks to this event indicated
that rupture extended throughout the whole of the region
between the Banyaks and the December 26 epicentre. It was, in
fact, being quite widely predicted in the first few months of
2005 that this would be where the next break would occur.
However, and unexpectedly, the zone of aftershocks also extended
south as far as the Batu Islands (Fig. 2.8e). It seems therefore that
not only had the last remaining segment that had no historic record
of Great Earthquakes failed, but that the segment that ruptured in
1861 moved with it.
Fault plane solutions by both the NEIC and the Harvard group
indicated a shallow thrust, at an even smaller angle of dip than
had been the case the previous December. Once again, movement
seems to have been initiated close to where the Mentawai Fault
(assumed to be near vertical) would reach the subduction fault at
depth, and once again there was a significant displacement

between the calculated positions of the epicentre and the centroid.

In this case, however, the centroid lay south rather than west of the
6 ~ ~ ~lc ~ : December 26 - Decemb'er 31, 2004 I
oO~O- o o-,\ ,o~ %., ~ ...... ~I
,o. F2"
(~) .....
o -w=. \ I
0o : : ; : ..................................................... ............ .....
. . . . ~ o "-, a,,,i,,,,~., 20osl
. o \ , ........... ...............
o o% ~ ...............~ ............... .........\. \ ............. : February, 2005
0 ................... ~ ...............-..~. , . ,
. . . . . ., . ~' . . . . . . ..................... .................. ........... ...............+ .. ................~ . 3
~ ~ ~ March ! - March 27. 2005
o .~ ,.~ o
. . . . . . . . . . O ~ . . . . . . . . . . . R .................?.. ...... ~ ,'4"N
' " "l
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . f ...................."... ...2.
.C. ). . . . ~. . . . . ~ .............A. pr i l 10 - April;30, 2005
2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , ........................~., ....; ..........;.. : ........ io~
' ' . . . . o'o .............................2.~.. ..
I ~) ~ ~ .....~. .............,..,..~... ,~ ~: ,
Fig. 2.8. Central Sumatra seismicity,
December 26 2004 to April 30 2005.
Epicentres plotted from catalogues available
on the Internet from http://

www.ngdc.noaa.gov. Note that the periods

covered (shown in the top fight hand corner
of each diagram) are not of uniform length,
being dictated in part by the dates of
initiation of significant earthquake swarms.
The circles corresponding to the NEIC
epicentres of the two Great Earthquakes (in
plots a and e) are shaded and the locations of
the centroids of their Harvard CMT
solutions are indicated by fault-plane
solution 'beachballs'.
epicentre, and was still a considerable distance from the trench.
Also, and as might have been expected in view of the smaller magnitude
of the shock, and hence the probable smaller width of the
slip zone, the displacement between centroid and hypocentre
was considerably less than in December. The greater distance of
the centroid from the trench, together with the smaller magnitude,
may be sufficient explanation for the much smaller associated
tsunami, which was only about 3 metres high on exposed coasts
of Nias and Simeulue and decreased rapidly in amplitude at
more remote locations. It is also possible that submarine slides,
which may have contributed to the destructive power the December
wave, did not occur in March because of the absence of any
remaining potentially unstable slopes. The aftershock sequence
(Figures 2.8e and f) was notable for being much more tightly constrained
to the region immediately beneath the forearc ridge than
had been the case following the December event.
A new train of events began still further south and just seaward
of Muara Siberut in the following weeks. There were a few relatively
weak shocks in this area in the period immediately after
March 28 (Figure 28e), but the first major event (Mw=6.7) took

place on April 10, and was followed three quarters of an hour

later by another strong (Mw=6.5) shock. Once again, the Mentawai
Fault appears to have controlled the location at which
failure was initiated. Both events were compressional but, in contrast
to the two Great Earthquakes, the slip planes were much
steeper (from 30 ~ to 60~ There followed numerous weaker
events in the same area but, again in contrast to the pattern associated
with the Great Earthquakes, there was no significant rupture
propagation (Fig. 28f). It is to be hoped that the earthquakes in
this isolated cluster will prove to be the last major events in the
current phase of southward-propagating unzipping of subduction
west of Sumatra.
Chapter 3
The gravity field
Data sources
The gravity field of Sumatra and the surrounding marine areas is
shown in Figure 3.1. Contours in the onshore area of Bouguer
gravity, but offshore are of free-air gravity. Terrain corrections
have not been applied. Although marine gravity measurements
have been made in the forearc basin and elsewhere on a number
of research cruises (e.g. Kieckhefer et al. 1981), the data from
these generally widely spaced lines have not been used in preparing
the maps because free-air gravity values obtained from
inversion of satellite radar altimetry provide more systematic
coverage and can resolve anomalies with widths of as little as
7 km (Sandwell & Smith 1997). The onshore and satellitederived
offshore data were matched at coastlines without undue
difficulty, as should be the case because both free-air and
Bouguer corrections are zero at sea level. However, gradients
tend to be steep at the coasts in the forearc region, partly

because of the change from free-air gravity, which is strongly

correlated with local bathymetry, to Bouguer gravity, which is corrected
for local topography.
Figure 3.2 shows the locations of the onshore stations used in
preparing Figure 3.1, but not of the offshore estimates, distributed
on a regular 2 minute grid. Onshore data were obtained from a
variety of sources, but unfortunately the results of the many
detailed gravity surveys carried out by oil companies remain
confidential. The largest single available data set was assembled
as part of the collaboration between the British Geological
Survey (BGS) and the Geological Research and Development
Centre (GRDC) during the period 1988-1995. Almost all of
Sumatra south of the equator was covered at a reconnaissance
level, although there are significant gaps in a few areas where
access would have been especially difficult. In addition to the
Sumatra mainland, measurements were made on Bangka and
Billiton islands in the northeast and the Mentawai islands in the
west (Fig. 3.2). GRDC have published numerous Bouguer
maps at 1:250 000 scale showing contours, generally at 2 mGal
intervals, and station locations. There are also two summary
maps at 1 000 000 scale (Padang and Palembang sheets), contoured
at 5 mGal intervals and without station positions. Terrain
corrections, of up to 12 mGal, were applied in preparing the
summary maps but were not used for any of the 1:250 000 detailed
maps. The two versions of Bouguer gravity are therefore slightly
different in the mountainous areas close to the Sumatran Fault
but gradients in these areas are in any case steep, and overall
patterns are very similar.
Coverage north of the equator, principally by GRDC and
LEMIGAS (the Indonesian Petroleum Research Institute), is less
complete than in the south but is progressing rapidly. Moreover,

Japanese universities working between 1977 and 1979 obtained

data along many of the more important roads in the Lake Toba
area (Fig. 3.2). In the northern forearc LEMIGAS collaborated
with the University of London in surveys of all of the major
islands (Milsom et al. 1991). Stations were mainly along the
coasts, except on Nias. LEMIGAS/UofL stations on Siberut
were restricted to the southeastern corner, but the island was
subsequently covered at a reconnaissance level by GRDC.
In 1991 and 1992, stations were established along major roads
throughout Sumatra by BAKOSURTANAL, the Indonesian
geodetic survey authority. A map showing the locations of the
BAKOSURTANAL stations and Bouguer gravity contours after
the application of a severe high-cut filter has been circulated
on a very limited basis, but these stations are not included in
Figure 3.2. An unfiltered but very small scale version of the
BAKOSURTANAL Bouguer map was published by Kadir et al.
(1996), and the data may also have been used by GRDC in preparing
the 1:10000000 Bouguer anomaly map of Indonesia
(Sobari et at. 1993). BAKOSURTANAL Bouguer values around
the Toba caldera are generally 10-20mGal higher than those
reported by the Japanese groups, a difference probably due to
the lack of terrain corrections in the Japanese work.
The onshore contours in Figure 3.1 are based on actual point
gravity data where available, supplemented where necessary by
values estimated at known BAKOSURTANAL station positions
using the contours of Kadir et al. (1996). Accuracy is inevitably
low where this has been done, and even so some significant gaps
remain. The problem of making full use of good regional coverage
where this exists and at the same time displaying in an acceptable
way the results of interpolation across larger gaps has been
addressed by overlaying the map based on a relatively fine

(0.1 ~ grid, which is blank in areas of inadequate coverage, on a

map produced using a much coarser grid and a greater degree of
interpolation. This is obviously unsatisfactory as a quantitative
method, but Figure 3.1 is intended to be used only qualitatively
and the general patterns can be considered sufficiently well established
to support regional interpretation. It is just possible on
Figure 3.1 to identify discontinuities in the colour patterns at the
edges of areas where the coarse grid has been used.
Extending Figure 3.1 to include Billiton has brought western
Java within the boundaries of the map. The data used were
obtained in 1970 by the BGS, working in conjunction with the
Geological Survey of Indonesia. The results of recent more
detailed work on Java by GRDC are not shown but are generally
compatible with the BGS survey.
Regional gravity patterns
The most prominent features in Figure 3.1 are offshore. Gravity
highs with north-south or NNE-SSW trends are associated
with fracture zones and seamount chains on the Indian Ocean
Plate and these control the positions of individual culminations
on the broad flexural high at the outer margin of the Sumatra
Trench. Two deep NW-SE-trending free-air lows, associated
respectively with the trench and the forearc basin, intervene
between this oceanic domain and the Sumatran mainland and
are separated from each other by a high along the forearc ridge.
The low over the trench exists because the mass deficit of the
water column is not in local isostatic equilibrium but is balanced
elastically by the offset mass of the subducting slab.
Although the available gravity coverage is much less complete
north of the equator than in the south, there can be no doubting
the existence of fundamental differences between SE and NW
Sumatra. In the south the Barisan mountains are associated with

a narrow, discontinuous and rather weak Bouguer low that,

where it exists, coincides quite precisely with the axis of the
mountain range, but in the north the low deepens and expands to
Fig. 3.1. The gravity field of Sumatra and the surrounding seas, based on data from sources
discussed in the text. Contours are of free-air gravity offshore and Bouguer
gravity onshore. The Bouguer reduction density is 2.67 Mg m -3. Faint white contours are
bathymetry, at 200 m and at intervals of 500 m thereafter, from the GEBCO digital
atlas prepared by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. The continuous black line running the
length of Sumatra marks the approximate surface trace of the Sumatran Fault.
The yellow line crossing the forearc basin near the equator marks the location of the interpreted
profile of Figure 3.6. The black outlines enclosing the letters 'O' and 'B'
indicate the locations of the gravity surveys of the Ombilin and Bengkulu basins shown in
Figures 3.3 and 3.4 respectively. The letter B also indicates the approximate
position of the town of Bengkulu. TS and T indicate, respectively, Lake Toba (including Samosir
Island) and Lake Tawar. The letters 'IFZ' at about 97 ~ 30'E mark the central
trough of the Investigator Fracture Zone. The inset shows the GEM-T3 long wavelength gravity
field in the Sumatra region (see Lerch et al. 1994).
6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . , ' ' o ~ I o -,
E .ELF :t 102 SOUT. SE , 108 E
-N(. {'~.,, _~ &7. ")~>o ? " ~ i i
" Lake . ~ ....................................................
{ "v.-<o "\ ~ . l ~. Natuna ,-~e i
SIN,;KEL . \ .~,. . ' i
Nias'~ ~ .~.'V >'%..t>~" ;'. ',. " "
Plnl :...;. . .
l l , . ~ t , , le~"Xl, ~ ~ ] "2%.~.~, :*. ':g"" :~*'~'e/~, ) \K, ~!
4-. "~ ~<'t.:.:" : "',, ~"(!"~. " o"
_9 "~ . ~,. ".'~{':..: ~:"" "'~,-ff Ban , k a

,v,,~ ~ .... .22 "~ t ~ "-'-, : "':-:- . _9

.~-:. \\ % "'..' "-:'. -rV77~ ;-~ g ~2 ~ ' ~
~" ~":'".,::"': i ":f,. ''.~. " ..:'7"~. 0
~ 3 ~ \ ~ , , ~ :: . . . . . " ~ ' . " t . , . . . . .".c.'.; > ~~a4 ,'~.~< ."". ' ~/ S~H ELF
.~\~.Y )I6"K~ :: t : l l l a m a l l c s ~1~ ~ - " :': ,%~:':',."v-J
{ " .:." ,'~.1 : s
-t% tA>4-_~ ) )} ~"'~"-5 ~,t*~z-x~x - ~ ~ a.~,"'"'%,J .... ,J ..... "z
2 ' 3 0 "N .. ...................... ............... ". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .~ v .r - : ~ ~ OCEAN < ~
9(,"E 9630" I!
Fig. 3.2. Distribution of regional gravity stations on Sumatra and the adjacent islands. Inset: the
gravity field of Simeulue, showing locations of the small exposures of
ophiolitic rocks.
occupy most of the width of the island (Fig. 3.1). Values below
-60 mGal are associated with the Toba caldera and with an
even deeper low (or, rather, a deeper culmination of the same
low) that occurs farther north and extends as far as Lake Tawar
(see Figs 3.1 and 3.2). The junction between the two gravity
provinces (approximately along a line running NNW from
Bengkulu) does not correspond to any of the terrane boundaries
recognized in published accretion models of Sumatra (cf.
Pulunggono & Cameron 1984) or to those identified in Chapter
14, and may reflect entirely post-amalgamation processes. It is,
however, also possible that a major but hitherto unrecognized
suture is being recorded by the gravity field.
Correlation of gravity patterns across major strike-slip faults
can, in favourable circumstances, supplement straightforward
geological matching as a means of determining total offsets.
There is, however, little hope of identifying unambiguous
gravity correlations across the Sumatran Fault because of the

very rapid changes in gravity produced along and to the west of

the fault by fault-parallel belts such as the volcanic Barisan
range, the forearc basin and the forearc ridge.
Detailed gravity surveys in mainland extensions of the forearc
sedimentary basins and in inter-montane basins in the Barisan
Highlands have revealed strong local correlations between
sediment thickness and gravity field. These are, however, most
precise where the basins are of only small lateral extent and
are often not apparent on regional maps. The examples of the
Ombilin intermontane basin and the Bengkulu forearc basin are
discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
Toba-Tawar gravity low
Low Bouguer gravity is to be expected in the mountainous regions
of northern Sumatra because isostatic balance requires mass
deficiencies at depth to support the topographic masses. Kadir
et al. (1996) interpreted these low values as evidence for a
structural model in which the crust is very thin and is underlain
by low density mantle. The alternative, and more conventional,
possibility is that the crust is in fact thicker in the vicinity of
the gravity low than elsewhere and is underlain by normal
mantle. Calculations based on a profile drawn across the strike
of the gravity low near Lake Toba indicate that this solution is
perfectly feasible and that a satisfactory crustal model can be
developed on this basis without undue difficulty. The mode of
compensation was discussed further by Masturyono et al.
(2001), who drew attention to regions of low velocity (and
hence, probably, of low density) in both the crust and uppermost
mantle in two areas beneath the Toba caldera. However, they
came to no firm conclusion as to the overall compensation
mechanism. The Bouguer low covers an area vastly greater than

the low velocity regions and the latter can therefore play only a
subsidiary role in its formation. It is, however, probable that
some compensation does occur within the crust and that the
regional Bouguer low is due in part to the presence of a large
granitic batholith that may still be in the process of formation.
The Toba-Tawar low is almost entirely onshore. There is a
weak possible extension out to sea to the north but this could
be fortuitous and merely a consequence of the presence of relatively
deep water and light sediments on the Mergui Shelf.
A north-trending high that marks the western limit of the shelf
at about 96~ is associated in part with a low-amplitude bathymetric
high known as the Mergui Ridge but is probably mainly
due to the transition from continental crust under the shelf to
oceanic crust in the Andaman Basin. Shelf-edge free-air highs
are the world-wide norm. They exist because the rapid shallowing
of the Moho beneath continental slopes affects gravity fields
near the edges of shelves even though the crust immediately
beneath such locations is still thick and the sea is only a few
hundred metres deep.
The western limit of the Toba-Tawar low between about 96~
and 97~ is marked by a steep gradient defined by roughly
north-south contours, and the northwestern tip of Sumatra is
occupied by a gravity high with Bouguer values that in places
exceed ,1,100 reGal. The average gradient between the base
stations at Banda Aceh airport and town (Bouguer values -t-39
and +53.5 reGal respectively: see Adkins et al. 1978) is about
one milligal per kilometre. The surface geology does not suggest
a terrane boundary in this region and the gravitational change
at the margin of the Toba-Tawar Low is probably largely a
lateral effect of high mantle beneath the forearc basin, coupled
with the effect of a change within the crust from young granitic

rocks to an older and denser basement.

Eastern Sumatra
Away from the Barisan Mountains, gravity fields in the vast and
often swampy flatlands of eastern Sumatra are controlled by a
number of competing factors. The most obvious of these is
the subsurface presence in the region between the east coast of
Sumatra and the eastern margin of the South Sumatra Basin of
the roughly north-south oriented Lampung Structural High
(Pulunggono & Cameron 1984). The high separates the South
Sumatra (onshore) from the Sunda (offshore) basin, and the
dense basement rocks, which almost reach the surface along its
crest, produce high gravity fields. However, the magnitudes of
the differences in gravity are smaller than those implied by the
changes in sediment thickness and suggest some degree of
crustal thinning beneath the basinal areas.
A number of southwards-convex curvilinear gravity trends are
superimposed on the local anomaly patterns in south and central
Sumatra. These continue, and become even more prominent,
offshore on the Sunda Shelf, where they are members of a set of
curved anomalies that ring almost the whole of Borneo in an
apparent rotational swirl. The trend lines cut across a number of
Late Tertiary boundaries between basins and structural highs,
including the Lampung High, and are therefore likely to be due
to sources within the basement rather than to basement relief.
An origin in strain accompanying the rotation of Borneo is
possible, but the processes by which some of the observed
gravity patterns could be generated by rotations are not clear.
For example, the most prominent curved trend in the South
China Sea is the shelf-edge anomaly at the western margin of
the central oceanic basin (Holt 1998), and it is hard to envisage
a causal link between this and Borneo rotation. An alternative

explanation for the arcuate trendlines in Sumatra and on the

Sunda Shelf is that these mark basement features associated
with past subduction and accretion, implying that belts of former
arc basement have been 'wrapped around' the core of continental
SE Asia in Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. In eastern Sumatra
there is some correlation between a curvilinear low sandwiched
between two positive curved features and the location of the
Mutus assemblage that may mark the suture between the
Malacca and Mergui microplates (Pulunggono & Cameron
1984). The rotation and basement suture hypotheses can be combined
by supposing that rotation of Borneo imposed curvature on
sutures that were originally approximately straight.
Gravity effects of sedimentary basins
The regional map of Sumatra (Fig. 3.1) is sufficient to show the
broad gravity effects of most of the sedimentary basins but not
the variations due to structures within them. Most of the
oil-company data that might define such details in the main
producing (back-arc) basins remain confidential, but there are published
studies of detailed work done by LEMIGAS in the Ombilin
intermontane basin (Situmorang et al. 1991) and the Bengkulu
forearc basin (Yulihanto et al. 1995). The locations of these two
surveys are indicated on Figure 3.1.
The Ombilin Basin lies immediately to the east of the main
Sumatran Fault (Fig. 3.1). It covers an area of some 1500 km 2
and in places contains more than 3000 m of Eocene to Middle
Miocene sediments. It derives its economic importance from
coal rather than oil or gas, and low density coals may well contribute
to the gravity signature. The location suggests a genetic link
to the Sumatran Fault, but Howells (1997b) interpreted the main
basin as a result of wrench modification of an earlier rift rather
than as a simple strike-slip pull-apart. Only the much younger

Lake Singkarak rift (largely the area occupied by Lake Singkarak

in Fig. 3.3) is now interpreted as having formed as a recent pullapart
within the Sumatran Fault (Sieh & Natawidjaja 2000).
There is good correlation between thin and thick sediments and
gravity highs and lows (Fig. 3.3), both in relation to relatively
small structures (Situmorang et al. 1991) and also at a basinwide
scale. High Bouguer values define the main horst that
separates the Ombilin Basin proper from Lake Singkarak. Low
(<-20 mGal) Bouguer gravity characterizes the northern lobe
of the Palaeogene basin, but these values, some 50 mGal below
those on the horst block near Sulitair, are still higher than the
levels (of well below - 30 mGal) in the Singkarak rift. The difference
could be due to differences in sediment thickness, to more
- 0" 30'S
100 ~ 45'E
Fig. 3.3. Bouguer gravity and main structural
controls of the Ombilin Basin, after
Situmorang et al. (1991). Contour interval
10 mGal (thick contours) and 2 mGal (thin
contours). Stipple indicates closed lows.
Steep gradients in the west of the area are
associated with the margins of the Late
Neogene Singkarak pull-apart basin. Weaker,

but still well defined anomalies are associated

with the Palaeogene basin and testify to the
complexity of the basement architecture. See
Figure 3.1 for location.
developed isostatic compensation of the older depocentre or to the
Neogene section having a significantly lower average density.
The Bengkulu Basin (Fig. 3.4) is roughly the same age as the
Ombilin but lies entirely west of the Sumatran Fault and at
much lower elevations. A large part of it lies offshore. Traditionally,
it too has been regarded as a pull-apart basin generated in
a transtensional regime and this interpretation is still generally
accepted (Yulihanto et al. 1995). There are very few BGS/
GRDC gravity stations in the part of the basin lying to the SE
of Manna (Nainggolan et aL 1992) and even in the west
102' 3{}'E 103E
3 30'S
0_.. .........2 0 k,,
Fig. 3.4. Bouguer gravity of the Bengkulu Basin, after Yulihanto et al. (1991).
Contour interval 5 mGal (thick contours) and 1 mGal (thin contours). The overall
high level of Bouguer gravity is probably largely a consequence of crustal
thinning beneath the forearc basin. Local closed lows, indicated by stipple,
identify the locations of separate depocentres within the basin. See Figure 3.1
for location.
the regional survey provided only patchy coverage (Sobari et al.

1992). However, very detailed onshore surveys for oil exploration

(Yulihanto et al. 1995) have confirmed the division of the
main basin into two structural lows. These features (the Pagarjati
Graben in the NW and the Kedurang Graben in the SE)
are oriented very roughly north-south and are separated by the
Masmambang High. Within these broad divisions, a series of
roughly equi-dimensional highs and lows cover areas similar in
size to those occupied by sub-basins within the Ombilin.
A peculiarity of the Bengkulu Basin is the very high level of
background gravity field, which results in strongly positive
(>+40 mGal) absolute levels of Bouguer gravity even in the
centres of the gravity lows. The basinal area overall appears on
regional maps as a gravity high and Bouguer levels on the horst
blocks may exceed -t-80 mGal (Fig. 3.4). The high fields probably
reflect crustal thinning beneath both the Bengkulu sedimentary
basin itself and the forearc marine basin. However, the offshore
extension of the high, which is associated with a bathymetric
bulge, is probably also partly due to the replacement of seawater
by young sediments and to the lack of any corresponding compensatory
local subsidence of the crust into the mantle. Such
patterns are seen over many young deltas formed at passive
continental margins, the Congo and Niger deltas being good
examples (Sandwell & Smith 1997).
The forearc basin
The northeastern margin of the deep free-air low associated with
the trench west of Sumatra includes the frontal part of the
forearc ridge, which is composed largely of accreted material.
The crest of the forearc ridge is marked by a prominent asymmetric
high, with the steeper gradients towards the forearc basin.
In most cases, Bouguer gravity on the forearc islands decreases
from west to east in response to increasing crustal thickness

(Fig. 3.5), but on Nias there is a residual gravity high centred

over the young uplifted coastal plain in the east of the island
(Fig. 3.5, inset).
Low free-air and Bouguer gravity characterize most of the
forearc basin, with minimum values even lower than the free-air
minima associated with the trench. The forearc basin low is,
however, divided into two segments by a gravity high near the
equator (Fig. 3.1), where a Bouguer maximum of +100 mGal
has been recorded on Pini, the easternmost island in the Batu
group (Fig. 3.5). Pini has an anomalous east-west orientation,
Banyak Is,
0 50kin
~ - T 7 ~ s ~ ~2~l~I~E
' ~ Batu Is.
S.I.O. RAMA 6 Line 58-59
Pleistocene - Recent
Interpretation simplified after Matson & Moore (1992)
.././/" I ~

Fig. 3.5. Gravity variations in the central

forearc basin. In contrast to Figure 3.1,
Bouguer gravity is contoured in the offshore
as well as the onshore regions. Contour
interval 10 mGal. Offshore data are from
Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)
shipborne readings along the tracks shown
by dashed lines. Areas of water depths in
excess of 500 m in the vicinity of the
Banyak and Singkel sedimentary basins
indicated by light stipple. The upper inset
shows SIO seismic line 58-59 across the
Banyak forearc basin east of Nias, from SIO
cruise Rama 6, with a simplified version of
the interpretation provided by Matson &
Moore (1992). Note the strong asymmetry
in the basin. The lower inset shows the
residual gravity anomaly over eastern Nias,
obtained by subtracting a linear regional
gradient parallel to the trends of Bouguer
contours in the north of the island from the
local values.
lies just north of the equator and straddles the forearc basin. The
high gravity is evidently not due merely to the presence of the
bathymetric high, since a gravity low is associated with similar
bathymetry in the Banyak group further north. A -80 mGal
minimum was recorded on the most easterly of the Banyak
islands (Fig. 3.5).
There is an obvious geographical correlation between the Pini
high and high free-air gravity associated with the Investigator
Fracture Zone on the Indian Ocean plate immediately to the

south (IFZ; Fig. 3.1). A causal link between the two seems
likely. Subduction of the fracture zone, which is a prominent
bathymetric feature consisting of a deep linear trough flanked by
two high standing ridges, has been suggested as a possible cause
for both the change in strike of the trench and forearc north of
Nias (the Nias 'elbow') and the enhanced volcanic activity in
the Toba region (Fauzi et al. 1996).
In part the low Bouguer and free-air values in the forearc basin
reflect the presence of the water column, which is up to 1500 m
thick, but there is also a significant contribution from light
Neogene sediments The seismic stratigraphy of the area east
of Nias was first described by Beaudry & Moore (1985), who
recognized three main sequences and assigned these tentatively
to the Pleistocene (Unit 4), the Pliocene and uppermost Miocene
(Unit 3) and to most of the remainder of the Miocene (Unit 2).
Unit 2 was further subdivided into Units 2a and 2b, separated
by a generally continuous, high-amplitude seismic event. Older
stratified sediments (Unit 1) can be seen in places beneath a
strong regional unconformity at the base of Unit 2a, but elsewhere
this region is devoid of reflectors and may comprise igneous or
metamorphic basement or steeply dipping sediments.
With one exception, Beaudry & Moore (1985) illustrated their
discussion with oil industry seismic sections which were of
rather poor quality (at least in reproduction), and the boundaries
they recognised are sometimes difficult to identify on the better
quality sections obtained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
(SIO) on cruise RAMA 6. In a more detailed analysis
based on the SIO profiles, Matson & Moore (1992) divided
the forearc sediments into eleven sequences, of which Sequences
10 and 11 were roughly equivalent to Unit 4 of Beaudry & Moore

(1985) and Sequences 8 and 9 to Unit 3. At deeper levels the

correlation between the two schemes is less clear.
As well as an increase in detail, Matson & Moore (1992) provided
a significant new insight into the stratigraphy of the forearc basin by
distinguishing between the histories of a 'Singkel' and a 'Pini' basin
east of Nias. Unfortunately, their use of the term Singkel Basin differed
from that of earlier authors (e.g. Karig et al. 1980), who
applied it to a basin in the Singkel region of mainland Sumatra.
The term Banyak Basin is used here as a preferable alternative.
The Pini Basin was considered to be mainly filled with Upper
Miocene sediments but the Banyak Basin (shown in the inset to
Fig. 3.5) was interpreted as containing significant older section.
Both sedimentary basins are associated with present-day sea floor
depressions (Fig. 3.5), although the modern and palaeo-depocentres
do not coincide exactly. The division between the two basins is
marked by a gravity high offshore and by a residual gravity high
on Nias (Fig. 3.5).
On seismic sections, the most obvious feature of all the forearc
sedimentary basins is their extreme asymmetry (see Karig et al.
1980; Beaudry & Moore 1985; Matson & Moore 1992; Malod
& Kemal 1996). In the Banyak Basin (Fig. 3.5, inset), a Middle
Miocene shelf has been tilted seawards and is now buried under
younger sediments that increase in thickness up to the east coast
of Nias, where sediments as old as Oligocene are exposed
(Samuel & Harbury 1995). The sharp flexure at the western
edge of the basins can be identified with the Mentawai Fault
(see Chapter 2) and on the regional gravity map (Fig. 3.1) is
associated with a steep gravity gradient that is, in fact, rather
less pronounced near Nias than elsewhere. Where, SE of
Enggano, the fault moves away from the flank of the forearc
ridge and towards the centre of the forearc basin (Schltiter et al.

2002), this gradient largely disappears.

Despite the high gravity fields, both geological mapping (Samuel
& Harbury 1995) and gravity modelling (Kieckhefer et al. 1981)
indicate that the material forming the forearc ridge is of generally
low density (Fig. 3.6). The high fields are produced by the thin
crust and the high density subducted slab, and by the large density
contrast between even the lightest rocks and water. Onshore
mapping and offshore seismic reflection lines all suggest that large
volumes of sediments deposited in the forearc basin have been
incorporated into the forearc islands. Only on Simeulue, where a
small ophiolite is associated with a local gravity high (Fig. 3.2,
inset) is there evidence for the presence of coherent masses of
oceanic rocks beneath the ridge (Milsom et al. 1991).
Gravity provides few constraints on the nature of the crust
beneath the forearc basin. In one of the two alternative models
of Kieckhefer et al. (1981) the basin is underlain by m61ange
and in the other (reproduced here in slightly modified form as
Fig. 3.6) by continental crust. In both models the forearc ridge is
underlain by m61ange, and both produce acceptable fits with the
gravity profile along the modelled line. As far as the Mentawai
Fault is concerned, it is not the gravity data but the extreme
linearity that suggests its location has been determined by the
position of the former continental margin rather than by the
boundary between two belts of m61ange.
Seismic tomography and the long-wavelength
gravity field
Despite significant recent advances in the measurement of the
Earth's gravity field, the long wavelength variations are still
1 -5O
Fig. 3.6. Interpretation of a gravity profile across the forearc basin and Sunda

Trench south of Nias, after Kieckhefer et al. (1981). White and black inverted
triangles show the locations of controls on depth provided by, respectively,
unreversed and reversed seismic refraction profiles. Densities on blocks in the
model are in Mg m -3. Unlabelled blocks are sediments or m61ange with densities
between 2.0 and 2.4 Mg m -3. The differences between the calculated and
observed curves are too small to be apparent at the scale of the figure. Profile
location shown as a yellow line on Figure 3.1.
most reliably estimated from perturbations of satellite orbits. A
number of models have now been produced that integrate the
results obtained by this method with results from conventional
surface gravity surveys and satellite altimetry to define global
gravity anomalies with half-wavelengths greater than about
400 km. The sources of these anomalies are likely to lie deep
within the mantle, because the isostatic equilibrium prevailing in
the Earth's outermost layers implies approximate cancellation of
the gravity fields from shallower mass differences. Controversy
about the origin of mass anomalies within the mantle has existed
for decades. A rough correlation between geoidal highs and
plate convergence zones has long been recognized (cf. Hagar
1984) but has appeared unconvincing in detail. If, however,
using the same basic data, field strength (the differential of
potential) is contoured rather than potential itself, the longest
wavelengths are suppressed and the correlation with subduction
becomes very striking (Milsom & Rocchi 1998). Major highs
can be seen to the rear of almost all long-lived subduction
zones, and it is reasonable to suppose that the mass excesses
are associated with the subducting slabs. Since these slabs
are sinking through the less dense asthenosphere, isostatic
considerations do not apply.
One of the most widely used of the long-wavelength (400 km
gravity models is GEM-T3 (Lerch et al. 1994), which is complete

to spherical harmonics of degree and order 50. The GEM-T3

map of the Borneo-Sumatra region (Fig. 3.1, inset) shows a
distribution of long-wavelength gravity highs consistent with
hypothesized patterns of past subduction. In eastern Borneo and
Sulawesi, geological mapping has defined former subduction
traces, marked by m~lange and ophiolites, that indicate that a
part of the active margin of SE Asia lay in this area during the Late
Cretaceous and Palaeogene (e.g. Wilson & Moss 1999). From
southeastern Borneo the line of subduction then curved sharply
to pass through western Java and on to Sumatra. Subducted lithosphere
associated with this phase of convergence can be expected
to have accumulated beneath Borneo and the Malacca Straits.
Moreover, many theories of the evolution of Borneo require
there to have been subduction beneath its northwestern margin
during the Late Cretaceous and Palaeogene, leading to the complete
destruction of a 'proto-South China Sea' and collision
between the Borneo block and attenuated continental crust rifted
from the South China margin (e.g. Milsom et al. 1997). The
extent of the long-wavelength gravity high suggests that it may
be recording effects from material subducted beneath Borneo
from the south, east and west (Milsom & Rocchi 1998).
In northwestern Sumatra, the margin of the long-wavelength
high curves to an almost northerly trend and peak values decrease
quite rapidly, suggesting that there is no significant deep subducted
material beneath the Andaman Sea. This seems reasonable
since, although the plate boundary west of the Andaman and
Nicobar islands is marked by a (rather poorly defined) trench,
the local convergence vector is almost parallel to the trench axis.
Further light on the sources of the long wavelength gravity
anomalies has been provided by the improvements in, and

standardization of, seismic observatory instrumentation and the

dramatic increases in speed and memory of relatively cheap
computers. Thanks to these two developments it is now possible
to use observations of travel times for S and P waves from
remote earthquakes to model the variations of seismic wave
velocities in the mantle. This seismic tomography is providing
ever stronger evidence for the penetration of subducted lithosphere
through the discontinuity between the upper and lower mantle at
about 700 kin, below which it is not seismogenic. Because
Wadati-Benioff seismic zones marking the sites of subducted
lithosphere in the upper mantle are invariably associated with
high seismic velocities, there is a strong circumstantial case for
attributing high velocity in the lower mantle to lithospheric
material that has sunk to aseismic depths. The close correlation
between high velocity in the lower mantle (Widiyantoro & van
der Hilst 1996, 1997) and high gravity field provides additional
support for this hypothesis.
Tomography also provides an explanation for the absence of
earthquake hypocentres at depths of more than 300 km beneath
Sumatra. There is no high-velocity material at these depths
(Widiyantoro & van der Hilst 1996) and hence, presumably, no
subducted slab. Taken together with the interpreted presence of
a large volume of dense and fast material below 700 kin, this
observation supports hypotheses that involve the rupturing of
slabs and the independent sinking of their detached lower portions
under gravity. Even stronger support comes from farther east,
north of Java, where the upper part of the detached slab protrudes
above the 700 km limit and is both seismically 'fast' and seismogenic
(Widiyantoro & van der Hilst 1996).
The Sumatra region also conforms to the global pattern of lack
of correlation between high gravity and subducted lithosphere

within the seismogenic zone, i.e. at relatively shallow depths.

Hagar (1984), amongst others, has used this global observation
to support a model of dynamic flow that produces, at GEM-T3
wavelengths, close to perfect cancellation between the effects of
positive and negative density anomalies in the upper mantle.
Some doubt has, however, been thrown on this model by
Wheeler & White (2002), who used oil-industry borehole data to
argue that, at least in offshore SE Asia, dynamic topography
amounts to no more than 300 m. Predictable improvements in
data quality will undoubtedly lead to considerable refinements
in interpretation and resolution of this apparent discrepancy,
but it is sufficient to note that as far as the present review is concerned,
the GEM T-3 gravity field provides an excellent guide to
the extent of Palaeogene, but not Neogene, subduction beneath
Chapter 4
Pre-Tertiary stratigraphy
In the early days of mineral exploration on behalf of the
Netherlands East Indies Bureau of Mines and of petroleum
exploration by the oil companies it was recognized that PreTertiary rocks were extensively exposed in the Barisan Mountains
in the western part of Sumatra (Fig. 1.4). These rocks are variably
metamorphosed and were termed the 'Barisan-Schiefer' and the
'Old-Slates Formation' (Veerbeek 1883) in Central Sumatra, and
the 'Crystalline Schists' in the Lampung area (Westerveld
1941). Locally these rocks contain fossils, and it was recognized
that Carboniferous and Permian rocks occur within this PreTertiary basement. Some basement units were defined during the
mapping of Sumatra by the Netherlands Indies Geological
Survey between 1927 and 1931, but the definition of units according

to modern stratigraphic principles began in the early 1970s,

with the commencement of systematic mapping by the Indonesian
Geological Survey in collaboration with the United States
Geological Survey, in the Padang area of West Sumatra
(Kastowo & Leo 1973--Padang; Silitonga & Kastowo 1975-Solok; Rosidi et al. 1976--Painan and Muarasiberut).
Mapping and the definition of further units was continued in
northern Sumatra by the Indonesian Directorate of Mineral
Resources/British Geological Survey (DMR/BGS) between
1975 and 1980 as part of the Northern Sumatra Project and
was extended into southern Sumatra in the 1980s and 1990s by
the Indonesian Geological Research and Development Centre
(GRDC), DMR amd BGS. The results of these surveys, which
established the distribution of the basement units, are published
by GRDC as 1:250000 Geological Map Sheets coveting the
whole of Sumatra and adjacent islands (Fig.l.5). The lithologies
of each stratigraphic unit are briefly described in the keys to the
maps, and the units are described more fully in the accompanying
Explanatory Notes.
During these surveys the faunas from known fossil localities
were re-examined and new localities were found. Following the
survey the palaeontological evidence for the ages of stratigraphic
units in Sumatra has been reviewed by Fontaine & Gafoer (1989).
It has now been established that fossiliferous rock units in the PreTertiary basement of Sumatra range in age from Early Carboniferous
through to mid-Cretaceous.
From the occurrence of tin granites in the eastern part of
Sumatra, extending into the 'Tin Islands' of Bangka and Billiton,
it is supposed that the whole of Sumatra is underlain by a highly
differentiated Pre-Carboniferous crystalline continental crust
with ages extending back into the Precambrian. Direct evidence

for a Pre-Carboniferous basement has been obtained by isotopic

dating of Silurian and Lower Carboniferous granitic rocks
encountered in boreholes beneath the Tertiary Basins towards
the northeastern side of the island (Eubank & Makki 1981).
The oldest rocks identified by their fossil content were also
encountered in boreholes in eastern Sumatra. These rocks
contain palynomorphs from near the Devonian-Carboniferous
boundary (Eubank & Makki 1981). Older rocks, possibly
ranging down into the Devonian, were reported by Adinegoro &
Hartoyo (1974) from a borehole in the Malacca Strait, but no
details are given in their report and a Devonian age for sediments
elsewhere in Sumatra has not been confirmed during subsequent
drilling or by field studies, although rocks of this age, and older
ages back to the Proterozoic, occur in the Langkawi Island off
NW Malaya, 300 km to the NE of Sumatra (Jones 1961).
It has proved very difficult to establish with certainty the stratigraphic
relationships between the various rock units which
make up the exposed Pre-Tertiary basement of Sumatra. This is
due to the generally fault-bounded contacts between rock units
and the poor biostratigraphic control on their ages; over large
areas the rocks are apparently devoid of fossils. The varying
metamorphic grade of the basement units makes even lithological
correlations difficult. As a result, formations have generally been
defined locally. When these local units have been extrapolated
over broader areas they are found to include a wide variety of
lithological types, so that correlation with the original units
becomes more and more uncertain.
The spate of new data on the geology of Sumatra generated
by the systematic geological survey of the whole island has stimulated
attempts at regional synthesis, e.g. Cameron et al. (1980) and
Pulunggono & Cameron (1984) in northern Sumatra and McCourt

et al. (1993) in southern Sumatra. These authors proposed a

stratigraphic scheme which distinguished a CarboniferousPermian Tapanuli Group, a Permo-Triassic Peusangan Group
and a Jurassic-Cretaceous Woyla Group (Fig. 4.1 ). This terminology
is used in the present account, although it is strictly applicable
only to northern Sumatra where the units were defined.
In this account the basement rocks of Sumatra are described
from northern, central and southern Sumatra, as far as possible
in terms of their stratigraphic age, although difficulties in
establishing these ages will be fully discussed. Five age units
are recognized: Pre-Carboniferous basement, Carboniferous?Early Permian, Mid-Late Permian, Mid-Late Triassic and
Jurassic -Mid-Cretaceous.
Pre-Carboniferous basement
Eubank & Makki (1981 ) record shales interbedded with quartzites
from the boreholes, Pusaka-l, 85 km NE of Pekanbaru, and
Rupat Island, in the Malacca Strait, which yielded palynomorphs
lu the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary, and used this
evidence to define an Upper Palaeozoic 'Quartzite Terrain' in
eastern Sumatra (Fig. 4.2). Some of these borehole records may
relate to quartz sandstones in the Triassic Kualu Formation and
its correlative Tembeling Sandstone of Bangka (Ko 1986).
However, Eubank & Makki (1981) also obtained Rb-Sr ages of
426 + 41.5 Ma (Silurian) and 335 + 43 Ma (Early Carboniferous)
from granites from boreholes put down into the basement beneath
the Central Sumatra Basin. Turner (1983) reports gneissose
rocks included as xenoliths in dykes intruding Carboniferous
slates near Rao, Central Sumatra. These xenoliths were presumably
derived from an underlying crystalline basement. A granitic
clast from pebbly mudstone encountered in a borehole, Cucut
No.l, gave an Rb-Sr age of 348 ___ 10 Ma, of Vis~an, Early

Carboniferous age (Koning & Darmono 1984).

The occurrence of intrusive granites, possibly as old as Silurian,
indicates that an older basement into which these granites were
intruded underlies eastern Sumatra. This is highly probable, as
Proterozoic and Lower Palaeozoic rocks occur in the Malaysian
Langkawi Islands only some 300 km to the NE of Sumatra
along the strike (Jones 1961). Indeed, Hutchison (1994) has
asserted that the buried Kluang Limestone south of Palembang,
Fig. 4.1. Pre-Tertiary stratigraphic units in Sumatra as proposed by the DMR/
BGS Northern Sumatra Project (Cameron et al. 1980) and used on the geological
maps of northern Sumatra published by GRDC. These units were extended to
cover southern Sumatra by McCourt et al. (1993).
for which a Cretaceous age had been suggested (De Coster 1974)
resembles the Silurian Kuala Lumpur Limestone in Malaya and
may therefore be of Silurian age. It has also been supposed that
high grade metamorphic rocks in the western part of northern
Sumatra within the Alas and Kluet Formations, and the Ngaol Formation
of Central Sumatra, which do not appear to be directly

related to contact metamorphic aureoles around intrusions, may

represent outcrops of this Pre-Carboniferous crystalline basement,
but nowhere has this supposition been confirmed by fossil finds or
by isotopic dating. Alternatively it has also been suggested that
these high grade gneisses are due to intrusion and synkinematic
deformation of granites and associated sedimentary rocks in
shear zones during the formation of active magmatic arcs during
Permian to Late Cretaceous times. This explanation has also
been suggested for the Gunungkasih Metamorphic Complex in
the Bandarlampung area of southern Sumatra (Barber 2000).
The high grade metamorphic rocks of Sumatra require systematic
investigation with these alternative possibilities in mind.
Tapanuli Group (Carboniferous- ?Early Permian)
Rocks in northern Sumatra considered to be of Carboniferous?Early Permian age have been classified as the Tapanuli Group
(Cameron et al. 1980; Pulunggono & Cameron 1984). Three
formations are recognized: the Bohorok Formation, the Kluet
Formation and the Alas Formation (Figs 4.1-4.3). The Early
Permian was included in the original definition of the Tapanuli
Group on the supposition that the Alas Formation contained an
Early Permian fauna (Cameron et al. 1980). Subsequently this
fauna was shown to be of Early Carboniferous (Vis~an) age
(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). However, the Pangururan Bryozoan
Bed which was mapped as part of the Kluet Formation also
contains a probable Early Permian fauna (Aldiss et al. 1983), so
that in this account the Tapanuli Group is considered to extend
into the Early Permian.
Bohorok Formation. The Bohorok Formation is defined from its
type locality in the Bohorok River on the GRDC 1:250 000
Medan Sheet, about 65 km to the west of Medan (Cameron
et al. 1982a) (Fig. 4.3). Good exposures of this formation occur

for a distance of 100 m in the river section at Bukit Lawang,

near the Orang Utan Sanctuary and over 50 m in the Bekail
River, some 7 km to the south. No base is seen to the formation
and downstream the mudstones are faulted either against the
Permo-Triassic Batumilmil Limestone Formation, or the Tertiary
Bruksah and Bampo Formations. The Bohorok Formation has
been mapped along the eastern side of the Barisan Mountains
from near Langsa in the north to Lake Toba in the south
(Fig. 4.3). Even further south, comparable lithologies correlated
with the Bohorok Formation, are found in the Tigapuluh
Mountains, between Rengat and Jambi and are described below
as the Tigapuluh Group, and similar rocks also occur in the
Toboali District in the southern part of Bangka Island (Fig. 4.2).
The typical lithology of the Bohorok Formation is an unbedded
'pebbly mudstone'; a poorly sorted breccia or conglomerate
composed of angular to subangular rock fragments, generally
0.1-2.0 cm in size, but ranging up to 10cm and even 7580 cm in east Aceh, and in the northeastern part of the Padangsidempuan
Sheet (Aspden et al. 1982b). The rock fragments
are enclosed in a fine-grained matrix of dark grey or dark brown
siltstone or mudstone. Pebbles include vein quartz, slate, chlorite
schist, phyllite, greenish calcsilicate rocks, limestone, marble,
quartzose arenites, quartzite, more rarely mica-schist and granitoid,
sometimes with tourmaline, rare chert and rhyolite. Single
crystals of fresh microcline, forming small angular clasts, are
conspicuous in thin sections (Cameron et al. 1982a). The clasts
in the pebbly mudstones clearly indicate a continental provenance.
In the Berkail River, pebbly mudstone near the upper part of
the outcrop is interbedded with a few metres of light brown
weathering, coarse to very coarse sandstone (Tiltman 1985).
Cameron et al. (1982a) report that sandstone blocks found as

float within the Bohorok outcrop show graded beds and slump
Towards the west the poorly sorted pebbly mudstone units
become less common, the proportion and size of the clasts
decreases, and the Bohorok Formation is represented by conglomerates,
sandstones, slates and rare limestone units, becoming
indistinguishable from the adjacent Kluet Formation or similar
lithologies within the Alas Formation, so that the distinction
between the units is arbitrary (Cameron et al. 1980).
The Bohorok Formation has generally been affected by low,
slate-grade, metamorphism. In the neighbourhood of igneous
intrusions argillaceous rocks, including the matrix of the pebbly
mudstones, are converted to schists or hornfels, often containing
cordierite and tourmaline.
Sediments within the Bohorok Formation are apparently devoid
of fossils. The only direct evidence of age comes from the Cucut
No. 1 well (Fig. 4.4) where Koning & Darmono (1984) report an
Early to Mid-Carboniferous microflora from the mud matrix of a
'pebbly mudstone'. However, a granite clast in the mudstone
from the same well yielded a K-Ar age of 348 + 10Ma
(Vis6an, Early Carboniferous) (Koning & Darmono 1984). This
juxtaposition is highly improbable. It may be that both the palynomorphs
and the pebble were eroded from older units and derived
into the Triassic Kualu Formation which occurs in the same
area, or that the K-Ar age is unreliable.
The pebbly mudstones of the Bohorok Formation have been interpreted
as diamictites formed in a glacio-marine environment
(Cameron et al. 1980). Pebbly mudstones similar to those of the
Bohorok Formation have been described form the Langkawi
Islands and the adjacent parts of the NW Malay Peninsula,
Peninsular Thailand, Burma and southwest China. The occurrence

of pebbly mudstones has been used to identify the Sibumasu

(Siam, B___uurma, Malaya, Sumatra) Terrane, a crustal block which
extends all the way from Sumatra to southern China (Metcalfe 1984).
_8 ~
96 ~
102 ~ 104 ~ 106 ~
Tapanuli Group
Bohorok Formation
_6 ~
_4 ~
_2 ~
_0 o
_2 ~
_4 ~
_6 ~
Kreung Klue
( ~ SIDIK/
; i n a a Formation
~A~ \

ubang ~,
=asu "k,,
,rmation-~"~7/._ [ 5 :~ 61
0 100 200 300 400 500km
96 ~ 98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~
Alas Formation
'Quartzite Terrain'
_9 . -~:,.~,~#
Duabelas ~:~
Tarantam Form;
i Garba Mountains T ra0 Forma,ion )
LZ~,',, ~ Complex
",,3 "' ~ ~6Lz
~o4o 11o6o
I I/

Fig. 4.2. Distribution of Carboniferous to ?Early Permian rocks in Sumatra from GRDC
geological maps. Dense tones indicate outcrops, the filled circles indicate
Carboniferous rocks encountered in boreholes, paler tones indicate subcrop beneath Late
Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, Tertiary and Quaternary sediments and volcanics.
96 ~
97 ~
98 ~
Major Faults
99 ~
(Peusangan Group)
Uneun Unit, Tawar Lst Fro,
Situtup Lst Fm, Sembuang Lst Fm,
Ujeuen Lst Fm, Kaloi Lst Fm,
Batumilmil Lst Fm (mainly limestones)
Kualu Formation (cherts & clastics)
(Tapanuli Group) ~.
,U.:0 XkJ'~i
,:-,,C.e--. .<_-9. ,....,_
=_ i i lU... =.
Bohorok Formation
(pebbly mudstones)

Atas Formation (Vis6an)

limestone member
Tawar "~
Alas Formation - clastic sediments \
('m'- metamorphosed) TA PAKTUAN
Kluet Formation
(turbidites with limestone %')
Ktuet Formation o
9 6 <, 9 7 ~
Recent Volcanoes
Permo-Triassic Intrusions
Simpang Kiri
N alvvampu Toba
tumilmil Tufts
--.. (._~ Kualu
Tufts ~-~ I~j

Fig. 4.3. The distribution of Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic stratigraphic units in northern
Sumatra, showing rock types and critical fossil localities, together with
Late Permian to Early Triassic intrusions (after Stephenson & Aspden 1982, with additions from
GRDC map sheets, Cameron et al. 1982a, b, 1983). Areas left blank are
occupied by Late Mesozoic to Quaternary sediments and volcanics.
Alas Formation. The Alas Formation was defined by Cameron
et al. (1982a) in the valley of the lower Alas River on the
Medan Sheet (Fig. 4.3). It is distinguished by its geographical
location, occupying a graben within the Sumatran Fault System,
between the outcrops of the Bohorok and Kluet formations,
and by a preponderance of limestones and meta-limestones.
Otherwise, in the remainder of the outcrop, shales, siltstones, sandstones,
sometimes calcareous, quartz wackes and conglomerates,
are identical to those of the Bohorok Formation, without the
pebbly mudstones, and to the Kluet Formation as well. Cameron
et al. (1982a) also report the occurrence of possible green tufts.
The outcrop is much dissected by faults and the rocks are intensely
folded locally, intruded by granites and migmatised.
Limestones in the Alas Formation are sometimes oolitic, may
show cross-bedding and are locally fossiliferous with abundant
productid and spiriferid brachiopods and some corals. However,
the limestone is frequently metamorphosed to massive, coarsely
crystalline and sometimes graphitic marble with phlogopite,
and deformed to form calcareous schist. The marbles and calcschists
are associated with slate, phyllite, mica schist, locally
containing garnets, biotite hornfels with cordierite and/or chiastolite,
quartzite and more rarely gneiss, migmatites, mylonites and
cataclasites (Cameron et al. 1980). Much of this metamorphism
may be attributable to the contact effects of intrusive granites,
affected synchronously or subsequently by shearing, but not all
areas of metamorphic rocks are closely associated with igneous

intrusions and some, particularly where the rocks are garnetiferous,

may be of regional metamorphic origin and may even
represent an earlier, Pre-Carboniferous, basement. The occurrence
of mylonites and cataclasites suggests that some of the rocks
included in the Alas Formation have undergone major shearing.
A fossiliferous limestone locality within the Alas Formation at
the junction of the Lau Pakam and the Sungai Alas north of
Laubaleng has yielded a rich fauna (Fig. 4.4). Cameron et al.
(11980) reported the coral Allotriophyllum chinense, known from
the Lower Permian Chiksa Limestone of southern China, but
this coral has been re-identified by Fontaine (1989) as the solitary
horn-shaped rugose coral Zaphrentites, indicative of a Carboniferous
age. Brachiopods, which include Cleiothyridina (?) and Marginatia,
indicate a Vis6an age and Metcalfe (1983) obtained a conodont
fauna from this same locality which included Gnathodus girtyi
rhodesi Higgins, Gnathodus sp., Hindeodella sp., Spathognathodus
campbelli Rexroad and Spathognathodus scitulus (Hinde), confirming
the Vis6an age of the limestones. The form Gnathodus
girtyi rhodesi, in particular, is restricted to the Bollandian Stage
of the Late Vis6an, defining the age of this outcrop of the Alas
Formation even more precisely (Metcalfe 1983).
Kluet Formation. The Kluet Formation was defined by Cameron
et al. (1982b) from outcrops along the Krueng Kluet in the
\ I o L.~'%: ~. '~ \AI as..~- L -A,e, k - _9 _9I - ~.....T. .o.b. .a. .T. u f f s . . . . . . . . ( I I
98 ~~%,1, Formation Toba,~: : : u9 10~ 101 ~,
L\-'.b.b,~.'~'-,_"IPS" lO/KAL~NG- '~'~}4~. " . ~L . . . " . " . ". ". ". ? lc-~ '~ ~ Ma'or Faults
_9 . ' . ' . ' . ". ozoaBed. . ".'." ' . ' . ' , "
_9 ~ Recent Volcanoes
/..,~ ~ ~ ~ ~ _ _ ~ " _9 _9 ~ Pangunjungan ~N, (".,~ Permo-Triassic

-,,-',,...z ~ ",'~\'N~N"~E.~%8. i" i'-".N~ki~,Sibagandidg ~"" "~--dq:~.~li~_Member - k,~ ~

-t" Pal~ka ." ".'-Limestone MemlSer'.
"~~"~%~aF~ir'.'.\:.'.'.-.#/~i!~~IRANTAUPRAPAT ~ 4
~ue~-.'."~"A \ \ ' . ' . "%%"-'."-~~~;?" Z~ - ~'~'~ ~ ' ~
- 2'>N ~ -Formation_C~"~ \%-v--:7 "~k _9 _9 .'~i~q./'-,~./~/ ~Y.?N. N\~ " ~
e~aru _9 ." .., .'. _9 ". ". ". 2 ~
0 50 100km "~ ~'k~--~?~-~ \ ~ Bohorok Fm
........ ...' "':", _ encountered in
~'k ~'~%'L~,~DANG S[ DEN P UA a borehole
(Peusangan Group) \ ~'~Mbr ~ ........
. . . . . . . . \ ~, ~'#~.~'~a-'~ PAffARSIBUHAN
__ rkualu r-m, bllungKang ~-m, 'i ~ I ' % U i : : l l t l i : l . l l _ ~. .
Telukkido Fro, Cubadak Fm ~, kFg~,~t~_,~..n.~:~L s t~. 1~
Zuhur Formation \ ~ ~'~N~. LS~r~"-,~_ I PASIRPENGARAYAN
CARBONIFEROUS-?EARLY PERMIAN L, \ ~',~.'~'Q"~ "~,~,"'~ _
(Tapanuli Group) ......... "% ~ "~,,."~~ Pawan
, , [ ~4"2\\ ~ . ~ \ \ ~. "% Member
L~.~:~;~:;~I BohorokFormation ~ ' ~ a s i l ~ o n g i ~ " ~ \
[~i:~,~:~1 (Pebblymudstones) a ~ - o ~ . ~ ' - ~~ ",,>,..%,.x,,~,
~7,~.~ Alas Formation
Kluet/Kuantan Formati
Limestone Member (L Formation
_ 98 o uhur
Equator I I ~ - - - ~ ~t~-~ . . ~\~.~.'~'~'~/'~0rma!!..~ r
Fig. 4.4. Distribution of Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic stratigraphic units in north central
Sumatra from GRDC map sheets, showing rock types and critical fossil
localities, as well as Late Permian to Triassic intrusives. Areas left blank are covered by Late
Mesozoic to Quaternary sediments and volcanics.

Barisan Mountains to the north of Tapaktuan. Outcrops of the

Kluet Formation on the 1:250 000 map sheets are shown lying
to the southwest of the outcrops of the Bohorok and Alas
formations and extend from Lake Tawar near Takengon in the
north to Sibolga in the south (Figs 4.2 & 4.3).
The formation consists predominantly of black slates, with
phyllites, quartzose arenites and conglomeratic metagreywackes,
the latter containing lithic clasts up to 40 cm in diameter. Poorly
sorted volcaniclastic wackes occur along the Sibolga to Tarutung
road. The size and proportion of clasts in the conglomerates
decreases across the outcrop from NE to SW. Locally there are
calcareous horizons and detrital limestones. More massive
meta-limestones occur at Rerebe, south of Takengon (Fig. 4.3).
The sandstones are generally massive and commonly devoid of
sedimentary structures, although in the type area of the Krueng
Kluet (Cameron et al. 1982b) and on the Sidikalang Sheet
(Aldiss et al. 1983), graded beds, mud clasts, slumped units,
load casts and dewatering structures, typical of deposition as
turbidites are reported. Rocks of the Kluet Formation have yet
to yield age-diagnostic fossils.
The rocks are metamorphosed, predominantly in the slate grade,
but show varying degrees of metamorphism. An extensive area of
highly metamorphosed rocks of the Kluet Formation is shown
occupying the southwestern side of the outcrop on the Tapaktuan
Sheet, including the type area of Krueng Kluet (Cameron et al.
1982b) (Fig. 4.3). The rocks are described as coarse muscovitebiotite
schists, sometimes garnetiferous, quartzo-feldspathic
gneisses and calc-silicate schists. In the Blangkejeren area in
the central part of northern Sumatra metamorphic rocks include
biotite-garnet-sillimanite schists, staurolite schists and biotiteandalusite
hornfels, chiastolite slate, quartzite, scapolite-bearing

calc-silicates, marbles and amphibolites. Some of these rocks,

where they are associated with meta-limestones, are shown on
the Takengon Quadrangle Sheet as part of the Alas Formation
(Cameron et al. 1983a) (Fig. 4.3).
The surveyors attribute the metamorphism in the Kluet Formation
to contact metamorphic effects (Cameron et al. 1982a).
This is clearly the case for the hornfelses and chiastolite slates,
but is less certain for garnet- and staurolite-bearing schists. An
obvious metamorphic aureole is developed around the Serbajadi
Granite on the Langsa Sheet (Bennett et al. 1981c) where the
rocks are altered to musovite-biotite hornfels and wollastonite,
diopside and phlogopite marbles and skarns. As the metamorphic
rocks in the Krueng Kluet are closely associated with concordant
granitoids, and at Blangkejeren enclose concordant bodies of
garnetiferous gneiss, interpreted as intrusions, these were also
attributed to contact metamorphism.
Pangururan Bryozoan Bed. On the western shore of Lake Toba
at Pangururan in the Sidikalang Quadrangle, fossiliferous, calcareous,
silty mudstones and limestones, with a rich shallow water
fauna are distinguished as the Pangururan Bryozoan Bed (Aldiss
et al. 1983) (Fig. 4.4). The limestones contain abundant shelly
debris, including brachiopods, fenestellid bryozoa and crinoid fragments
and some pelecypods. Decalcified, fan-shaped fenestellids up
to 10 cm long are conspicuous on weathered bedding surfaces. The
limestones have undergone deformation with the development of
alternating zones of high and low strain and the formation of pressuresolution cleavage, as illustrated by distortion of the bryozoan
networks. The limestones are interbedded with sandstones and
associated with slates of the Kluet Formation. Unfortunately,
when they were examined at the Natural History Museum the

bryozoa were found to be too decalcified, and the other fossils too
fragmentary, to provide a precise age determination for this unit.
The age range suggested for the fossil assemblage is from Late Carboniferous
to Early Permian with the balance of opinion favouring
an Early Permian age (Aldiss et al. 1983). The collection of further
fossil and limestone samples from this unit are required for a more
precise age determination.
Kuantan Formation. As the Kluet Formation was mapped southwards
towards the equator it became obvious that it was the
same unit as the Kuantan Formation, previously defined on the
Solok Quadrangle Sheet in West Sumatra, from outcrops along
the Batang Kuantan by Silitonga & Kastowo (1975) (Fig. 4.5).
On the Padangsidempuan Quadrangle Sheet to the north, the
change from Kluet to Kuantan Formation was set arbitrarily
where there is a break in the outcrop at 99~ longitude (Aldiss
et al. 1983) (Fig. 4.4).
The outcrop of the Kuantan Formation extends along the core
of the Barisan Mountains from Padangsidempuan to the latitude
of Padang (Figs 4.4 & 4.5). Silitonga & Kastowo (1975) distinguished
a Lower Member dominated by quartzites and quartz
sandstones, rarely conglomeratic, with interbedded shales,
usually metamorphosed to slates or phyllites. Finer-grained sandstone
units may show graded beds, small-scale cross lamination,
ripples and slump structures. Subordinate components include
brown chert, chloritized tufts and volcanic rocks. The lower unit
was distinguished from an upper Phyllite and Shale Member in
which the argillaceous red brown shale and phyllite component
is dominant, with intercalations of quartzite, siltstone, dark grey
chert and andesitic to basaltic lava flows.
No systematic sedimentological study has been carried out on
the Kuantan Formation and outcrop details are not given in the

Explanatory Notes for the GRDC Quadrangle sheets. Descriptions

of the lithological features of the Kuantan Formation by Peter
Turner (Turner 1983) from three outcrops near Rao (Fig. 4.4)
are therefore particularly valuable. The first is on the Auk
Mangkais to the west of the Batang Sumpur, where massive
grey quartzite beds, 1-6 m are interbedded with blue-grey and
black phyllites and fine siltstones 10-80 cm thick. The quartzites
show both sharp tops and bases and the siltstones may show
cross-lamination. Tight folds of the slaty cleavage are seen in
loose blocks in the stream bed.
Steeply dipping (100~176 black slates outcrop in the
Sungai Nior to the east of the Batang Sumpur, showing isoclinal
folds to which the cleavage has an axial plane relationship
(Turner 1983). The slates are interbedded with rippled, laminated
siltstones containing ribbed plant stems of Calamites type. The siltstones
are sometimes deformed by slump folds. A section in the
fiver bank shows several lenses of matrix-supported conglomerate,
up to 1 m thick, with bases eroded into the underlying slate. Angular
to rounded clasts in the conglomerate include vein quartz, microgranite,
phyllite, greywacke, quartzite and chert. Siltstone clasts show
both cleavage and crenulation cleavage, indicating two earlier
phases of deformation These conglomerates are interpreted as
debris flows (Turner 1983). Further upstream, greywacke sandstone
beds 30 cm thick are folded into upright folds, 2-3 m in amplitude.
These rocks have been identified as distal turbidites and are distinguished
by Turner (1983) as the Nior Member.
Black, micaceous mudstones and slates in a small tributary
of the Auk Lajang to the NE of Ciranting contain ellipsoidal
EquatoJr 10' 0~{~" Ex_,r~ ~, - i - ~ ~~ ~ ~ " <1 ~ t .':<-"-~TFuohrm uar tion

Tabir Forma-ti-o "n ~ '"*" ~ ii

PERMO-TRIASSIC \ %~ "'-~::!i!::iii!i:::
Permian with \ )_~k ~
,. ~ volcanics ~ k
Mentulu Fm etc.with pebbly mudst
Kuantan Formation
Limestone Units L
100~'E 101 ~ (~
1[~2 ~
O RENGAT ~~~--~~
Major Faults
_9 MUARABUNGO ~ Recent
Duabelas S Serpentinite
Mountains 2,"
0 50 100km
t ' III . . . .
103 ~

Fig. 4.5. Distribution of Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic stratigraphic units in central
Sumatra from GRDC map sheets, showing lithologies and critical localities as
well as Late Permian to Early Triassic intrusives. Areas left blank are covered by Late Mesozoic
to Quaternary sediments and volcanics.
calcareous nodules up to 40 cm in size, around which the slaty
cleavage diverges as the result of compaction. Indeterminate
foraminifers were recognized in one nodule, and an insoluble
residue from another yielded abundant sponge spicules.
The associated mudstones contain leaf and fungal fragments.
These outcrops were distinguished by Turner (1983) as the Tua
Member. These records of plant fragments, foraminifers and
siliceous spicules indicate that the less deformed sediments
in the Kuantan Formation are very likely to yield age-diagnostic
fossils to a systematic search.
On the Pakanbaru Quadrangle Sheet, to the north of Solok,
Clarke et al. (1982b) distinguish the Pawan and Tanjung Puah
members of the Kuantan Formation (Figs 4.2 & 4.4). The
Pawan Member cropping out to the east of Lubuksikaping is
composed of intensely folded muscovite, tremolite, chlorite
and carbonate schist. The very similar Tanjung Puah Member to
the SW, also includes quartz schist. Both units show an early
phase of tight isoclinal folding on vertical or steep SW-dipping
axial planes and east-west or NW-SE axes, and are refolded
by later upright folds on NW-SE axes. The latter are probably
represented by the large-scale folds seen on aerial photographs
and indicated on the Pakanbaru Quandrangle Sheet (Clarke et al.
1982b). Again, these more highly metamorphosed rocks may
represent fragments of an earlier metamorphic basement, or,
where rock types include tremolite and chlorite schists, may
represent a hitherto unrecognized suture zone.

On the Solok Sheet Silitonga & Kastowo (1975) recognized

a Limestone Member within the Kuantan Formation (Fig. 4.5),
composed of massive, black, white, grey or reddish limestone,
locally containing irregularly-shaped chert nodules, with interbeds
of quartzite and siliceous shale. Detailed petrographic studies
of samples of limestone have been made by Vachard (1989a, b).
He recognized algal structures, including algal mats, oolites and
possible pisolites, and concluded that the limestones were deposited
in an intratidal to supratidal environment. From the fossils
collected during the mapping survey Silitonga & Kastowo
(1975) established that the limestones in the Kuantan Formation
range in age from Lower Carboniferous to Mid-Permian, although
the younger limestones are better considered as a separate
Subsequently the fossiliferous localities were re-examined
by Fontaine & Gafoer (1989). New collections were made and
macro- and microfossils studied to establish the ages of these
limestone occurrences more precisely. Important localities
containing Carboniferous fossils occur in the Again River and
the Batang Kuantan Gorge (Fig. 4.5). The limestone outcrops
to the east of Lake Singkarak (Guguk Bulat) which yielded
Permian fossils are considered by Fontaine & Gafoer (1989)
to be best classified with the Mid-Permian Silungkang
Formation, rather than, as shown on the map of the Solok
Quadrangle, with the Kuantan Formation (Silitonga & Kastowo
Limestone outcrops in the Again River near the bridge on the
road from Bukit Tinggi to Pakanbaru yielded the alga Koninckopora
and the foraminifers Palaeotextularia, Eoendothyranopsis
and Archaediscus, indicating a Mid-Vis6an age. With additional
samples the age range was extended from the late Early or

early Mid-Vis6an to Late Vis6an (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). A

Mid-Late Vis6an age was confirmed by the discovery of conodonts,
including Gnathodus girO, i rhodesi Higgins, from
this locality (cf. the Alas Formation above) (Metcalfe 1983).
Limestones exposed in a scenic gorge along the Kuantan River
contain large colonies of the tabulate coral Syringopora, the fasciculate
Tetracorallia Siphenodendron and the alga Koninckopora
inflata, indicating a Late Vis~an age (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989;
Vachard 1989a, b). These limestones containing the colonial
coral Syringopora and intratidal algal mats, were evidently
deposited in a sub-tropical to tropical, shallow, warm water
Tigapuluh Group
Pre-Tertiary rocks form the Tigapuluh Mountains, isolated as
an inlier 70 km long and 40 km wide among the surrounding
Tertiary sediments, east of the Barisan Mountains to the south
of Rengat (Fig. 4.5). Three formations have been identified: the
Mentulu, Pengabuhan and the Gangsal formations, interpreted as
different facies of the Tigapuluh Group. The distribution of
these units are shown on the Rengat and Muarabungo Quadrangle
Sheets (Suwarna et al. 1991; Simandjuntak et al. 1991) (Fig. 4.6).
Deformation increases in intensity from NE to SW and in the
aureoles of Triassic-Jurassic granitic intrusions the sediments
are converted to spotted slates or hornfels.
Mentulu Formation. The Mentulu Formation, defined from outcrops
in the upper part of the Mentulu River, occupies large
areas in the northern and eastern parts of the Tigapuluh Mountains
(Fig. 4.6). The formation is characterized by pebbly mudstones,
similar to those of the Bohorok Formation of northern Sumatra.
The mudstones are interbedded with greywacke sandstones
and shales, the latter generally occurring as slates, or as hornfels

adjacent to granite contacts. The mudstone matrix contains irregularly

distributed angular to rounded clasts of granite, silicified
basalt, vein quartz, slate, quartzite and feldspar. The clasts are
generally of pebble size, up to a few centimetres, but may reach
30 cm in diameter. The pebbly mudstone is usually deformed,
with the matrix altered to slate, and the clasts flattened and
elongated within the cleavage planes. Cordierite is commonly
developed where the pebbly mudstones have been converted to
spotted slates or hornfels within metamorphic aureoles.
The interbedded greywacke sandstones are massive, dense, grey
sandstones, sometimes conglomeratic, containing folded quartz
veins. The sandstones are poorly sorted and also contain irregularly
distributed clasts, of the same rock types as those found in
the mudstones. The conglomerates are polymict and are composed
of sub-angular to rounded clasts. Finer sandstone units show
parallel lamination and may be poorly graded. Shale or claystone
units are well bedded and parallel laminated and contain scattered
matrix-supported fragments of quartz and feldspar. Some of
the sandstone units are tuffaceous and andesitic and basaltic
tuf~ distinguish the Condong Member in Bukit Condong and
Gunung Endalang (Fig. 4.6).
The pebbly mudstones of the Mentulu Formation, like those
in the Bohorok Formation in northern Sumatra are considered to
be of glacio-marine origin, and the lithology of the clasts indicates
a continental provenance.
Pengabuhan Formation. The Pengabuhan Formation occurs in the
central part of the Tigapuluh Mountains where it is defined from
outcrops in the upper part of the Pengabuhan River (Simandjuntak
et al. 1991) (Fig. 4.6). The formation is composed principally
of lithic greywackes or sandstones, quartzites and siltstones.
These lithologies contain irregularly distributed clasts of granite,

vein quartz and quartzite, similar to those seen in the Mentulu

Formation. The quartzites are often feldspathic and are wellsorted,
being composed of well rounded grains of quartz and
feldspar. The siltstones also contain clasts of feldspar, quartz
and lithic fragments. The outcrop patterns in the northern part of
the Tigapuluh Mountains, as delineated by Suwarna et al.
(1991) (Fig. 4.6), show the Mentulu and Pengabuhan formations
interdigitating, suggesting that they are facies variants, distinguished
only by the presence or absence of pebbly mudstone.
Alternatively the two units may have been imbricated by thrusting.
Gangsal Formation. The Gangsal Formation crops out in the
western part of the Tigapuluh Mountains, and was defined from
the upper part of the Gangsal River. The formation is also
shown occupying a small area between the Mentulu and
--I ,"Ut/l l 1
Inliers of
in Limau IFormation;
30' 45'

Condong (volcanic) Member
~'~ Mentulu Formation
ld~:':~?:4 (pebbly mudstones)
[:~i::i::iiiii::it! Pengabuhan Formation
[~}x...'..s ] Gangsal Formation
1 ooo's : Gangsal
.~~,'.-N.'.:[,,~" [ "15en. .g.a. buhan ~ _~.,-, %;
~\... :. : . . . . . . . . . . . - 7 . - - - .
0 5 10 15 20kin
15' 30'
to Jambi
Fig. 4.6. Distribution of stratigraphic units in the Tigapuluh Hills (alter Suwama et al. 1991"
Simandjuntak et al. 1991 ). Areas left blank are covered by Tertiary to Recent
Pengabuhan formations in the southern part of the mountains
(Fig. 4.6). It is distinguished from the other Pre-Tertiary units in
this area by the predominance of argillacous material, usually as
dark grey or black slate, grey, white or green phyllite, by a
higher degree of deformation, and in the neighbourhood of intrusions,
dark hornfels. The argillacous rocks are interbedded with
grey-green sandstones, composed of subangular to rounded
grains of quartz with lithic fragments, dark grey quartzites and
massive grey argillaceous limestones. All lithologies are extensively

veined by quartz.
Correlated formations in southern Sumatra
An isolated outcrop of low-grade metamorphic rocks in the
Duabelas Mountains to the SE of Muarabungo (Figs 4.2 & 4.5)
consisting of quartzite, siltstone, claystone, marble and rare mica
schist, distinguished as the Tarantam Formation, has been
correlated with the Kuantan Formation (Simandjuntak et al. 1991).
The Garba Mountains form an inlier of Pre-Tertiary rocks to
the south of Baturaja (Fig. 4.7). Here the oldest unit, composed
of low grade metamorphic rocks, is distinguished as the Tarap
Formation from a type locality in the Tarap River (Gafoer et al.
1994). These metamorphic rocks crop out on both the eastern
and western sides of the inlier where they are in thrust contact
and imbricated with the unmetamorphosed Lower Cretaceous
Garba Formation. The metamorphic rocks, which include phyllite,
schist, slate, minor quartzite and marble metamorphosed in
the greenshist facies, are interpreted as the metamorphosed
Palaeozoic basement of Sumatra, and are correlated lithologically
with the Tarantam and Kuantan formations of Central Sumatra
(Gafoer et al. 1994) and with the Gunungkasih Complex to the
south near Bandarlampung (Amin et al. 1994b).
Metamorphic rocks of the Gunungkasih Complex, named
from a hill to the SE of Tanjungkarang, form scattered outcrops
among Cretaceous granites and Quaternary volcanics in South
Sumatra (Fig. 4.8). Rock types include graphitic, micaceous,
sericitic, chloritic, quartzose and calcareous schist, sericitic quartzite
and marble of low- to medium-grade greenschist facies,
associated with migmatites, amphibolites and granitic gneisses
and intruded by granites. Amin et al. (1994b) and Andi Mangga
et al. (1994a) suggest that these metamorphic rocks may be
correlated with the Kuantan and Kluet formations of central and

northern Sumatra. The boundaries of lithological units and the

foliation strike in a NW-SE direction, parallel to the Sumatran
trend. Schistosity strikes in the same direction, is folded about
east-west axes and is refolded by NW-SE trending upright
folds and by variably oriented kink bands. K-Ar ages of
125 +5 and 115 __ 6 Ma (mid-Cretaceous) obtained from rocks
of the complex are taken to indicate the age of granite intrusion
and metamorphism of the metasediments. In outcrops to the NE of
Kotaagung, and SW of Tanjungkarang, rocks of the Gunungkasih
Complex are thrust southwestwards over unmetamorphosed
sediments of the Early Cretaceous Menanga Formation.
4o30 ,
104'~00 '
_,9 ...F . ,
o., ,,,.
% % %, % %` %, % % % %, % % "-" .~ .., ..~ ,,,, ,,.. ,,.,. .,
% % "% % % % % % '% % "%"-."'%"'%~" " t'~ . . . . . . F
,/,'...'Garba Pluton,",",,'%.'~ ,, ~,, ~ ~x@~.
% % % % % "% % "% "% % % % ~. -,,,,,..w, '~ "." "-" ~."O-" .O,Or
.Y ." ,' ," ,' ." ,' , ' , ' ,' -" ,' .rdununq A
i : ~ }~ ";"-"-"-"-"-~','.~:-:": :: ~ " - "'," - ' , " - ' , " , , . '~
. . . . Mm _9

Quaternary Sediments
Late Miocene
Middle Miocene
MARTAPURA~/,_~ F Faults
Late Cretaceous Granites
Mesozoic Units
(correlated with the Woyla Group)
~ Melange
Situlanglang (chert) Member
Garba (volcanic) Formation
0 5 10 t5 20km QS ~-""----__~J~Ev'/ Tarap Formation
' ~ (metamorphosed ?Palaeozoics)
Fig. 4.7. The distribution of the Pre-Tertiary units in the Garba Mountains, South Sumatra, after
GRDC geological map of Baturaja (Gafoer et al. 1994). The
Metamorphosed Palaeozoics are correlated with the Tapanuli Group and the Garba and
Situlanglang Formations are correlated with the Jurassic-Cretaceous Woyla Group
of northern Sumatra (see below).
Pemali Group, Bangka Island
Carboniferous-Permian rocks of the Pemali Group occur
on Bangka Island where they are imbricated with the Triassic
Tempilang Sandstones (Ko 1986) (Fig. 4.2). The Pemali Group
occurs in east-west trending, fault-bounded outcrops throughout
the island. Rock types include isoclinally folded pyritic shales

and limestones, the latter containing Permian fusulinids

(De Roever 1951), volcanics and bedded cherts, with radiolaria,
laminated mudstones and pebbly mudstones. According to the
description by Ko (1986) the pebbly mudstones from the
Toboali District in the southern part of the island resemble very
closely those already described from the Bohorok and Mentulu
formations, above, and contain clasts with a similar range of
sizes and lithologies, although previously these same outcrops
were described by De Roever (1951) as arkosic conglomerate.
Persing Complex, Singkep and the 'Quartzite Terrain'
The Persing Complex of the island of Singkep consists of
phyllite, slate, graphitic schists with quartz veins and bands of quartzite
(Sutisna et al. 1994). The quartzites are compared lithologically
with those of the Tarantam Formation in the Duablas Mountains. The
Persing Complex lies along strike from the 'Quartzite Terrain' identified
in oil company boreholes in the Pekanbaru area (Fig. 4.2).
Stratigraphy. Because of poor exposure, scattered outcrops and
the large numbers of faults which disrupt the sequence, it has
not yet proved possible to determine the stratigraphic relationships
of the units which make up the Tapanuli Group. The Vis~an
Alas Formation and Limestone Member of the Kuantan Formation
are the only units for which there is direct palaeontological
evidence of age. The Bohorok and Kluet/Kuantan formations
have also been regarded as of Carboniferous age because of their
close association with the Alas and Kuantan limestones in the
field, and because all three formations contain similar lithologies,
and in general show the same degree of deformation. The presence
of fossils indicating an age near the Devonian-Carboniferous
boundary in a borehole in the Malacca Strait (Eubank & Makki
1981), the identification of Late Carboniferous-Early Permian

fossils in the Pangururan Bryozoan Bed (AIdiss et al. 1983)

suggests that the Tapanuli Group may cover an age range from
Late Devonian to Early Permian.
The BGS/DMR surveyors, who mapped the Tapanuli Group
as part of the North Sumatra Project, considered that all three
units were broadly contemporaneous. They observed that pebbly
mudstones, characteristic of the Bohorok Formation, are interbedded
with quartz sandstones and pelitic sediments of turbidite
facies. These turbiditic sediments, with variations in the proportions
of the components, are the dominant lithoiogies in the
Kluet and Kuantan formations and also in the Tigapuluh Group
of Central Sumatra. Cameron et al. (1982a) report that, apart
from the presence or absence of pebbly mudstones, the lithologies
of the Bohorok and Kluet formations are so similar that the boundary
between them on the Medan Sheet was drawn arbitrarily
because of the difficulty in distinguishing between the two units.
The outcrop of the Alas Formation is interposed between the
Bohorok and Kluet formations (Figs 4.2 & 4.3). As reported
above a Vis6an (Lower Carboniferous) age has been established
for the Alas Formation (Fontaine 1989; Metcalfe 1983). A
- 5o15 ,
104~ ~45' 105~ ~ Recent'Volcanoes
Late Cretaceous Granites
mpung ~ , ~ (mid-Cretaceous)
Menanga Formation
. ~".~. .-.~" .~%, - -~. ~'<- '~ Ri ve r ~--~'~_~ ~- ,~
" <z;~ ~ ~ Gunungkasih Complex_

"\\ ~o /~'~. -"--~, BANDARLAMPUNG

\ %~,~s % ~ KOTAAGUNG
- 5~ ' \ 5~45 '"~'~. Strike-slip Faults
"~ Thrust Faults 0 ................... . ..................... 50km
104~ ' 104~ ' 105~ '
I ........................ l ................................ l ....................... I
Fig. 4.8. The distribution of the PreTertiary units of the Bandar Lampung area,
southern Sumatra after GRDC geological
map sheets of Kotaagung and
Tanjungkarang (Amin et al. 1994b; Andi
Mangga et al. 1994a). The Gunungkasih
Complex is correlated with the Palaeozoic
Tapanuli Group and the Menanga
Formation with the Jurassic-Cretaceous
Woyla Group of northern Sumatra (see
below). In areas left blank the older rocks
are covered by Tertiary and Quaternary
sediments and volcanics.
Vis~an age has also been established for the Limestone Member of
the Kuantan Formation (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989; Metcalfe 1983;
Vachard 1989a, b). The record by Turner (1983) of plant remains
in the Nior member of the Kuantan Formation is compatible with
this age attribution. Turbiditic sandstones and pelites, similar to
those of the Kluet and Bohorok formations, occur interbedded
with limestones characteristic of the Alas Formation, suggesting
to the surveyors that the Alas is part of the same sedimentary
sequence as the other units (Cameron et al. 1980). They therefore
considered that the Bohorok, Alas and Kluet/Kuantan formations

are lateral facies variants of a coherent sedimentary assemblage.

Clasts in the pebbly mudstones of the Bohorok, and conglomerates
in the Bohorok, Kluet and Kuantan formations and also in
the Tigapuluh Group of Central Sumatra, include the same range
of lithologies. Analysis of the composition of the clasts shows
that all these units were derived from a low-grade metamorphic
terrane composed of slates, phyllites, calc-silicate schists,
marbles and quartzites which were intruded by granitic rocks. A
K/Ar age of 1029 Ma from a trondjemite clast from pebbly
mudstones in the Langkawi Islands (Hutchison 1989, p. 16) indicates
that the source area included rocks of Proterozoic age. Some
argillaceous clasts show evidence from slaty cleavage and crenulation
cleavages that they had already undergone multiple deformation.
Locally the metamorphic grade in the source region was
higher, indicated by clasts of mica schist and granitic gneiss.
The granitic gneisses may have been formed by synkinematic
deformation of granites intruded into an active shear zones. Rare
chert clasts, may indicate the presence of oceanic rocks incorporated
in a collisional suture and rhyolite clasts indicate acid volcanism.
In fact, the palaeogeology of the area from which the
sediments of the Tapanuli and Tigapuluh groups were derived
resembles very closely the present-day geology of northern
Cameron et al. (1980) report that, within the Bohorok
Formation, pebbly mudstones die out in a southwesterly direction.
With the loss of pebbly mudstones the Bohorok Formation
interdigitates with, and passes into the Kluet Formation; they
regarded the latter as the lateral equivalent of the Bohorok
Formation, representing a more distal turbidite facies. Similar
relationships are described from Central Sumatra between the formations
in the Tigapuluh Group (Fig. 4.6). Cameron et al. (1980)

also observed a systematic reduction in the size and proportion of

clasts towards the SW in the pebbly mudstones and in conglomerates
throughout the Bohorok and Kluet formations. The inference
from these observations is that the sedimentary provenance of
the Tapanuli/Tigapuluh Group lay to the NE of Sumatra
and that deposition occurred on a continental margin extending
out into an ocean lying to the SW, in present day coordinates.
As reported above, Cameron et al. (1980) suggested that the
Kluet and the Bohorok formations were related facies of
the same age. The erroneous identification of a fossil coral
from the Alas Formation led Cameron et al. (1980) to suppose
that the Alas Formation was of Early Permian age and was therefore
preserved in a syncline, overlying the older Kluet and
Bohorok formations. Cameron et al. (1980) proposed a stratigraphic
scheme for the Tapanuli Group of northern Sumatra
based on an analogy with stratigraphic relationships seen near
Phuket in Peninsular Thailand (Garson et al. 1975) (Fig. 4.2). At
Phuket, pebbly mudstones of the Phuket Group, similar to those
of the Bohorok Formation of Sumatra, are underlain and interbedded
with a thick and extensive series of turbiditic sediments.
Fossils in the turbidites include the trilobite Cyrtosymbole (waribole)
perlisensis Kobayashi and Hamada (Mitchell et al. 1970)
of Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous age. The same fossil
occurs near the base of the pebbly mudstones and sandstones
forming the Sings Group, in Langkawi, a group of islands offshore
Peninsular Malaysia (Jones et al. 1966) (Fig. 4.2). In Phuket, the
pebbly mudstones are overlain by thin-bedded sandstones containing
a fauna of bryozoa and brachiopods and then by a 'Bryozoan
Bed' considered to be of Early Permian age (Mitchell et al. 1970;
Garson et al. 1975). Cameron et al. (1980) drew an analogy
between the Pangururan Bryozoan Bed of northern Sumatra and

the Early Permian Bryozoan Bed of Phuket. In Thailand the
Phuket Group is overlain by the Mid-Late Permian Ratburi
Limestone, which Cameron et al. (1980) correlated with the
Alas Formation of Sumatra. Now that the age of the Alas
Formation is firmly established as Early Carboniferous, the latter
correlation is no longer valid.
The present situation is, that although it is possible that Tapanuli
Group and its correlatives, the Kuantan Formation and Tigapuluh
Group of Central Sumatra extend down into the Devonian, the
only age diagnostic fossils so far identified in Sumatra are of
Lower Carboniferous, Vis6an age. No Toumaisian or Upper
Carboniferous rocks have so far been recognized. The only rock
unit which could possibly be of Late Carboniferous age is the
Pangururan Bryozoan Bed from Lake Toba (Fig. 4.4). As already
reported above, fossils collected from this locality have been identified
as of Late Carboniferous to Early Permian age, with the
balance of opinion in favour of the later age (Aldiss et al. 1983).
This age determination confirms the correlation with the Early
Permian Bryozoan Bed of Phuket proposed by Cameron et al.
(1980). The Pangururan Bryozoan Bed is interbedded with, and is
deformed, to the same extent as the associated sandstones and
slates of the Kluet (Bohorok?) Formation, which must also therefore
be partly of Early Permian age. No unconformities have so far been
recognized within the Tapanuli Group so that it is probable that the
group also includes rocks of Upper Carboniferous age.
As has been reported above interbedded quartzites and shales
were encountered beneath Tertiary sediments in boreholes to
the NE of Pekanbaru, in the Malacca Strait and in the Persing
Complex of Singkep Island. These occurrences were used by
Eubank & Makki (1981) to define a 'Quartzite Terrain'

(Fig. 4.2). Palynomorphs from the shales indicated an age near

the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. Similar rock units
composed of quartz-rich sandstones with shales and mudstones
described as the Kubang Pasu and Kenny Hill formations occur
on the eastern side of the Malacca Strait (Fig. 4.2). The Kubang
Pasu Formation outcrops in eastern Perlis and NW Kedah
where it is dated by Devonian trilobite pygidia at the base and
Carboniferous goniatites and brachiopods higher in the sequence,
and passes upwards conformably into the Lower Permian Chuping
Limestone Formation. The Kenny Hill Formation which outcrops
near Kuala Lumpur contains only trace fossils and poorly
preserved body fossils which do not provide a reliable indication
of age. However, it is considered to be of Carboniferous age
because it is younger than the adjacent Silurian Kuala Lumpur
Limestone Formation, but is cut by Mesozoic granites and ore
bodies (Stauffer, in Gobbett & Hutchison 1973). These quartzrich
units appear to have been derived from the east and are
considered to be stratigraphically equivalent to the Bohorok,
Kluet and Alas formations.
Pebbly mudstones. As noted above, pebbly mudstones similar to
those of the Bohorok Formation occur in the Langkawi Islands
and in Perlis in Peninsular Malaysia and at Phuket in Peninsular
Thailand. Similar deposits occur in the Mergui Series of the
Shah States of Myanmar and in the Salt Ranges of Pakistan.
Wherever they occur, there has been much discussion concerning
the origin of these pebbly mudstones.
Stauffer & Lee (1986), as part of their studies of the Singa
Formation in the Langkawi islands, described 'dropstone' structures
beneath clasts in laminated mudstones, which they attribute
to the deposition of pebbles and boulders carried by floating ice.
They conclude that the pebbly mudstones were deposited in a

glacio-marine environment. Similar detailed sedimentological

studies of the pebbly mudstones and their associated deposits
are required in Sumatra. Following the studies of Stauffer & Lee
(1986) a glacial origin for pebbly mudstones throughout the
region has generally been accepted, although dissenting opinion
has interpreted the pebbly mudstones, fi-om their association
with turbidite deposits, as the product of debris flows, due to
submarine mass wasting on a continental slope (e.g. Mitchell
et al. 1970).
In Peninsular Thailand, NW Malaysia and Baoshan in SW
China (Wang et al. 2001) pebbly mudstones are interbedded
with sediments containing Early Permian fossils. In Australia
the occurrence of glacial deposits indicates that glaciation commenced
in the Namurian, reached its peak in the Stephanian and
Sakmarian and had ceased by the Artinskian (Quilty 1984). it is
therefore possible that the Bohorok Formation with the diamictites
ranges in age from the Late Carboniferous to the Early Permian.
Palaeogeography. Cameron et al. (1980) suggest that the Tapanuli
Group represents a continental margin sequence deposited on a
rifted passive margin. The reduction in clast sizes in the mudstones
and conglomerates of the Bohorok and Kluet formations, with a
decrease in the frequency and grain size of sandstone units in a
southwesterly direction, suggest that in Carboniferous times an
open ocean lay in this direction. In this model turbiditic sandstones
and shales were deposited in rift basins, while limestones of the
Alas and Kuantan formations formed carbonate banks on horst
blocks of uplifted basement, perhaps represented by the high
grade metamorphic rocks associated with the Alas Formation in
the field.
Following Cameron et al. 1980, Fontaine & Gafoer (1989)
interpreted the Carboniferous rocks in the northern part of

Sumatra as a series of contemporaneous sedimentary facies

formed on a continental margin (Fig. 4.9). They suggest that the
Kubang Pasu and Kenny Hill formations in the western part of
the Malay Peninsula, and quartzites and quartz sandstones
encountered in oil company boreholes along the Malacca Straits
represent littoral and shelf facies sands in the east. The pebbly
0 250 500km
Fig. 4.9. Carboniferous palaeogeography of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula
(from Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). The description of the facies and the
palaeogeographic interpretation are given in the text.
mudstones of the Bohorok Formation represent deposits from a
melting floating ice-shelf or icebergs, which are interbedded
with turbiditic sands and shales, passing into distal turbidites
and deep water shales further offshore in the Kluet Formation.
The limestones of the Alas Formation, with oolites and current
bedding, as described in the foregoing account, represent
shallow water carbonates deposited on a 'high' in the continental
shelf environment.
Fontaine & Gafoer (1989) relate the fauna and algal flora of
the Visdan Alas limestones to those found elsewhere in the
Sibumasu Block, in western Peninsular Malaya, Thailand and
Burma. On the other hand, they relate the fauna and algal flora
of the limestones in the Visdan Kuantan Formation to those
of the eastern Peninsular Malaya and the Indochina Block in
Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
While the Alas limestones could have been deposited in a
cool environment, the fauna and flora of the Kuantan limestones
clearly indicate a tropical environment of deposition. Since the
Alas and Kuantan formations are contemporaneous, they must

have been deposited in different environments on separate

plates, and were only been brought together in Sumatra by postCarboniferous movements. This relationship is indicated on the
Fontaine & Gafoer's (1989) Carboniferous palaeogeographic
reconstruction of Sumatra (Fig. 4.9) by an arbitrary WNW-ESE
boundary, separating the Kuantan Formation from the outcrops
of the Kluet, Alas and Bohorok formations to the north. This
line has no present structural expression.
Peusangan Group (Permo-Triassic)
During the North Sumatra Survey, Pre-Tertiary rock units lying to
the NW of the Sumatran Fault System, which were apparently
less deformed than the Tapanuli Group, were classified in the
Peusangan Group, named from the Peusangan River which flows
northwards from Lake Tawar to the Andaman Sea. Fossil evidence
showed that some of these units are of Permian and Triassic age
(Cameron et al. 1980). This terminology was subsequently
extended to all Permo-Triassic units throughout Sumatra
(McCourt et al. 1993). Because the outcrops of the Permo-Triassic
units are so scattered and correlations uncertain, each occurrence
has been given a separate formation name (Fig. 4.10). Many of
the units include limestones, some of which are fossiliferous
so that the age may be precisely determined, but others are so
recrystallized that fossils are unrecognizable. These units, with
discussion of the evidence for their ages, will be described in
order from north to south.
Uneun Unit (Fig. 4.3). The Uneun Unit composed of slates,
metamorphosed limestones and epidotized basic volcanics is
named from the Kreung Uneun in the Takengon Quadrangle
(Cameron et al. 1983), and extends northwards onto the adjacent
Lhokseumawe Quadrangle (Keats et al. 1981). No fossils have
been found in this unit. The Unuen Unit probably incorporates

rock units which should more appropriately have been included

in the Carboniferous Kluet Formation (slates) or the JurassicCretaceous Woyla Group (epidotized basalts).
Situtup Limestone Formation (Fig. 4.3). Bedded or massive fossiliferous
limestones and intermediate volcanics cropping out in
Gle Situtup, a mountain 40 km to the NW of Takengon, have
been designated the Situtup Limestone Formation ('Sitotop
Limestone Formation' on the Takengon Quadrangle Sheet)
(Cameron et al. 1983). Other limestone outcrops are shown
resting on thrust planes above Tertiary sediments, or on units of
the Jurassic-Cretaceous Woyla Group, which crops out extensively
to the west. On the map the volcanic rocks are shown
cropping out within the main limestone, and are described as
epidotized basaltic breccia and agglomerate, schistose locally
where they have been involved in thrust zones. From this description
it is possible that these volcanics belong to the Woyla Group
and have been intercalated with the limestones by thrusting.
Fossils have been recovered from the limestones of the
Situtup Formation. They include the foraminifers, Agathammina/
Agathaminoides sp., Planinvolutina cf. mesotriassica, Involutina
sp. ?sinuosa, Parafusulina sp., Pseudodoliolina sp., Neoschwagerina
sp. and a coral Thecosmilia sp. (Cameron et al. 1983).
Some of these fossils are of mid-Permian age (Parafusulina, Pseudodoliolina
and Neoschwagerina), while others are of Mid-Late
Triassic age (lnvolutina, Planinvolutina cf. mesotriassica and
Thecosmilia) (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). From this fossil evidence
it is possible that the limestone constitutes a continuous depositional
sequence extending from the mid-Permian to Late Triassic,
and that the absence of Late Permian and Early Triassic fossils
is due to the accident of collection. More probably, as elsewhere
in Sumatra, there is an important unconformity within the

outcrop, in which Upper Permian and Lower Triassic rocks

are absent. Unfortunately the relationship between Permian and
Triassic components of these outcrop are unknown. These
relationships should be the subject of future investigation.
Ujeuen Limestone Formation (Fig. 4.3). The Ujeuen Limestone
Formation outcrops as massive limestones to the south of
Lhokseumawe where they are relatively innaccessible and
poorly known. No fossils have been reported from these outcrops
(Cameron et al. 1983).
Tawar Formation (Fig. 4.3). Bedded to massive limestones with
minor phyllites cropping out on either side of Lake Tawar near
Takengon are designated the Tawar Formation (Cameron et al.
1983). Massive limestones, identified on the Takengon Quadrangle
Sheet as a Reefal Member, occur along the northern side of
the lake. Phyllites and massive volcanics to the south of the lake
are identified as the Toweren Member. No fossils have been
found in any of these units. On the map they occur as thrust
slices imbricated with the slates and phyllites of the CarboniferousPermian Kluet Formation, the Jurassic-Cretaceous Woyla
Group and Tertiary sediments. Again, it is possible that the
phyllites and volcanies of the Toweren Member belong to the
Woyla Group.
Sembuang Formation (Fig. 4.3). Fifty kilometres to the east of Lake
Tawar is the outcrop of the Sembuang Formation composed of
massive recrystallized limestones overlying metamorphosed
quartz sandstones (Cameron et al. 1983). No fossils have been
Kaloi Limestone Formation (Fig. 4.3). The Kaloi Limestone
Formation crops out 40 km to the SSW of Langsa, where it is
described as massive reddish tuffaceous limestone and dolomite,
pock-marked by sink holes and flanked by fossiliferous shales,

limestones and sandstones (Bennett et al. 1981c). The massive

limestones have yielded the trilobite Phillipsia aft. sumatraensis
of Permian age (Tesch 1916). Forltaine (in Fontaine & Gafoer
1989) reports Halobia, and the shales have yielded Neoproetus
indicus and Fenestella retiformis indicating a Late Triassic age.
in confirmation of the age, Metcalfe (1989a) obtained a specimen
of a Triassic conodont, Epigondondolella postera Kozer and
Mostler, from limestones and mudstones of the Kaloi Formation
in the Sungai Kaloi, 5 km upstream from Kaloi. The relationship
between the Permian and Triassic components of this unit is
Batumilmil Limestone Formation (Fig. 4.3). Fossiliferous 'reefal'
limestones and grey calcilutites with chert lenses of the
Batumilmil Limestone Formation outcrop in the eastern foothills
of the Barisan Mountains to the SW of Medan. Fossils include
t 0 9~o 918~ 1~)0~ 14 Ch.uping. 1~2o ~ 1~)4o 1~6o 1~)8o
;,I['BAN DA ACEH _^~o .- , g~ Limestone
l'~ ~Uneuen LHOKSUMAWE PENANGF,_)[~ ~ ~ l ~ l - - l " ) l ~ , / l l A I k l ,,.,.,-,,.,I
-r'DIAOOIf "~
~. ~ L[nit(NF) .'O~.. ~)~.~ r ~ - n l v l l ~ l , ~ etuu/n~t-~oo~u
... " e ~ Ujeuen (Lst) .~k..~ i
Situtup(Lst) ~ _9 Formation (NF) (~rj~~176
Formation Sembuan {,st Peusan g an Grou p
(M P, M=LT) ~,Tawa~r st)~ Formation (N F)
Formation e Kaloi Formation(Lst)(P LT) _9 _9
-4~ '~ ~'~ ~O LANGSA , r)~-" I~:....:....:iiii::l Tr,asslc chert & sandstone (Ch,CI)_
" k ~ " ~N~" Bat~umilmil(Lst) ~ Kodiang 1"~..~ Permian and Triassic
"N k ~ ~ ~Formation (MP, T) k,,Llmestone ~ llm,-,efnntae //e{~
"~ ~\ k~ ~ Kualu(Cl)Formation (M-L~ ~ - , .... ~,~,~,,~ ~L--,a,/
' Permian (Volc)volcanic units

~ , Pangururan~ \'h '~ - K~al~(Ch.Ssl

" ' o Bryo~nBed'~ ~.~Form~on~_LT~_ r ~ ~ Permian sedimentary units (CI)
_ 2 ~ v - ',~..~ \ ~ . . . . . . . . . . ~ . : . : . : . . . . : . : . = 2 o_
~ \ ,~-%~ c-----. ~ , ~ (Ch= chert; CI= clastics)
~ [ Silungk.ang.(C~.~D\ Telukkido "~1~ KUNDUR "
t-or_m_aCt ounb a(dMa~k')( Ci)~%Formaho. n (LT-J) ,~Lrp~a pa(nM -FLoTr)m a,t-i on
Format o6 _9 LUBUK~IKAPING ] %~% LINGGA 0 ~
- 0 ~ o ~ (M-LTI " \ %Tuhur Formation(CI) j . f ) \ , ~
,~ " '~, \ (M-LT) ~ .,/q~"~ ( M - LT)
s Silun g kan g (CI, Lst) Palepat(Volc). '~/
Formation (M~St)~,Palr~natlon (EP) - ~
PADANG ~ ,~\"~:.~,~. Barisan(CI)
(' \ Tuhur(CI)""~..'r Formation
~. ~ F~ ~B~inOMUAR.ABUNG~JAMBI~. ~BtmNGKA~sandstone
-,,..,_r ' ' ~ \ /~'%-. ~a~epa~(vo~c) - ) ~-:.:.:.:-:-.~ p u
_ 2 ~ ,.~ ~ N,.,aoltCl~']~Formati0n (EP) ~ C::~r---::::::::::~ (M-LT) 2 ~ _
~ ~ Pemali Group(Ch Ss)
I:,~ s ~ Mengkarang(cI) J,.u....~v'"~:---:.i~ (MP~ ~',,,, TnN
" ~,~ '~ML LP) ~, Forma"ti on( EP) - I r !~ ' . . .~. .?.M. . P)
"~ ~'~'~k Buklt . P'AALLEEMMBBAANI~GG %"" :.Q ) o 'O
(LT-J) Late Triassic to Jurassic nendo~o(Lst) /)
(M-LT) Middle to Late T r i a s s i c BENGKULU'~'~ ~. (MP) )L
- 4~ (MP) Middle Permian ~ ~. { 4~
(EP) Early Permian ~.~
(NF) No age-diagnostic fossils found "-~~
_60o 100 6 20o 30~0 4oo OOOkm
98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~
Fig. 4.10. Distribution of Permo-Triassic rocks in Sumatra.
fenestellids, echinoids, ?cephelapods and corals (Cameron et al.
1982a). Fontaine & Vachard (1984) report a fauna collected
from the Batumilmil Limestone at Laubuluh, a village 13 km to

the north of Tigabinanda with crinoids, bryozoa, productid

bracbiopods and rare foraminifers Nodasaria(?), Pachiploia
cukurkoyi and Multidiscus padangensis. This fauna indicates a
Murghabian to Dzhulfian (mid-Late Permian) age for the
Batumilmil Formation (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). Triassic conodonts
(Hindeodella triassica Muller) were found by Metcalfe
(1986) in limestones of the Batumilmil Limestone Formation at
Sungai Wampu (Fig 4.3). This form ranges throughout the Triassic.
Pangururan Bryozoan Bed (Fig. 4.4). The Pangururan Bryozoan
Bed on Lake Toba has already been discussed in the review of
the Carboniferous formations in Sumatra. The fauna was considered
to range from Late Carboniferous to Early Permian, with
the balance of opinion favouring an Early Permian age (Aldiss
et al. 1983). No other occurrences of rocks of either of these
ages have yet been found elsewhere in Sumatra. Unfortunately,
this fauna was not re-examined during the review of fossil
localities in Sumatra by Fontaine & Gafoer (1989).
Kualu Formation (Figs 4.3 & 4.4). The Kualu Formation crops out
as small isolated exposures among Toba Tufts to the south of
Medan (Cameron et al. 1982a) (Fig. 4.3) and over a much larger
area to the NW of Rantauprapat and to the south of Lake Toba
(Clarke et al. 1982a; Aldiss et al. 1983) (Fig. 4.4). Lithologies
typical of the Kualu Formation have also been encountered in
oil company boreholes to the SE of Rantauprapat, below Tertiary
sediments, and have been described under the name of the 'Mutus
Assemblage' (Eubank & Makki 1981). Similar rocks also occur in
the island of Kundur off the coast of east Sumatra where they are
called the Papan Formation (Cameron et al. 1982c) (Fig. 4.10).
At the type locality in the Sungai Kualu, the lithologies are thinbedded
sandstones, wackes, siltstones and mudstones. The
mudstones are often carbonaceous and contain wood and plant

fragments. The upper part of the succession is more arenaceous,

with cross-beds, load and flute casts and slump structures in the
sandstone units. The Papan Formation on Kundur is more
The characteristic Mid-Late Triassic bivalve Halobia sp.
occurs at many localities, including H. tobensis and H. kwaluana.
of Mid-late Carnian and H. simaimaiensis of Norian age
(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989).
A Pangunjungan Member is distinguished in the river section of
the same name and is traced along the southwestern side of the
main outcrop (Fig. 4.4). This unit shows the same lithological
assemblage as described above, but the rocks are finer grained
and include thin bedded limestones and grey to pale brown
radiolarian cherts. The radiolaria from these rocks have not been
identified. Irregular disharmonic folds are interpreted as sedimentary
slumps (Clarke et al. 1982a).
To the east and south of Lake Toba a Sibaganding Limestone
Member has been distinguished (Fig. 4.4). The limestones are
pale to dark grey biocalcilutites and have yielded an ammonite
Alloclionites aft. timorensis (Early Norian--Ishibashi 1975),
corals, brachiopods, gastropods and conodonts; the latter include
the zonal form Metapolygnathus polygnatoformis (Late
Carnian). At the type locality in the road section along the
eastern side of Lake Toba 3 km to the north of Prapat, limestones
of the Sibaganding Member with Daonella and Halobia overlie
shales of the Kualu Formation (Metcalfe et al. 1979; Fontaine &
Gafoer, 1989, Fig. 22). The microfauna and flora from the
limestone outcrop has been identified and illustrated by Vachard
(1989c) and the microfacies have described by Beauvais et al.
(1989). Although the fossils include corals, calcisponges and

encrusting bryozoa, and other reef-building organisms, these are

scattered in a micritic matrix and do not form reef structures.
The environment of deposition is interpreted as a mud mound.
The rocks are moderately to tightly folded about NW-SE trending
sub-horizontal axes with easterly dipping axial planes (Aldiss
et al. 1983).
Cubadak Formation (Fig. 4.4). The Cubadak Formation is named
from the Air Cubadak on the western side of the Rao Graben to
the north of Lubuksikaping (Rock et al. 1983). It is composed of
dark grey, well-bedded mudstones with interbedded siltstone
laminae and volcaniclastic sandstones, frequently yielding the
pelecypod Halobia flattened on bedding surfaces. A section of
the Cubadak Formation in the Aek (Air) Cubadak to the south
of Limau Manis was described by Turner (1983). This section
contains limestones which were not mentioned in the description
of the formation given by Rock et al. (1983). About 100 m of
blue-grey calcareous mudstones are interbedded with cm thick
tuffaceous limestones, sometimes containing ooliths nucleated
around mineral grains. The oolitic limestones show cross lamination.
The sequence yielded Halobia sp. and several ammonites:
Trachyceras sp. ind. and ?Ceratites sp. This faunal assemblage
indicates that the sequence is of Ladinian age (Late Triassic).
Limau Manis Formation. Turner (1983) also defined the Limau
Manis Formation from outcrops in the Air Cubadak to the north
of Limau Manis. These outcrops were mapped as part of the
(Permian) Silungkang Formation by Rock et al. (1983). The lithologies
include breccio-conglomerates with clasts of limestone and
acid and basic igneous material, followed by tuffaceous mudstones,
cross-bedded volcaniclastic sandstones, the cross beds
indicating derivation from the NW, and bioclastic turbidites.
These calciturbidites are rich in reworked fusulinids and corals

of mid-Late Permian age. The mudstones contain abundant

ammonites Acanthinites sp., Helictites sp., ?Tibetites sp. ind. indicating
a Ladinian, Carnian to Norian age (Mid-Late Triassic)
(Turner 1983).
Telukkido Formation (Fig. 4.4). Rock et al. (1983) defined the
Telukkido Formation cropping out between Pasirpengarayan and
Lubuksikaping from a stream of the same name. The rocks are
dark grey quartzose sandstones and shales with minor limestones
and thin coals. A Limestone Member composed of recrystallized
or argillaceous limestones is also recognized. In the type locality
these rocks yielded plant remains from pyritic quartzite, with
leaf impressions identified as Otozamites sp. (possibly Pterophyllum)
and Ptilophyllum sp. The flora is identified as of Late Triassic
to Early Jurassic age, most probably Jurassic. Although this unit is
included in the Permo-Triassic Peusangan Group by Rock et al.
(1983) they suggest that it might better be classified with the
Jurassic Rawas Formation of Central Sumatra which will be
discussed later.
Tuhur Formation (Figs 4.4 & 4.5). Silitonga & Kastowo (1975)
defined the Tuhur Formation forming extensive outcrops to the
SE of Lake Singkarak in the Solok Quadrangle. This outcrop
was later extended southwards into the Painan-Timurlaut
Muarasiberut Quadrangle to the east of Lakes Dibawah and
Diatas (Rosidi et al. 1976). A further outcrop was mapped to the
NE of Payakumbuh and this outcrop was traced northwards,
using aerial photographic interpretation, across the equator into
the Pekanbaru Quadrangle (Clarke et al. 1982b). Silitonga &
Kastowo (1975) distinguished a Slate and Shale Member,
forming the greater part of the outcrop, composed of grey to
dark grey slate, black shales, and brown cherts with thin greywacke
sandstones, and a Limestone Member composed of

poorly bedded sandy limestone and massive fossiliferous

conglomeratic limestone, with thin intercalated shale and slate.
Limestone pebbles in the conglomerates contain fusulinid foraminifera
of Permian age. Musper (1930) suggested that this
formation is of Triassic age. The Tuhur Formation may be
correlated with the Kualu Formation, described above.
Silungkang Formation (Figs 4.4 & 4.5). The type locality for the
Silungkang Formation (Klomp6 et al. 1961) is the road and river
sections around the village of Silungkang, between Solok and
Sawahlunto to the SE of Lake Singkarak. The formation also
crops out discontinuously along Lake Singkarak and northwestwards
across the equator towards Muarasipongi. A lower Volcanic
Member is composed of hornblende and augite andesites with
intercalated tufts, limestones, shale and sandstone. An upper
Limestone Member is also recognized, composed of massive
grey limestone interbedded with shales, sandstones and tufts
(Silitonga & Kastowo 1975). The rocks are commonly highly
fossiliferous with large foraminifers: Doliolina lepida Schwager,
Pseudofusulina padangensis, Neoschwagerina multiseptata
Deprat and Fusulinella lantenoisi Deprat, at Silungkang (Katili
1969). Large fusulinacean foraminifers, Nankinella, Parafusulina
and Pseudodoliolina and the porcellaneous foraminifer Hemogordius
were also collected from an outcrop in the Aek Cubadak
near Rao (Rock et al. 1983); these fossils indicate an Artinskian
to Kazanian age for this outcrop. Waagenophyllid corals
(Pavastehphyllum sp.) occur in limestones intercalated with volcanics
and shales at Silungkang and in limestones at Guguk Bulat
(Ipciphyllum and Wentzzelloides) where the Ombilin River flows
out of Lake Singkarak; the latter indicating a Murghabian age
(Fontaine 1982). The Guguk Bulat locality was classified with
the Kuantan Formation by Silitonga & Kastowo (1975) but

is more reasonably correlated with the Silungkang Formation

(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989).
Barisan Formation (Fig. 4.5). Rosidi et al. (1976) defined the
Barisan Formation from outcrops of phyllite, slate, arkosic sandstone,
limestone and cherts south of Solok and NE of the Sumatran
Fault. The foliation in the phyllites and slates trends NNW-SSE,
parallel to the fault. Rosidi et al. (1976) also defined a Limestone
Member which forms linear outcrops trending in the same
direction. The limestones cropping out at Bukit Cermin have
yielded fusulinid foraminifers including Schwagerina sp. of
Early Permian age. In the eastern part of its outcrop the Barisan
Formation is equivalent to the Silungkang Formation, and
Fontaine & Gafoer (1989) recommend that its designation as a
separate formation should be discontinued.
Palepat Formation (Fig. 4.5). Rosidi et al. (1976) defined the
Palepat Formation composed of andesitic, basaltic and rhyolitic
lavas and tufts interbedded with siltstones and crystalline
limestones, which they considered to be a volcanic member of
the Barisan Formation. It is also equivalent to the volcanic unit
forming lower part of the Silungkang Formation, described
above. The interbedded limestones are sometimes fossiliferous,
and fragmental brachiopods and crinoids occur in the tufts. The
foraminifer Fusulina sp. was identified from limestones in
the Sungai Tabir. A rich brachiopod fauna and the fusulinids
Veerbeekina and Sumatrina described by Meyer (1920) and
Tobler (1923) from the Sugai Selajau indicates a Lower Permian
age (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989).
Ngaol Formation (Fig. 4.5). The Ngaol Formation, defined
by Rosidi et al. (1976) in the southeastern part of the Painan
Quadrangle Sheet, includes a Limestone Member with Fusulinella,

Sumatrina and Siphoneae (Tobler 1922). High-grade metamorphic

gneiss, schist and marble cropping out in the same area
were also inappropriately included in this unit (Rosidi et al.
1976). Fontaine & Gafoer (1989) report that limestones in the
Sungai Tabir downstream of Ngaol village are rich in Middle
Permian fossils, while upstream the rocks are of Jurassic age,
and recommend that the recognition of the Ngaol Formation as a
separate unit should be abandoned. Again, the Permian rocks in
this unit may be regarded as part of the Silungkang Formation.
Mengkarang Formation (Fig. 4.5). The Mengkarang Formation,
famous internationally for its 'Jambi Flora', was defined by
Suwarna et al. (1994) from outcrops in the Mengkarang River
and adjacent river sections to the SW of Bangko. In earlier descriptions
this formation was divided into the Air Kuning, Salamuku
and Karing Beds (Zwierzijcki 1935), but these terms are now
considered to be obsolete (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). Rock types
in the Mengkarang Formation include conglomerate, sandstone,
siltstone, claystone, sometimes carbonaceous, limestone and thin
coals. The sandstones are poorly sorted and clasts in conglomerates
and sandstones include volcanics, quartzite and vein quartz
(Simandjuntak et al. 1991). Outcrops in the banks of the Batang
Tembesi at Pulau Bayer are composed of sandstone and polymict
conglomerates with wood fragments and with a siliceous cement.
The sandstones are folded into an anticline on an east-west axis,
overturned towards the north. Thin intervening shales have not
developed a slaty cleavage. These outcrops show imbrication of
thin sandstone beds, indicating westward-directed thrust movements,
prior to the folding. On the opposite side of the river,
vertically bedded grey limestones show algae, bryozoa and gasteropods
weathering out on the surface. Numerous fossil localities in
the Mengkarang Formation which have yielded algae, fusulinid

foraminifera, brachiopods, gastropods, crinoids and corals are

indicated on maps by Fontaine & Gafoer (1989, Figs. 13 & 14).
The 'Jambi Flora' was originally described by Zwierzijcki
(1935), Jongmans (1937) and Marks (1956). The flora and fauna
have more recently been reviewed by Asama et al. (1975),
Vozenin-Serra (1989) and Fontaine & Gafoer (1989). Asama
et al. (1975) concluded that the flora, which is rich in lycophytes,
pteridophytes, pteridosperms, cordaites, and gymnosperms, is
composed entirely of Euramerican and north Cathaysian species
and includes no Gondwanan species. It is older than the typical
Cathaysian Gigantopteris flora and may represent an earlier
stage in its development (Asama 1976, 1984). Vozenin-Serra
(1989) reported the occurrence of Cordaites and coniferous
wood fragments collected by Fontaine. These wood fragments
do not show annual rings, which is taken to indicate that they
grew in a tropical or semi-tropical environment. After reviewing
the flora, Vozenin-Serra (1989) concluded that it corresponds
with the oldest horizon of the Cathaysian flora of northern China
and represents the southernmost record of this flora.
The plant-bearing horizons containing the Jambi Flora are interbedded
with limestones containing fusulinids, tabulate and
rugose corals, brachiopods and a rich tropical algal microflora
(Vachard 1989a, b). The fauna has affinities with the fauna of
the Lower Permian of China and Central Europe (Fontaine &
Gafoer 1989). Fusulinids indicate that the plant beds are of
Upper Asselian age, possibly extending into the Sakmarian (Fontaine
& Gafoer 1989, footnote on p. 55).
Bukit Pendopo (Fig. 4.10). Limestone cropping out in Bukit
Pendopo in the core of a faulted anticline on the Lahat Quadrangle
Sheet (Gafoer et al. 1986b) has yielded abundant Permian fossils
including fusulinids, small foraminifera and algae. The fusulinids

include Arminina asiatica, Cancellina praeneoschwagerinoides

and Neoschwagerina simplex. These fossils indicate an Early
Murghabian age for this limestone outcrop (Tien 1989).
Pemali Group (?Carboniferous-Early Permian) (Fig. 4.10)
As mentioned above, rocks of Carboniferous-Permian age on the
islands of Bangka and Billiton have been termed the Pemali
Group. The Pemali Group in the Taboali District on the southern
tip of Billiton includes 'pebbly mudstones', identical to those of
the Bohorok and Mentulu formations of mainland Sumatra.
Permian fusulinids were found at Air Durin on the island of
Bangka by De Roever, in limestones forming part of the Pemali
Group (De Neve & De Roever 1947; De Roever 1951; Ko
1986). Early Permian fusulinids have also been found offshore
the north coast of the adjacent island of Billiton (Belitung)
(van Overeem 1960; Strimple & Yancey 1976). Other Permian
fossils recorded from Billiton include the ammonoid Agathiceras
sundaicum of latest Artinskian or earliest Kungurian age, found as
float in a tin placer (Archbold 1983). Archbold (1983) relates
this form, and also a Permian nautiloid Neorthoceras to the
Permian Bitauni fauna of Timor (Charlton et al. 2002). Strimple
& Yancey (1976) report the occurrence of the crinoid Moscovicrinus
from Selumar of probable Early Permian, Sakmarian age
(Archbold 1983), and undescribed plant fragments of general
Permian age have been ascribed to the Cathaysian floral province
(van Overeem 1960).
Tempilang Sandstone (Mid-Late Triassic) (Fig. 4.10)
The Middle to Upper Triassic Tempilang Sandstone crops out
extensively in Bangka Island (Ko 1986). A limestone intercalated
with sandstones and shales in the Lumut Tin Mine yielded
Entrochus, Encrinus, Montlivaltia molukkana and Perodinella
which were attributed a Norian age (De Neve & De Roever

1947). The characteristic Late Triassic thin-shelled bivalve

Daonella has been reported from the island of Lingga to the
north of Bangka (Bothe 1925b).
As presently defined (Cameron et al. 1980; McCourt et al. 1993),
the Peusangan Group includes units of both Permian and Triassic
age. Permian rocks occur throughout the island of Sumatra from
Aceh in the north to Bukit Pendopo in the south as well as in
Bangka and Billiton. Triassic rocks are known only from the
northern part of the main island of Sumatra, to the north of the
equator, but also occur extensively in Bangka and Billiton
(Fig. 4.10). The palaeontological evidence for the age of the
Permo-Triassic units in Sumatra as determined by Fontaine &
Gafoer (1989) is illustrated in Figure 4.11.
The only possible representative of the Lower Permian in northern
Sumatra is the Pangururan Bryozoan Bed whose age, on
the basis of its fauna, has not been definitively established. In
southern Sumatra on the other hand Lower Permian rocks

Fig. 4.11. Palaeontological evidencc for the ages of Permo-Triassic stratigraphic units in Sumatra
(data from Fontaine & Gafoer 1989).
outcrop extensively in the Barisan Mountains southwards from
Muarasipongi and are also found in Bangka and Billiton.
Lower Permian formations in southern Sumatra include the
andesitic, basaltic and rhyolitic volcanics of the Palepat Formation
and the lower part of the Silungkang Formation. These volcanics
are frequently interbedded with limestones and clastic sediments,
and the limestones in particular, frequently contain large fusulinid
foraminifera and other fossils which have allowed precise age
determinations. Early Permian, Asselian to Kungurian ages,
have been established for the Barisan and Palepat formations,
and also for the Mengkarang Formation with its 'Jambi Flora'
(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). Cameron et al. (1980) interpreted
these Lower Permian volcanics and the associated rocks as products
of a Permian volcanic arc with its volcaniclastic sedimentary
apron and carbonate reefs.
Pulunggono & Cameron (1984) extended this interpretation into

northern Sumatra on the basis of the occurrence of volcanic rocks

in the Situtup Formation and volcanics of the Toweren Member
of the Tawar Formation. However, no fossils have yet been
found in the Tawar Formation so that its age is unknown, and fusulinids
in the Situtup Formation have not been dated more precisely
than mid-Permian. As noted above, it is possible that the
epidotized basaltic rocks of the Situtup Formation and the
Toweren Member of the Tawar Formation, should more properly
be classified with the Jurassic-Cretaceous Woyla Group, cropping
out in the same area, which includes similar lithologies. On the
basis of the available evidence the case for the extension of the
Early Permian volcanic arc into northern Sumatra is unproven.
Geochemical studies and isotopic dating of the volcanic rocks
are required to resolve this problem.
Ages of deformation and metamorphism. During the Northern
Sumatra Survey a distinction was made between the
Carboniferous-Permian Tapanuli Group, which is invariably
affected by greenschist metamorphism, with the development of
slates and phyllites, and the Permo-Triassic Peusangan Group,
which is relatively undeformed and unmetamorphosed, except
where it occurs in metamorphic aureoles (Cameron et al. 1980;
Pulunggono & Cameron 1984). It was therefore proposed that
the major phase of deformation occurred between the deposition
of these two units. In order to establish the age of deformation
and metamorphism affecting the older unit, it is essential to determine
the ages of the units in the Tapanuli and Peusangan groups
more precisely. The age of the Pangururan Bryozoan Bed is
critical in this respect. The Bryozoan Bed is interbedded with turbiditic
rocks identified as part of the Kluet (Bohorok?) Formation
and is deformed with a slaty cleavage in exactly the same way as
the surrounding rocks (Aldiss et al. 1983). Deformation of the

Kluet/Kuantan, Alas and Bohorok formations therefore occurred

after the deposition of this unit. As has been reported above, the
fragmentary fauna obtained from the Pangururan Bryozoan Bed
indicates a Late Carboniferous to Early Permian age, although
the palaeontologists from the British Museum who made the determinations
favoured the later age. If this age determination is
accepted, the major deformation of the Tapanuli Group occurred
after the deposition of the Bryozoan Bed, while the mid-Permian
Situtup Limestone and Batumilmil Limestone formations of the
Peusangan Group are undeformed. The main deformation in northern
Sumatra therefore occurred in the late Early Permian or Early
Middle Permian as Cameron et al. (1980) proposed. Certainly the
main deformation of the Tapanuli Group in northern Sumatra
occurred before the Triassic, as the Sibaganding Member of the
Mid-Late Triassic Kualu Formation, cropping out along the
shores of Lake Toba near the outcrop of the Bryozoan Bed,
shows open folding, but the associated argillaceous units do not
show a penetrative slaty cleavage.
This conclusion can be extended throughout eastern Sumatra
where the Tapanuli Group, the Malarco or Malang Formation on
Kundur Island, the Persing Complex of Singkep Island and
the Pemali Group of northern Bangka were all deformed prior to
the mid-Triassic. However, it cannot be extended to central
Sumatra. Although the Kuantan Formation in central Sumatra
shows the same slaty cleavage with multiple deformation as the
Kluet Formation in the same area, the Permian Barisan, the
Triassic Tuhur and the Jurassic Rawas and Asai formations also
show slaty cleavage and multiple deformation. Evidently in
central Sumatra the major deformation event occurred after the
deposition of the Jurassic sediments.

Late Upper Permian and the earliest Lower Triassic deposits

have not yet been recognized anywhere in Sumatra (Fig. 4.11).
However, Mid-Late Triassic rocks are extensively developed in
the northern part of Sumatra, from Aceh to West Sumatra and in
the islands of Bangka and Billiton. The period between Late
Permian and Middle Triassic was a period of regression and
erosion, as reworked mid-Late Permian fusulinids are found
abundantly in clasts in the mid-Late Triassic sediments of the
Tuhur and Limau Manis formations (Silitonga & Kastowo 1975;
Turner 1983). Therefore, the concept that the scattered outcrops
of Permo-Triassic formations throughout Sumatra constitute a
stratigraphic 'Group' is not valid. In future studies it would be sensible
to divide these formations into Permian and Triassic groups.
Triassic Correlation with West Peninsular Malaysia. A close correlation
can be made between the Triassic rocks of northern
Sumatra and those of Peninsular Malaysia. The Mid-Late
Triassic age of part of the limestones of the Situtup Formation
has been established by foraminifers (Cameron et al. 1983); the
age of the Kaloi Formation, part of the Batumilmil Formation,
the Sibaganding Limestone Member of the Kualu Formation by
conodonts, and the Kualu Formation, the Cubadak and Limau
Manis formations by ammonites and the presence of abundant
Halobia. This whole assemblage of Triassic rocks in northern
Sumatra can be correlated directly with the Upper Triassic
Semanggol and Kodiang Limestone formations which crop out
in Kedah and Perak in NW Malaya, some 200-250 km to the
east across the Malacca Strait (Metcalfe 2000).
The Semanggol Formation of Malaya has been divided into
three members: a lower Chert Member, a Rhythmite Member
and an upper Conglomerate Member (Burton 1973). The Chert
Member, as its name implies, contains chert beds interbedded

with shales and sandstones, the sandstones commonly showing

disharmonic folding as convolutions and slumps. The Chert
Member may be correlated directly with the Pangunjungan
Member of the Kualu Formation of northern Sumatra. The
Rhythmite Member, interpreted as a turbidite sequence with
graded bedding, cross lamination slump folds and sole marks
in the sandstones, and its fauna of thin-shelled bivalves, may be
correlated with the thin-bedded sandstones, siltstones and mudstones
of the type section of the Kualu Formation in the Sungai
Kualu. The Conglomerate Member of the Semanggol Formation
has not been recognized in northern Sumatra, although sandstone
units become more common in the upper part of the Kualu
Formation. The Conglomerate Member may be represented by
the conglomeratic sandstones of the Papan Formation on Kudur
Island to the south of Singapore and the Tempilang Sandstone
of Bangka Island (Cameron et al. 1982c; Ko 1986).
The massive Kodiang Limestone in northern Kedah, Malaya,
has been identified as of Mid-Late Triassic age from the presence
of conodonts (Ishii & Nogami 1966), and may be correlated
directly with the massive limestone units in northern Sumatra
described as Situtup, Kaloi, Batumilmil formations and the
Sibaganding Limestone Member of the Kualu formation, which
have all yielded Mid-Late Triassic conodonts (Metcalfe 1989a).
Burton (1973) suggested that the lower part of the Semanggol
Formation, with black carbonaceous shales and mudstones and
an abundant necktonic-planktonic fauna, was deposited in a
basin of restricted circulation with anaerobic bottom conditions.
He suggests that the chert beds may have resulted from the
dissolution of volcanic glass in ash falls from volcanic activity
at some distance from the site of deposition, as no beds of ash
or pyroclastic deposits have been recognized in Malaya.

However, volcaniclastic sediments and tuffs are recorded in the

Cubadak and Tuhur formations of west central Sumatra (Rock
et al. 1983; Turner 1983).
In Malaya and in Bangka Island the increase in grain size and
frequency of the sandstone units towards the east, suggest that
the source area for the Semanggol sediments lay in this direction.
However, there are also indications in current directions within the
sandstones for derivation of sediments from local sources within
the basin. The pebbles in the Conglomerate Member are composed
mainly of vein quartz, quartzite and dark-coloured chert, which
could have been derived from Palaeozoic rocks in the central
part of the Malay Peninsula, which was evidently being uplifted
in latest Triassic times. The Conglomerate Member may pass
upwards into the Tembeling Formation of presumed Jurassic age
(Burton 1973), which corresponds in age with the Tabir, Asai,
Peneta and Rawas formations of central Sumatra (Rosidi et al.
1976; Kusnama et al. 1993b; Suwarna et al. 1994) to be described
Mid-Late Triassic sediments in the western Malay Peninsula
and northern Sumatra represent deposition on a broad continental
shelf which was undergoing extension, with the formation of
localized deep rift basins in which black shales and chert were
deposited and into which, from time to time, turbidity cun'ents
carried coarse clastic sediments. Carbonate was deposited on shallower
parts of the shelf to form the massive limestone units in both
northern Sumatra and western Malaya. In the basin, sandstone
units increase in thickness upwards through the sequence and
are replaced in Malaya by conglomerates, indicating uplift of
the eastern source area. According to Metcalfe (2000) this uplift
resulted from the collision between the Sibumasu (Sumatra) and
Indochina blocks (East Malaya) which was taking place at this

time. In his recent publications Metcalfe (2000) interprets the

tectonic environment in which the Semanggol Formation was
deposited as a foredeep basin, related to the collision.
Woyla Group (Jurassic-Cretaceous)
Woyla Group in Aceh
The Woyla Group was defined in Aceh, northern Sumatra, where
the rocks are extensively exposed, but Jurassic-Cretaceous units
correlated with the Woyla Group have been identified in the
Barisan Mountains throughout western Sumatra (Fig. 4.12).
In Aceh, areas of outcrop of the Woyla Group are shown on
the GRDC Banda Aceh, Calang, Tapaktuan and Takengon
1:250 000 Quadrangle Sheets (Bennett et al. 1981a, b; Cameron
et al. 1982b, 1983). The Woyla River, from which the Woyla
Group was named, is on the Takengon Sheet (Fig. 4.13).
The descriptions given below, except where specified, are taken
largely from the reports which accompany these maps. An
account of the lithological units which make up the Woyla
Group and a detailed discussion of their interpretation is given
by Barber (2000).
During the DMR/BGS survey 13 lithostratigraphic units were
distinguished in the Woyla Group in Aceh, as well as a unit of
'undifferentiated Woyla'. Many of the mapping units distinguished
in the Woyla Group of Aceh during the DMR/BGS
survey are made up of the same rock types, but in varying
proportions. It is clear that they represent geographical, rather
than genuine lithostratigraphical units. A different name was
given to each distinguishable unit on each map sheet. The outcrops
9;~ . 9;~ 1'00o , !
A Active Volcanoes
~ ; .~k~, : >, Quaternary-Recent Volcanics

Tertiary sediments and volcanics

Woyla Group and correlatives
Palaeozoic Basement
22 ~ ~ '7:. _9 _9 v v . . . . "",--... j__~ 2 ~
k '\.~ NataI]~I~)~i i i i i i .O2 ."~-3" (7.
- " o ~ , i ~,.,,~ X;~. Rawas- _9 . . . . . . . 7)
" ~ ~ . ":..:'\,; ~'~,~'~l~,A~a~: : : : : : : : : .--. 7":.-,.
n~,U,~N,_ .L,tA"~ N ~I Oo X k %..,,o. ., \;~~ \~.-[". _L~:~ ? '~~.b'-: -G~uAm,~a
i ." ................... .) ,~5 \ .~',,~ -X~. -~.~\:jv,~ . . . . . . . . . . . / ~ ~ ~ '~,~ .'~'.~. >: ............ :~
/ / -"X "'~%. ..... Garba ..... ',
7cm/yr / X " >%~O~n!ma;ung
"~.~ ~.: ~ 6 ~
o?o o?~ ,oo0 ,o,,0 ,ooo
Fig. 4.12. Simplified geological map of
Sumatra, showing the distribution of the
Woyla Group and correlated units, with
localities mentioned in the text.
of the actual lithologies within each formation are, on the whole,
too small to be represented on the scale of the map.
The stratigraphic units can be classified into three lithological
assemblages: an oceanic assemblage; a basaltic-andesitic arc
assemblage; and a limestone assemblage (Cameron et al.
1980). All of the units generally occur as fault-bounded lenses,
distributed on both the northeastern and southwestern sides of
the Sumatran Fault, and are elongated in a NW-SE direction,
parallel to the Sumatran trend. The oceanic assemblage in particular
is broken by a large number of minor faults and thrusts
and has been interpreted as imbricated in an accretionary
complex formed above a subduction zone (Barber 2000). The
arc assemblage and the associated limestones are interpreted as
a volcanic arc with fringing reefs (Cameron et al. 1980). The

Woyla Group is affected by several large scale thrusts;

the Geumpang, Takengon and Kla lines, which also affect the
Miocene rocks in the area and are attributed to movements on
the Sumatran Fault System. The distribution of these units and
their relationships to the faults and thrusts are shown on
Figure 4.13.
Oceanic assemblage. The oceanic assemblage includes serpentinites,
gabbros, either massive or layered, and often altered
to amphibolite, basalts, often as pillows, hyaloclastic breccias,
volcaniclastic sandstones and siltstones, bedded cherts, black or
purple shales and minor bedded or massive limestones.
Serpentinite units occur as lenses along the Sumatran Fault and
along the Geumpang Line (Fig. 4.13). Several serpentinite bodies
are shown on the Takengon Sheet (Cameron et al. 1983), including
the largest of these lenses, the Tangse Serpentinite, which extends
discontinuously for 27 km to the NW of Tangse, the Cahop
Serpentinite and the Beatang Ultramafic Complex. These units
are composed of massive serpentinite, representing altered
harzburgite. Here and elsewhere, serpentinite is locally sheared,
schistose, twisted and contorted. Sheared serpentinite may also
form the matrix to m61ange, i.e. the Indrapuri Complex on the
Banda Aceh Sheet (Bennett et al. 1981a). The m61ange encloses
blocks of cumulate gabbro, basalt, red chert and limestones,
derived from other units in the Woyla Group. Fossils collected
from limestone blocks within the m61ange include: corals-Latoceandra ramosa, Stylina girodi; foraminifers--Pseudocyclammina
sp.; stromatoporoid--Stromatopora japonica, indicating a
Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age. In the Takengon
Quadrangle large blocks of limestone enclosed in sheared serpentinite
along the Geumpang Line, contain Late Miocene fossils
(Cameron et al. 1983).

Other units of the oceanic assemblage include the Penarum

Formation, which outcrops to the northeast of the Sumatran
Fault south of Takengon (Cameron et al. 1983) (Fig. 4.13), and
consists of serpentinites, basalts, red cherts with radiolaria and
slates. Volcanic rocks in this unit are commonly altered to greenschists.
The Geumpang Formation (Banda Aceh Sheet--Bennett
et al. 1981a; Tapaktuan Sheet--Cameron et al. 1982c) crops out
~ . Larn Minet
, Batholith
~. Faults
SFZ Sumatran Fault System
KL Kla Line
GL Geumpang Line
0 50
Cretaceous granites
~ Oceanic assemblage

Arc assemblage
Meukuk Gneiss
Peridotite/serpentinite 5 ~
100km '~
96 ~ 97 ~
Fig. 4.13. The distribution of the Woyla
Group in Aceh. Modified from Stephenson
& Aspden (1982), with data from Bennett
et al. (1981a, b) and Cameron el aI.
(1982, 1983).
to the SE of Banda Aceh on both sides of the Sumatran Fault. Rock
types include massive or schistose basic volcanics, pillow basalts,
volcaniclastic sandstones and tufts, commonly epidotized and
altered to greenschists or phyllites, and thin grey or black limestones.
The phyllites are usually lineated and crenulated,
indicating multiple delbrmation. The rocks of the Geumpang
Formation are considered to constitute the typical lithological
and structural assemblage of the Woyla Group. The Geumpang
Formation also includes a massive limestone member, frequently
occurring as marble. The very similar Babahrot Formation
cropping out to the NW of the Anu-Batee Fault towards
Tapaktuan (Cameron et al. 1982c) (Fig. 4.13)includes serpentinites
and talc schists, as well as metagabbroic bodies metamorphosed

in the greenschist facies and highly disrupted and

sheared into lenses.
The Lain Minet Formation (Banda Aceh Sheet--Bennett et al.
1981a) and the similar Gume Formation (Takengon Sheet-Cameron et al. 1983) are composed of basaltic lavas, commonly
epidotized, basaltic conglomerates and breccias, with volcanic
and limestone clasts, but only rarely chert, graded volcaniclastic
wackes, radiolarian cherts with manganese oxide veining, rhodonite,
and calcareous, manganiferous and carbonaceous slates. A
clast of radiolarian chert, embedded in a volcanic conglomerate
with flattened clasts, was collected by Nick Cameron (pers.
comm. 1999) in the Kreung Baro, Aceh, from a landslip within
the outcrop of this formation. This occurrence indicates that volcanic
rocks were erupted through ocean floor sediments, perhaps
during the formation of a seamount. The formation also includes
a recrystallized limestone member. The Jaleuem Formation cropping
out 100 km to the SE of Banda Aceh on both sides of the
Sumatran Fault, is composed largely of slates, but red cherts
occur in float and the unit also includes a limestone member. The
Bale Formation, composed of coloured slates, with minor wackes
and cherts, limestones and limestone breccias, is shown outcropping
to the NW of the Sumatran Fault, and SE of Takengon.
Arc assemblage. The basaltic-andesitic volcanics are interpreted
as an island arc assemblage (Cameron et al. 1980) (Fig. 4.27),
which is represented on the Banda Aceh Sheet (Bennett et al.
1981a) by the Bentaro Volcanic Formation, and on the Tapaktuan
Sheet (Cameron et al. 1982b) by the Tapaktuan Volcanic
Formation. The Bentaro Volcanic Formation is composed of
porphyritic basalts and andesitic basalts with agglomerates,
which are intruded by basic dykes. Basaltic vents, surrounded by
breccias, tufts and volcaniclastic sediments, have been identified

near Lain No and north of the Bentaro River on the Banda Aceh
Sheet. A chemical analysis of a xenolithic, porphyritic basalt
with pyroxene phenocrysts from this formation is given in Rock
et al. (1982). The Tapaktuan Volcanic Formation occurs in
fault-bounded lenses, within strands of the Anu-Batee Fault
Zone, parallel to the west coast of Aceh north of Tapaktuan
(Fig. 4.13). It consists of massive epidotized andesites and
basalts, commonly porphyritic, and intrusive dykes of a similar
composition. An analysis of hornblende microdiorite from this
formation is given in Rock et al. (1982). The formation also
includes agglomerates, breccias, tufts, red and purple volcaniclastic
sandstones and shales, the latter often as slates, and a limestone
member, composed of sparite and calcilutite, all as lenses and
much disrupted by faults.
Scattered outcrops of gneiss (Meukek Gneiss Complex) occur
within the Tapaktuan Volcanic Formation in the Barisan
Mountains to the north of Tapaktuan, between strands of the
Anu-Batee Fault (Fig. 4.13). They consist of concordant leucogranodioritic
gneiss, with garnet-biotite amphibolite containing
garnets up to 8 cm in diameter, and biotite-hornblende-andesine
schist (Cameron et al. 1982b). The occurrence of high-grade
metamorphic rocks with garnets suggests that some of the units
of the Woyla Group were deeply buried and were subsequently
exhumed. These rocks warrant investigation to determine the
origin of the protolith and the environment of metamorphism.
Units containing a high proportion of volcaniclastic material are
associated with the island arc assemblage. These include the
Lho'nga Formation, which outcrops to the west of Banda Aceh,
composed of grey and coloured slates and phyllites, with interbedded
volcaniclastic sandstones, thin limestones and (?)radiolarian-

bearing siltstones and the Lhoong Formation, which forms

a large outcrop to the SW of the Sumatran Fault, and also occurs
as roof pendants in the Sikuleh Batholith (Bennett et al. 1981b).
The formation consists of basaltic lavas with cherts in the lower
part of the sequence, followed by conglomeratic wackes with
volcanic and limestone clasts, and subordinate sandstones,
siltstones and limestones.
Limestone units. Massive limestones, o/ten recrystallized, are also
associated with the island arc assemblage and are interpreted
as fringing reefs to volcanic islands. These units include the
Lho'nga and Raba Limestone formations which crop out along
the coast and in the Barisan Mountains to the south and west of
Banda Aceh (Bennett et al. 1981a) (Fig. 4.13) and consist of
massive calcarenite and calcilutite and dark thin-bedded cherty
limestones and shales. The massive limestone is designated a
'Reef Member' which is closely associated in the field with the
Bentaro Volcanic Formation. The Lamno Limestone Formation
also crops out along the west coast of Aceh, south of Banda
Aceh, and is also associated with outcrops of the Bentaro Volcanic
Formation. It consists of dark limestone, with a reef-like facies,
and contains volcanic clasts near the base. The limestone is commonly
fossiliferous, with: corals--Actiastraea minima, S(vlosmilia
corallina; algae--Clypeina sp., Permocalculus ampullacea,
Lithocodium, Bacinella sp., Boueina sp., Thaumatoporella porvosiculifera;
foraminifers--Pseudocyclammina lituus, indicating a
Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age (Bennett et al. 1981a).
The Teunom Limestone Formation crops out along the southwestern
margin of the Sikuleh Batholith. It is composed of massive
dark limestones, which are metamorphosed and recrystallized
along the contact with the granite. The Sise Limestone Formation
(Fig. 4.13) resembles the limestone units to the south of Banda

Aceh, but anomalously crops out to the NE of the Sumatran

Fault. Its present position may be due to some 200 km of dextral
displacement along the fault. The unit consists of massive or
bedded limestones, biocalcarenites and calcilutites with fossils:
corals--Montlivaltia sp., Myriopora sp.; foraminifers--Pseudocyclammina
sp. indicating a Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age
(Cameron et al. 1983).
'Undifferentiated' Woyla (Fig. 4.13). On the geological map of the
Takengon Quadrangle a large area of 'Undifferentiated' Woyla
Group rocks is shown between the main strand of the Sumatran
Fault and the Anu Batee Fault. This area is poorly known, but
these rocks are described in the Explanatory Note as intermediate
to mafic metavolcanics, slates and chert. 'Undifferentiated' Woyla
is also shown in the Calang Quadrangle in the area to the south of
the Sikuleh Batholith in Gunung Paling and as roof pendants
within the outcrop of the batholith (Bennett et al. 1981b). These
rocks are said to resemble the Kluet Formation, which crops out
extensively to the NE of the Sumatran Fault, and should not be
considered as part of the Woyla Group.
Sikuleh Batholith. The Woyla Group in Aceh is intruded by granitoids.
The largest of these is the Sikuleh Batholith shown on the
Banda Aceh and Calang sheets (Bennett et al. 1981a, b). It is an
elliptical body (c. 55 x 35 kin) elongated in a NW-SE direction
(Fig. 4.13). Around the margins of the batholith limestones of
the Teunom Formation and 'undifferentiated Woyla Group rocks
are altered by contact metamorphism. Lithologies resembling
those of the Lhoong Formation occur as roof pendants within
the batholith.
The Sikuleh Batholith is a complex intrusion composed of an
'older complex' of migmatised gabbros and diorites locally gneissose
and sheared and intensely veined. A 'younger complex' is

more homogeneous coarser grained and unfoliated biotitehornblende

granodiorite. The younger complex has been dated,
from the mean of K-Ar analyses of two biotites and one hornblende,
as 97.7 _+ 0.7 Ma (early Late Cretaceous).
Age of theWoyla Group in Aceh. Fossils from the Lamno Limestone
and Sise Formations indicate that the fringing reefs around the
volcanic arc were being formed during Late Jurassic to Early
Cretaceous times. The K-Ar ages of c. 97 Ma from the Sikuleh
Batholith which intrudes the limestones and the oceanic assemblage
show that the lithological units which make up the Woyla
Group were in their present positions and had their present
structural relationships by the early Late Cretaceous.
Woyla Group in Natal
Lithological units correlated with the Woyla Group of Aceh
were mapped over an extensive area inland from Natal in North
Sumatra during the Integrated Geological Survey of Northern
Sumatra as part of the Lubuksikaping 1:250 000 Quadrangle
Sheet (Rock et al. 1983) (Fig. 4.14). The outcrop is limited to
the NE by the Sumatran Fault System and is much dissected
internally by faults with a similar trend. The Woyla Group is
intruded by Late Cretaceous granites and overlain unconformably
by the Miocene Barus Group, by Miocene volcanic rocks, and by
the products of Quaternary volcanism from the volcanoes of Sorik
Merapi, Malintang and Talamau, as well as by recent alluvium.
Units within the Woyla Group strike NW-SE and are very well
exposed in the valley of the Batang Natal, both in the river
section and in the parallel road section, which both cut across
the strike (Fig. 4.15). The main outcrop of the Woyla Group is
separated from a smaller outcrop in the Pasaman inlier to the
south by Malintang Volcano (Fig. 4.14).
In the DMR/BGS report of the Lubuksikaping Quadrangle

(Rock et al. 1983) lithological units in the Batang Natal

section were classified, from NE-SW, into three formations: the
Muarasoma, Belok Gadang and the Sikubu formations (Fig. 4.14).
Muarasoma Formation. The Muarasoma Formation outcrops in the
upstream part of the Batang Natal section and in its tributary, the
Aik Soma. Thicknesses of the rock units in this section were
measured perpendicular to the strike for a distance of 5.5 km
(Rock et al. 1983). The rock types in the measured section
include cleaved argillaceous units, shale or slate, which may
include calcareous concretions, laminated siltstones, and gritty
sandstones showing sedimentary structures, indicating younging
in a downstream direction, massive limestones, sometimes
forming karstic limestone pinnacles, epidotic volcanic breccias
and volcaniclastic sandstones, chloritic greenschists and muscovitechlorite quartz schists. A 10 m 'conglomerate' (?m61ange)
at the upstream end of the section, with elongated clasts of greenschist
in a chloritic matrix, is probably of tectonic origin, formed in
a fault or a shear zone (Rock et al. 1983).
Belok Gadang Formation. The Belok Gadang Formation crops out
in the central part of the Batang Natal section and is composed of
sandstones, sometimes calcareous, and argillaceous rocks, often
cleaved and containing bands and lenses of chert. The chert is
radiolarian, but no identifiable radiolaria have so far been recovered
which could be used to date the sequence. Outcrops in the
I 00oe \
, 0\
Recent Volcanoes
Langsat Volcanics I~
Palaeogene granites
Late Cretaceous granites

~ Limestones
I~ ~' ~ M~langes
i ii!ii Muarasoma Formation
Belok Gadang Formatior
~ Sikubu Formation
Kanaikan Peridotite/serpentinite
Pasaman Ultramafic
Batang Natal
River Section,
-,- _9 -..
_M9 erapi
_9 V L.~'~_ Complex
Air Bangi,~ ~--~ " ~)~~~l ( .T~a l a' m~ a u ~O X LUBUKSIKAPING
- O~ uator 0 50km ~176
99 ~ 100 ~
Fig. 4.14. The distribution of the Woyla Group in the Natal area, North Sumatra. Modified from
Rock et al. (1983). KFZ, Kanaikan Fault Zone; SGF, Simpang Gambir Fault.
type locality of Belok Gadang, a tributary of the Batang Natal,
show basaltic pillow lavas, with white clay interbeds and manganeserich horizons with braunite, resembling the 'umbers',
described from the Troodos Ophiolite of Cyprus (Robertson
1975). Analysis shows that the pillow basalts are spilites (Rock
et al. 1982, 1983). In the type locality basalts are overlain by

red, bedded cherts, but again no identifiable radiolaria have been

Sikubu Formation. The Sikubu Formation, cropping out in the
lower part of the Batang Natal section, is composed of massive
volcaniclastic metagreywackes, with thin shale interbeds. The
sandstones show very well-developed sedimentary structures,
including graded bedding, flame structures and convolutions,
typical of turbidites. Massive porphyritic andesitic dykes and
lava flows, with distinctive pyroxene phenocrysts, are intruded
into, or interbedded with, the sediments in the lower part of the
section. Fragments of porphyritic andesite, identical in composition
to the dykes and lavas, occur as clasts in the sandstones_9
Woyla Group rocks in the Pasaman area include m~langes and
massive and foliated peridotites (Rock et al. 1983) (Fig. 4.14).
Peridotites are well exposed in the Pasaman River where they
are composed mainly of harzburgite with minor dunite pods,
pyroxenite dykes, disseminated chromite and rare chromite
pods. Some of the peridotite is foliated, containing orthopyroxenes
enclosed in augen. Coarse plagioclase-hornblende rocks, found as
boulders in the float, represent metasomatised gabbro pegmatite
which formed dykes in the peridotite. The peridotite is variably
serpentinized, and in shear zones may be completely altered to
serpentine and talc. Smaller bodies of serpentinite, with chromite
pods, outcrop at the upper end of the Batang Natal section near
Muarasoma (Figs 4.14 & 4.15) where they form spectacular
serpentinite breccias faulted against slates and limestones of the
Muarasoma Formation. Serpentinite also occurs as xenoliths in
granite in the Aik Soma.
Intrusions and volcanics in the Natal area. Several large granite
bodies are intruded into the rocks of the Woyla Group in the
Natal area. The largest of these is the Manunggal Batholith at

the northeastern end of the Batang Natal Section (Rock et al.

1983) (Fig. 4.14). This batholith is a composite body, some
230km 2 in extent, composed of leocogranite, granodiorite,
granite and pyroxene-quartz diorite, with contaminated syenitic
and monzonitic varieties, and appinites. The granitoid rocks are
intruded by vogesite lamprophyre dykes. The granitoid rocks
have been dated by the K-Ar method at 87 Ma (Late Cretaceous)
(Kanao et al. 1971, reported in Rock et al. 1983). In the Aik Soma,
near Muarasoma, large granitic boulders in the river bed enclose
serpentinite xenoliths, surrounded by reaction zones of amphibolite.
Limestones in the same area are converted to skarns near
the contact with the granite.
A second granitoid, the Kanaikan is intrude into the Woyla
Group in the Pasaman area (Fig. 4.14). This body is composed
of coarse granodiorite and leucogranite cut by microgranitic and
granophyric dykes. This intrusion lies within the Kanaikan Fault
Zone, a strand of the main Sumatran Fault, and is much dissected
by faults and deformed to form cataclasites along shear zones.
Granitic rocks outcrop in headlands near Air Bangis along the
coast to the south of Natal (Fig. 4.14). Rock et al. (1983)
speculated that these rocks might be of Late Cretaceous age and
analogous to the Sikuleh Batholith which intrudes the Woyla
Group in Aceh. Later age dating showed that these granites
were of Eocene-Oligocene age (Wajzer et al. 1991).
Age constraints for the Woyla Group in the Natal area are provided
by a limestone sample from the Batang Kanaikan in the Pasaman
inlier which yielded a colonial organism, closely resembling the
samples of Lovfenipora described and illustrated by Yancey &
Arif (1977) from the Indarung area, near Padang, and considered
to be of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age (IGS/British
Museum Sample No. TC/J1/Rll01B--Rock et al. 1983).

0 1 2 3km
Jambor Baru :.~
Formation ...
. .,~: : :'.
"'"'--Batu Nabontar
~, Limestone (BNL)
%,- -,,e %g %,- %,- v
v, Langsat ,#,v, Volcanics v v
"e" %'* %" %" -,,e '~.#" %," %,,
Si Gala Gala ... :. :. :. :::
Schists ,~,~::: : :: : : :: : ::~
Volcanics (PV)
Nabana Volcanics .~
~,, BNL .,<,,^,,

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lfi
:"i'": !;f~i : i :~ ~""~ ~; '~m : .N." BNataatanlg
~.'...... .~:.~ Megabreccia
. : : : : : : : : : : . (BNM)
, '5" i i i i i i i i i : : ~ : STF
~ q : i i i i ! Simarobu
~ ~ i Formation
_9 (STF) 44.8
~ Ranto Sore
_9 . .
~!! Betok Gadang
Tambak Baru
;4::::::~!:i:Turbidites::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: SIMPANG GAMBIR
v. . . .v . . .v .+ : "S:"vv , ,:, , vi,i ii!i!i!i , . i
_9. : . : . . . . : . : . : . : . .
Muarasoma Turbidite "" :" :" :" :
Formation (MTF)
",,',~',, 87.0Ma ,z,
~& Location of limestone block '
with Late Triassic foraminifera

_,~,O Locations for K/Ar dates

0 10 20km
v v v v ,r "r -, ".:::~ -... -,,~
%,* %~ %g %g %', %g %~- %,'%,, ~ ~ ' "
vvvv,~,vvvv"H"" "-:-: ~ %a %', ",~ o~*%p %e %'* %', %,, %', V
}~Langjs a t Vol c ani c ' "~ ~
~ ,.,~^~r . . . . . . . . . %*~ ",P ".P %" -r -r o %" %," ",d' V %" %P V
to" "o,r %." "v" %" "v" v "-,," ",~ %" %" %'* ~ %'. %'.
"~' "o,P %" %," %" ~g' ",/ %~ ",d' %," %-" Nr ",r
~}~ %" ~" %" ",-" %" 'N e %*" V %" %" ~'r %"
%" %" %" %," %" ",e" %r %4 %y %p %r %r
%'29.7Ma-" v v v v ",r v v v v
Fig. 4.15. Geological map of the Batang Natal river section, North Sumatra. Inset shows isotopic
dates, from Wajzer et al. (1991). S is serpentinite.
A minimum age for the Woyla Group is provided by the
Manunggal Batholith, dated at 87.0Ma (Late Cretaceous)
(Kanao et al. 1971, quoted in Rock et al. 1983), which intrudes
limestones and serpentinites at the NW end of the Batang Natal
Study by Wajzer et al. (1991). The Batang Natal section was
mapped in detail by Marek Wajzer from the University of
London, in a follow-up study to the Northern Sumatra Survey,
in collaboration with BGS and with the assistance of Syarif
Hidayat and Suharsono of GRDC (Wajzer et al. 1991). The
mapping was supported by petrographic, geochemical and radiometric
studies. Wajzer et al. (1991) found that each of the units
recognized by Rock et al. (1983) in the Woyla Group, was composite,
with the same lithologies repeated many times throughout
the section, apparently in a random fashion (Fig. 4.15). Wajzer

et al. (1991) distinguished 16 lithostratigraphical units in the

Natal section. Correlation of these units with the mapping with
those recognized by Rock et al. (1983) is shown in Table 4.1.
Detailed accounts of these lithological units are given in
Table 4.2. Many of the lithologies are similar to rock types
described from the Woyla Group in Aceh, and by Rock et al.
(1983), with the addition of several outcrops of m61ange,
composed of blocks in a fine grained matrix, decribed as
'megabreccia' in Table 4.2 and Figure 4.15. One important
feature of the clastic units in the Woyla Group of the Natal
area is that they are ahnost completely devoid of quartz,
suggesting that they have an entirely oceanic, rather than a continental
origin (Wajzer et al. 1991).
The study established several additional age constraints for the
Woyla Group, using fossil evidence and radiometric dating. A
further specimen of Lovfenipora was obtained from a limestone
block in the Simpang Gambir Megabreccia near the southwestern
end of the Batang Natal section, and a Late Triassic foraminifer
was found in a limestone clast in the Batang Natal Megabreccia
in the central part of the section. Diorite intruded into the
Jambor Baru and Batang Natal Megabreccia Formations at Batu
Madingding gave a K-At age of 84.7 4- 3.6 Ma and an andesite
in the Tambak Baru Volcanic unit, interpreted as a fragment of
a volcanic arc, gave 78.4 4-2.5 Ma. Both these lavas and the
intrusions are of Late Cretaceous age. Andesite dykes intruded
into the Si Kumbu Turbidite Formation (i.e. Sikubu Formation
of Rock et al. 1983), and regarded as contemporaneous with sedimentation
of this unit, gave K-Ar ages of 40.1 4- 4.6 Ma and
37.6 _+ 1.3 Ma (Late Eocene) (Wajzer et al. 1991). Samples
collected from the Air Bangis granites and analysed by
Wajzer gave K-Ar ages of 29.7_ 1.6 and 28.2 4-1.2Ma

(Late Oligocene) (Wajzer et al. 1991) showing that the Cretaceous

age for these granites suggested by Rock et al. (1983) was
Table 4.1. Correlation of formations in the Woyla Group in the Natal area from
Rock et al. (1983) with the lithotectonic units defined by Wajzer et al. (1991)
Rocket et al. (1983) Wajer et al. (1991)*
1. Langsat Volcanic Formation
2. Sikubu Formation
3. Belok Gadang Formation
Volcanics in both the Belok
Gadang and Maurasoma
4. Maurasoma Formation
Schistose Member
Massive limestones in both the
Belok Gadang and
Maurasoma Formations
1. Langsat Volcanic Formation
2. Si Kumbu Turbidite Formation
3. Tambak Baru Volcanic Unit
4. Simpang Gambir Megabreccia Formation
5. Nabana Volcanic Unit
6. Belok Gadang Siltstone Formation
7. Panglong M61ange Formation
8. Ranto Sore Formation
9. Parlampungan Volcanic Unit
10. Si Gala Gala Schist Formation
11. Simarobu Turbidite Formation
12. Batang Natal Megabreccia Unit
13. Rantobi Sandstone Formation

14. Jambor Baru Formation

15. Maurasoma Turbidite Formation
16. Batu Nabontar Limestone Unit
*units are listed in approximate order upstream from Langsat with no age
relationship implied.
Units in central Sumatra correlated with the Woyla Group
Outcrops of rock units with similar lithologies to those of the
Woyla Group or which were formed within the same JurassicCretaceous age range have been mapped throughout western
Sumatra (Fig. 4. ! 2). Many of these outcrops have been correlated
by previous authors with units of the Woyla Group described from
northern Sumatra.
lndarung Formation. Small outcrops of the Mesozoic Indarung
Formation occur near Padang in West Sumatra. These rocks were
mapped and described by Yancey & Alif (1977) and were correlated
with the Woyla Group of Aceh by Cameron et al. (1980).
Outcrops occur 15 km east of Padang in road, river and quarry
sections near Indarung, where they are surrounded and overlain
by Neogene and Quaternary volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks
(Fig. 4.16). The area of outcrop is included on the Padang,
Solok and Painan Quadrangle Sheets (Kastowo & Leo 1973;
Silitonga & Kastowo 1975; Rosidi et al. 1976). These rocks
have been mapped more recently by McCarthy et al. (2001).
Yancey & Alif (1977) described rocks exposed in the Lubuk
Peraku River, the Ngalau Quarry, the Karang Putib Quarry and
adjacent river sections near lndarung. Rock types in these outcrops
are basic volcanics, which may include pillow lavas, volcanic
breccia, tuff, volcaniclastic sediments, radiolarian chert and
massive or bedded limestones. The basic rocks are sometimes
deformed and metamorphosed to form greenschists. On the
other hand, the limestones and cherts are essentially undeformed,

although disharmonic folding and small-scale thrusts in the chert

and gentle folds in the limestone are seen in the quarries, and
the limestones may be recrystallized (McCarthy et al. 2001).
A well-exposed section of limestone and tuff occurs in the
river section of the Lubuk Peraku and in the road above the
river (Yancey & Alif 1977; McCarthy et al. 2001). A measured
columnar section of these outcrops from McCarthy et al. (2001)
is given as Figure 4.17. The lower part of the section, described
as the Lubuk Peraku Limestone, is a limestone breccia, which
includes volcanic clasts near the base and is interbedded with
thin tuff bands near the top. The breccia is overlain by a few
metres of thin-bedded limestones and shelly marls and then by
thicker bedded and more massive limestones, some oolitic. Near
the top of the section a limestone conglomerate, eroded into the
underlying limestone with basal scours, provides clear evidence
of way-up. Above the limestone there is a break in outcrop, until
further downstream and in the road section above, the Golok
Tuff, a calcareous vitreous crystal tuff is exposed. Although
the contact between the breccia and the tuff is not seen, this
section is regarded as an essentially continuous stratigraphic
sequence McCarthy et al, (2001).
In the Ngalau Quarry, near Indarung, McCarthy et al. (2001)
collected samples from a 15 m section of bedded chert for radiolarian
determination. In the Karang Putih Quarry, one kilometre
to the south of lndarung, lenses of chert are associated with
massive limestone. McCarthy et al. (2001) report that the limestone
in this quarry is completely recrystallized, possibly due to
the effects of a granitic intrusion which occurs a short distance
to the south (Fig. 4.16). An interpretative cross section shows
the cherts and limestones imbricated together along low angle
thrusts (McCarthy et al. 2001).

Rock units in the Indarung area are well dated from fossil
and radiometric age determinations. Radiolaria from chert in the
Ngalau Quarry belong to the Transhsuum hisuikoyense Zone,
of Aalenian, early Mid-Jurassic age (McCarthy et al. 2001).
Lithologies and fbssil content of the limestones in the Lubuk
Peraku section and in the Ngalau and Karang Putih quarries
were described by Yancey & Alif (1977). The limestones are
biosparites, with abundant bioclasts, oolitic calcarenites and
micrites. Molluscan shell fragments, pellets, calcareous algae,
stromatoporoids and scleractinian corals are common components
of the limestones. Among the fossils identified were the (?)
stromatoporoids Actostroma and Lovfenipora. The former is
considered to be restricted to the Late Jurassic, while the latter
is diagnostic of the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. A K-Ar
age date of 105 _+ 3 Ma (Albian, mid-Cretaceous) is reported
from the Golok Tuff in the Lubuk Peraku by Koning & Aulia
(1985) from a Caltex Pacific Indonesia internal report.
Pillow lavas and cherts of the Indarung Formation have been
equated with the oceanic assemblage of the Woyla Group of
Aceh and with the Belok Gadang Formation of the Natal area
(Cameron et al. 1980; Rock et al. 1983). Where these rocks are
imbricated, deformed and altered to greenschists they may be
interpreted, as is the case in Aceh and Natal, as materials accreted
from a subducted ocean floor. The recent recognition of Middle
Jurassic radiolaria in the cherts (McCarthy et al. 2001) shows
that part of this ocean floor was of Jurassic age. The volcanic breccias
tufts and volcaniclastic sandstones of the Indarung Formation
are interpreted as the products of seamount volcanism, and the
massive limestone with its Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous fossil
fauna is interpreted as part of a fringing reef formed around
the seamount (McCarthy et al. 2001). During subduction the

seamount with its carbonate cap collided with already accreted

ocean floor materials, and the whole assemblage was imbricated
to form the present complex.
Siguntur Formation. Mesozoic rocks of the Siguntur Formation are
exposed in the Sungai Siguntur, 15 km to the south of Indarung
(Fig. 4.16). The area of outcrop is shown on the Painan
Quadrangle Sheet and the lithology is described in the Explanatory
Note (Rosidi et al. 1976). Rock types are quartzites, siltstones
and shales, the latter sometimes altered to slates, and compact
limestones. The map shows that the strike of the beds is eastwest,
transverse to the general Sumatran trend. In the report
the rocks are described as not intensely deformed or folded, but
quartzites interbedded with slates showing bedding-parallel cleavage,
suggest that the rocks are more highly deformed than at
first appears. The limestones are reported to contain Lovfenipora,
and are therefore of a similar age to the limestones at Indarung.
The 'quartzites' reported from Siguntur were taken to indicate
that these rocks had a continental origin (Barber 2000) but it
Table 4.2. Lithology, environmental setting, structure, metamorphic grade and age constraints
for units in the Batang Natal section (in order upstream from west to east,
see Fig. 4.4), from Wajzer et al. (1991
Unit* Lithology Environment Structure Metamorphism Age constraints
Langsat Volcanic Porphyritic basic Arc volcanics No ductile deformation PrehniteUnit volcanics pumpellyite
Si Kumbu
Volcaniclastic debris
flows, proximal and
distal turbidites

Tambak Baru Andesitic volcanics

Volcanic Unit
Simpang Gambit Volcanic breccia with
Megabreccia limestone megaclasts and
Formation greywacke sandstones
Nabana Volcanic Basic volcanics (sometimes
Unit pillowed) amygdaloidal
to east keratophyres,
dolerite dykes
Submarine fan--apron D2 large scale folds (F2) Prehniteto
volcanic arc on WNW-ESE axes pumpellyite
Fragments of volcanic Di weak foliation (Si); D, Prehnitearc
and proximal pumpellyite/
volcaniclastics greenschist
Proximal sediments D i strong foliations ($1); Prehnitederived
from volcanic D? open folds and pumpellyite/
arc, with olistostromes crenulations (F:) greenschist
Ocean-floor basalts, No ductile deformation Prehniteseamount
Panglong Breccias with chert, Mn M61ange D~ tight to isoclinal folds (F~); Slate grade
M61ange sedim, limestones and (olistostrome) D2 open to close folds (F2)
Formation volcanic clasts in chert of ocean-floor fold F~ on NW-SE axes
siltstone matrix materials and
pelagic sediments
Belok Gadang Volcaniclastic siltstones Unconformable on Dipping beds with no ductile
PrehniteSiltstone with few fine sandstones Panglong M61ange; deformation pumpellyite
Formation and rare conglomerates ?lower trench slope
basin fill
Ranto Sore Volcaniclastic Fluviatile intra-arc D2 open to close folds Unmetamorphosed

Formation cross-bedded and deposits (F2) on NNW-SSE

channelled sandstones axes
and unsorted
conglomerates (lahars)
Parlumpangan Porphyritic andesites Fragments of No ductile deformation PrehniteVolcanic volcanic arc pumpellyite/
Unit greenschist
Si Gala Gala Banded quartz, Metasediments D~ schistosity (S~) and Greenschist
Schist Unit muscovite, derived from rodding (LI); D2 open
chlorite schists acid-intermediate to close folds (F2) on
volcanic arc NW-SE axes
Simarobu Volcaniclastic turbidites Ocean-floor or Foliation (S~); D2 open to Greenschist
Turbidite with minor calcareous trench deposit closed folds (F2); D I tight
Formation siltstones to isoclinal folds (F]) axial
plane on NNE-SSE axes
Batang Natal Large clasts of limestone, Melange formed as D~ tight to isoclinal folds (Fl); Slate
Megabreccia rare clastic sediments olistostrome or as D 2 open to closed folds
Formation and igneous rocks in mud diapirs in deform S i about
slaty matrix accretionary NNE-SSW axes; D~
complex tight to isoclinal folds (Fi)
with axial plane foliation
(S j); D2 open to closed
folds (F2) detbrm Si on
NNW-SSE axes
Rantobi Thin bedded volcaniclastic Forearc basin Axial plane cleavage (S~); D~ Slate grade
Sandstone sandstones and deposits isoclinal folds (F~) with D2
Formation siltstone closed asymmetric folds
(F2) NW-SE axes
Jambor Baru Volcaniclastic conglomerate, Shallow marine and D I foliation (S~); Prehnite-

Formation sandstone, siltstone, deeper water D2 closed folds (F2) on pumpellyite/

limestone and tuff forearc basin deposits NW-SE axes greenschist
Muarasoma Thin bedded volcaniclastic Upper trench slope Di foliation (S0; D2 folds PrehniteTurbidite turbidites with a basin sediments (F2) on NW-SE axes pumpellyite/
Formation coarser-grained member greenschist
Batu Nabontar Massive recrystallized Open marine shelf Dl tight folds in Recrystallized
Limestone limestone, rare fossils limestone interbedded tufts (F1),
Unit fossils show strain
Possibly intruded by Air
Bangis Granites. K-Ar
28.2 Ma, 29.7 Ma
Intruded by andesite dykes
K-Ar 40.1 4.6 Ma
(NR45), 37.6 1.3 Ma
Andesitic lava. K-Ar
78.4 _+ 2.5 Ma (BN 133)
?Lovfenipora sp. In limestone
block (Late Jurassic-Early
Older than Belok Gadang
Younger than Panglong
M~lange Formation
?Younger than adjacent units
Cut by undeformed
microdiorite dyke. K-At
49.5 +_ 2 Ma (NR 7)
Included limestone clasts
contain Late Triassic
foraminifer. Intruded by

Batu Madingding Diorite.

K-Ar 84.7 ___ 3.6 Ma
Intruded by Batu
Mandingding Diorite.
K-Ar 84.7 + 3.6 Ma
Intruded by Batu Manunggal
Batholith. K-Ar 87.0 Ma
*All units are cut by numerous faults and thrusts. Vertical faults often show horizontal
slickensides indicating wrench fault movements. *K-At age of Manunggal
Batholith from Kanao et al. (1971). All other K-Ar ages from Wajzer et al. (1991).
--lO15 '
~. i .~q~-~ 100J~ ~ ~ . ~ ~ f ~ ~ 0 0 ~ _9 ~ .
~A, 2579~
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : ~ Volcano
. . . . . . . . .:.:.: : : . : : Ter tiar ~ i~st~c s
~l _(("! iF 1 U"~ .~. "~~ ~/ ~. ~ " " " ~" Indarung Formation
~~nn/~'/~/'-'~'~.,~,~ ~ ~ SigunturFormation ~ ~ / D '~ 1'oJ3o' 0~,,,-,. ~ ~ ~ ~ Permo-Carboniferous
Fig. 4.16. Distribution of outcrops of the
Indarung and Siguntur Formations in the
Padang area, West Sumatra. Based on GRDC

maps (Kastowo & Leo 1973; Silitonga &

Kastowo 1975; Rosidi et al. 1976).
may be that they are recrystallized cherts, analogous to those at
Siulak Formation. Further outcrops of Mesozoic sedimentary and
volcanic rocks occur at Siulak 150 km to the SE of Padang
(Fig. 4.12), in a fault block caught between strands of the Sumatran
Fault (Rosidi et al. 1976). These sediments are calcareous siltstones,
calcareous shales and limestones. The shales and siltstones
are carbonaceous and contain angular quartz clasts. The limestones
contain Loftulisa and Hydrocorallinae of Cretaceous age (Tobler
1922, reported in Rosidi et al. 1976). The volcanic rocks are
altered andesites, dacites and bedded tufts with clasts of augite,
hornblende, chlorite and glass. These rocks are the product of
Andean arc volcanism on the margin of Sundaland.
Tabir Formation. Sixty kilometres to the east of Siulak and to the
NE of the Sumatran Fault Zone, in the Batang Tabir, are
outcrops of red conglomerates, sandstones and tufts of the Tabir
Formation (Fig. 4.5). Clasts in the conglomerates include
quartzite, and andesitic fragments derived from the adjacent
Palaeozoic rocks. The presence of Ostrea is taken to indicate a
Mesozoic, possibly Jurassic age (Tobler 1922, reported in Rosidi
et al. 1976).
Asai, Peneta and Rawas Formations. Continuous with the outcrop
of the Tabir Formation and extending southeastwards to the
south of Bangko, and also lying to the NE of the Sumatran Fault
shown on the GRDC Sungaipenuh and Sarolangan map sheets,
are large outcrops of Mesozoic rocks of the Asai, Peneta and
Rawas formations (Kusnama et al. 1993b; Suwarna et al. 1994),
(Fig. 4.12). Rock types include quartz sandstones, siltstones,
shales and limestones tufts. The Rawas Formation also includes

andesite-basalt lava flows, tufts and volcaniclastic sandstones.

Clasts in conglomeratic units in these sediments are derived
from the local Palaeozoic basement. Sandstone units show turbiditic
characteristics. Argillaceous units have a slaty cleavage
striking NW-SE. Fossils, including corals and ammonites,
especially from the limestone members, show that these sediments
range in age from Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (Suwarna
et al. 1994).
From the presence of locally-derived clasts all these sediments,
although subject to later deformation, were evidently deposited
in situ on the Sundaland continental basement. Pulunggono &
Cameron (1984) suggested that these units were deposited in a
foreland basin, but a forearc basin, related to an Andean volcanic
arc represented by the volcanics lava flows and tufts in the Rawas
and Tabir Formation, is a more probable environment of deposition.
The presence of basaits, dolerites and sepentinites in the
Rawas and southern parts of the Peneta Formation suggests that
these sediments extended out onto oceanic crust.
Units in southern Sumatra correlated with the Woyla Group
The Pre-Tertiary basement rocks are very poorly exposed
in southern Sumatra, as the greater part of the area is covered by
Tertiary and Quaternary sediments and volcanics. The distribution
of Pre-Tertiary units correlated with the Woyla Group of northern
Sumatra has been determined from the occurrence of a few scattered
inliers in the Gumai Mountains, the Garba Mountains
and the Gunungkasih Complex and associated sedimentary units
around Bandar Lampung and from boreholes put down in the
search for oil in the Central and South Sumatra Basins
(Fig. 4.18). In the Gumai Mountains they are described as the
Saling, Lingsing and Sepingtiang formations (Fig. 4.19), in
the Garba Mountains as the Garba Formation (Fig. 4.7) and in

the Bandar Lampung area as the Menanga Formation (Fig. 4.8).

Golok Tuff
Lubuk Peraku
III I ~ I ~ I ~ I
Pc+ ~r162 + ~+';
iul i i i i I I
No exposure
I i i i i i i i i i,,, I I l l
i i i i i i'
C~slal luffs with sedimentary structures
(water lain) and occasional fine to medium
Massive limestone (biosparite) with shell
and algae
Pale coloured volcanics overlain by massive
Conglomerate with I(X)% carbonate clasts in
sandy shelly carbonate matrix
Limestone conglomerate with basal scours
Massive limestone
Thinly-bedded limestone with dykes
Shelly oolite -heavily veined

Thinly interbedded with limestones and shelly

marls - boudinage~ marl flowage, veining
Thin pale tuff band in limestone conglomerate
Dark marls containing blocks of dark volcanics
and limestone conglomerate (?tectonic)
Nearly t00% carbonate clasts
Conglomerate ? breccia. Poorly sorted, subrounded
to sub-angular clasts fi'om mm to
several m in size. Carbonate clasts include
bedded sandy limestone with bivalves, algal
fragments and solotary scleractinian corals
Minor, but significant volcanic clast component Fig. 4.17. Colunmar section through the Lubuk
Limestone and the Golok Tuff, measured in the Lubuk Peraku
river section, from McCarthy et al. (2001).
Saling Formation. The Saling Formation, which forms the northern
part of the Gumai inlier, is composed of amygdaloidal and
porphyritic andesitic and basaltic lavas, breccias and tufts, associated
in the field with serpentinites and cherts. On the basis of
chemical analyses and discriminant plots the lavas have been
interpreted as tholeiites of oceanic affinity and have therefore
been interpreted as ocean floor basalts (Gafoer et al. 1992c).
However, the presence of andesites, the amygdaloidal and
porphyritic textures, suggests that the Saling Formation includes
fragments of a volcanic arc. The lavas are cut by diorite
dykes, regarded as contemporaneous with the lavas, and dated
by K-Ar analysis at 116 + 3 Ma (Early Cretaceous) (Gafoer
et al. 1992c). The description of the Saling Formation closely
resembles that of the Bentaro Volcanic Formation of Aceh
(Bennett et al. 198 la) and the Nabana Volcanic and Parlumpangan
units of the Batang Natal (Wajzer et al. 1991). The Early

Cretaceous age shows that the Saling Volcanic Arc was active
contemporaneously with the Bentaro Arc of Aceh.
Lingsing Formation. The Lingsing Formation in the southern part
of the Gumai inlier (Fig. 4.19), contains igneous rocks similar
to those of the Saling Formation, interbedded with claystone, siltstone,
sandstone, calcilutite and chert. The Saling and Lingsing
formations are therefore considered to be contemporaneous.
Since tholeiitic basalts are associated with serpentinized ultrabasic
pyroxenites and cherts, this assemblage is regarded as an ophiolitic
sequence of ocean floor origin, together with fragments of a
volcanic arc. Although the rocks are highly deformed and
folded it is not clear from the descriptions whether they are imbricated
to form an accretionary complex (Gafoer et al. 1992c). The
strike of bedding and cleavage in the sediments is said to be
north-south. The mapped east-west contact between the Saling
and the Lingsing formations is therefore presumably tectonic
(Fig. 4.19).
The Lingsing Formation has been interpreted as deposited in a
bathyal environment (van Bemmelen 1949; Gafoer et al. 1992c).
The presence of lavas interbedded with clastic deposits, suggests
that the Lingsing Formation represents more distal flows, volcaniclastic
sediments and clastic carbonates derived from a volcanic
arc, extending out into the ocean floor environment, represented
by the bedded cherts. These rocks resemble clastic units in
the Lho'nga Formation of Aceh (Bennett et al. 1981a) and the
Belok Gadang Siltstone and Rantobi Sandstone formations of
Natal (Wajzer et al. 1991).
Sepintiang Limestone Formation. In the Gumai inlier the Saling and
Lingsing formations are overlain discordantly by the Sepingtiang
Limestone Formation (Fig. 4.19). This is composed of massive,
brecciated and bedded limestones, containing the coral Calamophylliopsis

crassa (Late Jurassic), the foraminifers Pseudotexturariella,

small Cuneolina (Early Cretaceous) and Orbitolina sp.
(mid-Cretaceous). The contact between the Sepingtiang
-1 ~
. .. .N. '. .'..'..'..'.. '1 0"3o. _.~" j')" 10, 4~ ~ 10, 5~
Mountainsl i i i i...~"L ~
,i,i-i-i-i-i,i..--> .
_9 . . . . . . . . _ . o . 7 . 2 \
_9 . . . . . . . . . . . # 1 . o .
! B] (,bj,
}i ::@:;i:~,~ . :. ". :. ". .:. ". ;, Oe ?g /'}'rio0
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mountain ~ i~'':':''';:-:':'i'~ ~ :::'~
Formation ~%'--"". ,_'",_'\"N ~.. "..~. ',:":':'i:":'i'::'s O:'''...j
0 50
106 ~
,o \ au,ts
NIK N Thrusts
~ Sepintiang, kingsing, Saling, Situlangang, i
Garba and Menanga Formations q
~ Tabir, Rawas and Peneta Formations
Pemali, Tempilang, Papan, Kualu,

Tuhur and Silungkang Formations

[ ~ Palepat and Mengkarang Formations
Kuantan Formation
Mentulu (Bohorok) Formation
Squares, circles and triangles indicate units encountered in boreholes 104~ ~i~ 105~ ~ 106~
I -v\ I I
Fig. 4.18. Distribution of the subcrop of the Pre-Tertiary stratigraphic units in southern Sumatra,
including the Jurassic-Cretaceous Woyla Group. Borehole data is from
De Coster (1974). Boreholes marked 'L' bottomed in the 'Kluang Limestone' regarded as
Cretaceous by De Coster (1974), but considered more likely to be part of the
Kuantan Formation in this account. The distribution of Permian (P) and Triassic (Tr) units on
Bangka is from Ko (1986).
Limestone and the underlying units is considered to be tectonic
(Gafoer et al. 1992c). The Sepingtiang Limestone may be interpreted
in the same way as the limestones in Aceh, as a fringing
reef surrounding a volcanic arc. Fossil evidence of the Late
Jurassic to mid-Cretaceous age of the Sepintiang Limestone
Formation means that it can be correlated directly with the
Lamno, Teunom and Sise Limestone formations of Aceh
(Bennett et al. 1981a; Cameron et al. 1983), the Batu Nabontar
limestones in the Batang Natal section (Wajzer et al. 1991)
and the Lubuk Peraku limestones at Indarung (Yancey & Alif
Intrusions in the Gumai Inlier. The Jurassic-Cretaceous units in
the Gumai Mountains are cut by granitic intrusions, which by
analogy with similar dated granites further south in the Garba
Mountains, described below, are regarded as of Late Cretaceous
age (Gafoer et al. 1992c). The rocks of the inlier and the surrounding

Tertiary rocks are also cut by NW-SE-trending faults, some

showing strike-slip displacements (Fig. 4.19), and are evidently
related to the Sumatran Fault System, the main strands of which
lie some 25 km to the SW.
Garba Formation. The Garba Formation in the Garba Mountains is
associated with metamorphic rocks of the Tarap Formation
(Fig. 4.7). The Garba Formation is composed of (?)amygdaloidal
and porphyritic basaltic and andesitic lavas. The volcanic rocks
are associated with sheared serpentinite and lenses and intercalations
of radiolarian chert. A fault-bounded sliver on the eastern
side of the inlier, and a few other scattered outcrops where chert
is abundant, are mapped as the Situlanglang Member (Fig. 4.7).
An Insu Member is distinguished on the map, with a similar
lithological assemblage, but also containing interlayered lenticular
bodies of m~lange ('m' in Fig. 4.7), with boulders of basalt, andesite,
radiolarian chert, claystone, siltstone, schist and massive
limestone in a scaly clay matrix (Gafoer et al. 1994). The limestones
found as blocks do not crop out elsewhere in the inlier,
but are presumed to be derived from an unexposed component
of the Garba Formation. Notably, metamorphic rocks of the
Tarap Formation have not been found as blocks in the melange.
The foliation in the scaly matrix and the elongation of the enclosed
blocks, which are cut by tension fractures normal to their long
axes, trends in a NW-SE direction (Gafoer et al. 1994). Two
fold phases are recognized in the Garba Formation, an earlier
phase of east-west folds and a later phase of NE-SW folds
103o00 '

103~ '
to Bengkulu 60km
_9 ,
_9 , .
-- 3o45 '
_9 , ,
Quaternary Volcanics
Late Miocene
Middle Miocene
Late Cretaceous Granites
Sepingtiang Limestone Formation
Lingsing (sedimentary) Formation
Saling (volcanic) Formation
103o00 '
_9 , , . , , . , , , . , , , .

_9 , _9 . . . . . . .
._.,_____-.- F
Qv ~ .J
= ------- Faults 0 5 10 15 20km
103o15 '
Fig. 4.19. The distribution of the Saling, Lingsing and Sepintiang Formations, correlatives of the
Woyla Group, in the Gumai Mountains, South Sumatra, after GRDC
map of Bengkulu (Gafoer et al. 1992c).
(Gafoer et al. 1994). Neither the cherts nor the limestones have so
far yielded age-diagnostic fossils.
The Garba Formation has been compared to the Woyla Group
of Natal (Gafoer et al. 1994) and certainly lithological descriptions
of this formation and its Insu and Situlanglang members,
correspond very well with those from Aceh and the Batang
Natal section. The basaltic and andesitic lavas of the Garba
Formation correspond with those of the Bentaro Arc, and may
similarly be interpreted as part of a volcanic arc sequence.
Limestone blocks within the m61ange may represent fragments
of fringing reefs or the collapsed carbonate cappings of seamounts,
the latter now represented by volcanics in the Garba Formation, as
has been suggested for the Natal and Indarung areas (Wajzer et al.
1991; McCarthy et al. 2001).
Descriptions of the m61anges of the Insu Member of the Garba

Formation (Gafoer et al. 1994) are identical to those from Natal

(Wajzer et al. 1991). The interlayering of the Insu Member with
lavas, chert and m61ange (Gafoer et al. 1994) suggests that these
rocks are deformed and imbricated in the same way as the
Woyla Group in the Batang Natal section, and similarly represent
an accretionary complex formed by subduction of an ocean floor.
It may be that some of the low-grade metamorphic schists mapped
within the Insu Member as Tarap Formation, are part of this accretionary
complex, as metamorphic rocks, up to greenschist facies,
are incorporated in the accretionary complex at Natal_9 Rock
units within the Garba inlier are cut and bounded by NW-SEtrending
faults. Although these faults are parallel to the Sumatran
Fault System they do not appear to affect significantly the Tertiary
rocks and must be largely of Pre-Tertiary age.
Intrusions in the Garba lnlier. Both the metamorphic Tarap and the
Garba formations are intruded by the Garba Pluton (Fig. 4.7), a
composite body in which an older component has been dated
by the K-At method at 115 and 102_3Ma (midCretaceous) and a younger component at 79 1.3 Ma and
89.3 + 1.7 Ma (Late Cretaceous) (Gafoer et al. 1994). Since the
Garba Pluton (115-79 Ma) intrudes both the Tarap and the
Garba formations, the accretion of the Garba Formation to
the margin of Sundaland took place before the mid-Cretaceous.
The age of the younger component of the Garba Pluton is comparable
to that of the Sikuleh Batholith in Aceh (98 Ma) and the
Manunggal Batholith (87 Ma) in Natal.
Menanga Formation. The Menanga Formation occurs in scattered
outcrops between Bandar Lampung and Kotaagung to the SW of
the schists and gneisses of the Gunungkasih Complex (Fig. 4.8).
The Menanga Formation consists of tuffaceous and calcareous
claystones, sandstones and shales with intercalated radiolarianbearing

cherts, manganese nodules and coral limestones and rare

porphyritic basalt. The sandstones contain clasts of glassy andesite
and lithic fragments of andesite, quartz-diorite and quartzite. The
cherts have not so far yielded diagnostic radiolaria, but Zwierzijcki
(1932, confirmed in Andi Mangga et al. 1994a), reports the occurrence
of Orbitolina sp. of Aptian-Albian (mid-Cretaceous) age
fi'om limestones in the Menanga river section. The bedding
strikes NW-SE with dips of 35o-60 ~ to the NE. The rocks
are folded and cut by faults, with slickensides indicating reverse
The contact between the Gunungkasih Complex and the
Menanga Formation in Gunung Kasih itself is obscured, due to
rice cultivation, and in Teluk Ratai is at present inaccessible
as it lies within a Naval Base (Fig. 4.8). However, the latter
contact in the Menanga River was described by Zwierzijcki
(1932) as occupied by a 'friction breccia'. On the GRDC maps
Amin et al. (1994b) and Andi Mangga et al. (1994a) show both
these contacts as thrusts (Fig. 4.8).
The Menanga Formation is interpreted by Amin et al. (1994b)
as a deep-water marine sequence with interbedded basalt lavas
and andesitic clastic fragments, derived from a volcanic arc, and
deposited in a trench or forearc environment. These sediments
were deformed during accretion to the Sumatran margin,
represented by the Gunungkasih Complex. K-Ar radiometric
ages, ranging from 125 to 108 Ma (mid-Cretaceous) from hornblende
in an amphibolitic schist in the Menanga Formation, is
taken as the age of accretion (Andi Mangga et al. 1994a).
However, the presence of quartzite and quartz-diorite clasts
suggests that the Menanga Formation was, like the Rawas and
associated formations in central Sumatra, derived from an

Andean arc built on a continental basement, and was deposited

in a forearc environment. The Menanga Formation was overthrust
by the basement at a later stage.
Intrusions in the Bandarlampung area. Near Bandarlampung
the Gunungkasih Complex is intruded by the Sulan Pluton
(Fig. 4.8). The pluton is a composite body which includes
gabbro, dated by K-Ar radiometric analysis at 151 + 4Ma
(Late Jurassic), hornblende and biotite granites and granodiorite
intruded by late aplogranite dykes. Granite from the Sulan
Pluton gave an age of 113 ___ 3 Ma (mid-Cretaceous) (McCourt
et al. 1996).
To the north of Bandarlampung, spectacular exposures below
an irrigation dam on the Sekampung River show extensive
outcrops of granodioritic and dioritic gneiss, containing basic
xenoliths, and cut by concordant and discordant granitic and
pegmatitic veins. The granitic and granodioritic gneisses are cut
by basaltic dykes, several metres thick, which contain xenoliths
of gneiss. The gneiss xenoliths show evidence of melting, and
towards the margins of the dykes are drawn out into streaks,
which are sometimes isoclinally folded, parallel to the dyke
margins. The dykes and the foliation in the gneisses both trend
in a NW-SE direction. Fold structures in the dykes and the
curvature of foliation in the gneisses indicate that the dyke
margins have acted as strike-slip shear zones, with a sinistral
sense of movement. Sub-horizontal slickensides on foliation
surfaces within the gneiss indicate the same sense of movement.
Diorite from the Sekumpang exposure has been dated by the
K-Ar method at 89 _+ 3 Ma (late mid-Cretaceous) (McCourt
et al. 1996).
In the same area, in the Wai Triplek, greenschist facies white
mica-quartz schists are intruded by metadolerite dykes. The

margins of the dykes show compositional banding which is isoclinally

folded, in a similar fashion to the dykes in the Sekampung
River. Further upstream the bed of the Wai Triplek exposes
streaky acid and basic gneisses cut by more homogeneous basic
dykes. Acid gneiss shows evidence of having been melted and
recrystallized along the dyke contacts, and quartz-feldspar veins
fill fractures in brecciated basic dyke material, in a process of
back injection.
Relics of dyke rocks occurring as basic xenoliths in gneiss, and
gneiss xenoliths enclosed in basalt dykes, indicate that
the intrusion of basaltic dykes and granitic bodies alternated
during the development of the gneiss complex at Sekampung.
Exposures in the Wai Triplek form part of the same gneiss
complex, but also contain fragments of the schistose continental
basement into which the igneous rocks were intruded. During
or shortly after intrusion, both granitic and basic rocks were
affected by sinistral shearing, which converted the granitic and
dioritic rocks into gneisses and deformed the basic dykes. The
alternation of acid and basic intrusion, with contemporaneous
deformation, are characteristic features of the basal parts of a
magmatic arc, where acid and basic magmas are intruded into
an active strike-slip fault zone. This situation is similar to that
which exists beneath Sumatra at the present day where the
modern volcanic arc is built on the active Sumatran Fault Zone.
However, the sense of movement along the present arc is
dextral, in the opposite sense to the sinistral movement along
the Cretaceous arc.
Interpretations of the Woyla Group
On completion of the Integrated Geological Survey of Northern
Sumatra the DMR/BGS mapping team published an interpretion
of the Woyla Group in Aceh (Cameron et al. 1980). It was

suggested than the oceanic assemblage represented an ocean

floor and its overlying pelagic sediments. The arc assemblage
was interpreted as a volcanic arc, and the associated limestones
as the surrounding carbonate reefs. It was suggested that the
volcanic arc had developed on a fragment of continental crust
which had separated from the margin of the Sundaland continent
along a transtensional transcurrent fault, similar to the present
Sumatran Fault System. Extension led to the formation of a
narrow short-lived marginal basin in a process similar to that
which is forming the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of California at
the present time (Cameron et al. 1980, Fig. 4a).
There is no direct evidence to support the suggestion that the arc
assemblage was constructed on continental crust, but a number
of circumstantial arguments have been put forward in support of
this interpretation: the arc assemblage is intruded by the Sikuleh
Batholith, which it is suggested was derived from the underlying
continental crust; quartz-rich rocks associated with the batholith
and shown as 'undifferentiated Woyla Group' rocks on the
Calang map sheet (Bennett et al. 1981a) are interpreted as roof
pendants, uplifted from the underlying basement; and tin, recorded
in stream sediment samples along the northern margin of the
batholith, is normally restricted to continental crust (Stephenson
et al. 1982). All of these arguments are open to objection and to
alternative explanation.
Unfortunately no detailed chemical analyses of the Sikuleh
Batholith are available. However, it is a composite body, comprising
an 'Older Complex' of variably deformed and contaminated
gabbroic and dioritic rocks, into which is intruded a 'Younger
Complex' of homogeneous, largely unfoliated, biotite-hornblende
granodiorite, with a K-Ar age of 97.7 _+ 7 Ma (Bennett et al.
1981b). The low values of stream sediment tin are associated

with the outcrop of the Younger Complex, which is likely to be

a mantle-derived I-type granitoid body. There is no detailed
field or geochemical evidence in favour of the suggestion that
roof pendants have been uplifted from an underlying basement;
they could equally well have subsided from an overlying thrust
sheet. It is possible that the tin in stream sediments in Aceh
were derived directly by erosion and transport from the area to
the east of the Sumatran Fault, or secondarily through Tertiary
Although there is no direct palaeontological or isotopic
evidence for the age of the Woyla oceanic crust, and the age of
the volcanic arc is inferred only from the palaeontological
age of the fringing reefs, in the model proposed by Cameron
et al. (1980), the marginal sea is considered to have formed by
extension and rifting in the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.
In the Late Cretaceous, compression, related to subduction on
the outboard side of the Sikuleh microcontinental sliver, led to
the collapse of the marginal sea to form the imbricated oceanic
assemblage and the accretion of the microcontinental fragment,
with its overlying volcanic arc, against the continental margin of
As the DMR/BGS Survey extended southwards, the model
developed in Aceh was used to interpret the Jurassic-Cretaceous
rocks correlated with the Woyla Group in the Natal area (Rock
et al. 1983). The Muarasoma Formation at the northeastern
end of the Batang Natal section, with its turbidites and massive
limestones was interpreted as shelf sediments formed on the
continental margin of Sundaland. The Belok Gadang Formation,
with pillow lavas manganiferous sediments and cherts, was interpreted
as the imbricated floor of the marginal basin, and the

Langsat Volcanics at the southwestern end of the section were

interpreted as the volcanic arc overlying a continental basement.
The underlying basement was inferred from the Air Bangis
granites which intrude the volcanics, analogous to the situation
at Sikuleh (Rock et al. 1983, Fig. 8). In the 'Tectonic Map of
Northern Sumatra' prepared by Aspden et al. (1982a) the continental
fragments in Aceh and Natal were identified as the
Sikuleh and Natal Microcontinental Blocks. A further block, the
Bengkulu Microcontinental Block was subsequently proposed in
southern Sumatra. The concept of microcontinents was taken up
by Metcalfe (1996, Fig. 15) who suggested that these microcontinental
fragments separated from the northern margin of Gondwana
in the Late Jurassic and were accreted to the Sumatran margin in
the mid-Late Cretaceous.
The study by Wajzer et al. (1991) necessitated the re-interpretation
of the Batang Natal section and the reassessment of the marginal
sea model. It was found that the turbidites of the Muarasoma
Formation were volcaniclastics, with no significant proportion
of quartz, and that the massive limestones did not contain
any material of continental derivation. The sediments of the
Muarasoma Formation are evidently of oceanic rather than of
continental margin origin. The bedded cherts and manganiferous
sediments in the Belok Gadang Formation were interpreted as
representing the floor of an extensive ocean, rather than the floor
of a restricted marginal sea. A limestone block in m61ange, interpreted
as a collapsed carbonate capping to a sea mount, was found
to contain a foraminifer of late Triassic age. Evidently the ocean
floor accreted into the Woyla accretionary complex was already
in existence in the early Mesozoic. An earlier date for the origin
of the Woyla ocean floor has been confirmed by the discovery
of early Middle Jurassic radiolaria from cherts in the Indarung

Formation (correlated with the Woyla Group) near Padang

(McCarthy et al. 2001). At the southwestern end of the Batang
Natal section the Langsat Volcanics and the associated
volcanoclastics were dated isotopically as of Late Eocene to
Early Oligocene age (Wajzer et al. 1991). They are not, therefore,
a Late Jurassic-mid-Cretaceous arc analogous to the Bentaro
Volcanic arc of Aceh.
The concept of microcontinental blocks accreted to the margin
of Sundaland in the mid-Late Cretaceous has not been proven.
The arc volcanics of the Bentaro Formation and the granitoids
of the Sikuleh Batholith require detailed geochemical study to
determine whether they represent arc volcanics extruded through
a continental basement. There is no evidence either at Natal or
Bengkulu for a microcontinental block, the Langsat Volcanics
and the Air Bangis granites have been shown to be part of an
Eocene to Early Oligocene volcanic arc emplaced against the
Natal section by late (Neogene or Quaternary?) strike-slip faulting
(Barber 2000).
Chapter 5
Knowledge of the granites of Sumatra has been gathered mainly as
the result of systematic mapping programmes conducted with the
aim of identifying mineral resources and providing a geological
data base for more detailed studies. Mapping programmes were
conducted principally by Dutch and Indonesian geologists prior
to the second world war, mainly in southern Sumatra and the
Tin Islands. In the 1970s a combined Indonesian Directorate of
Mineral Resources (DMR)/British Geological Survey (BGS)
project was set up to map the geology of Sumatra to the north of
the Equator. On completion of this project in the mid-1980s geological

and geochemical maps for the region were published at the

scale of 1:250000, together with descriptive sheet bulletins.
Another useful compilation which may be refered to is the
1:2.5 million scale geological map for the whole of the Indonesian
Archipelago which includes Sumatra (Clarke 1990).
Subsequently BGS undertook a similar but smaller project in
southern Sumatra in order to upgrade geological mapping and
mineral exploration programmes which were being conducted
by the Indonesian Geological Research and Development Centre
(GRDC) and DMR. As part of this programme a specific effort
was made to investigate the granites of this region. A combined
granite workshop/regional mapping programme resulted in the
identification of many granite units within batholiths such as
Lassi, Bungo and Garba, as well as numerous isolated plutons.
Full geochemical and isotopic analyses were provided for these
granites (McCourt & Cobbing 1993; McCourt et al. 1996).
Gasparon & Varne (1995) have provided further geological and
geochemical information from selected granites and volcanics
over the whole of Sumatra. Cobbing et al. (1986, 1992) had previously
provided full geochemical and isotopic data for the granites
of the Tin Islands as part of a comprehensive study of the
granites of much of SE Asia.
These combined studies confirmed earlier suggestions that the
granites of Sumatra could be classified into a group of older,
widely distributed tin-associated granites, and a group of
younger, geographically restricted, volcanic-arc granites with a
wide compositional range.
The older tin-associated granites crop out throughout the whole
of Sumatra, but are concentrated mainly to the east of the Barisan
Range and also within it, but in some areas granite outcrops extend
as far as the west coast. Granites of the volcanic arc suite are confined

to the Barisan Range.

At the present time it is difficult to provide a unified account for
the granites of Sumatra, because much of the earlier work
addressed different aspects of the geological, geochemical and isotopic
relationships of the granites. This has resulted in difficulties
in interpreting the earlier studies. Consequently the following synthesis
is constrained by the different objectives and conditions
under which the earlier regional work was carried out.
Isotopic ages of Sumatran granites
Many of the published isotopic analyses from Sumatra are
unsupported by petrographic descriptions or whole-rock chemical
analyses. Moreover, in some cases isotopic ages determined for
particular plutons cover such a wide range that it is impossible
to establish their exact age of emplacement. In other cases the
available geochemistry is sufficiently anomalous to cast doubt
on the reliability of the reported isotopic age. This is the case
for the Ombilin Granite (Fig. 5.1), cropping out on the western
shore of Lake Singkarak, for which Silitonga & Kastowa (1975)
gave an Rb-Sr age of 256 _+ 6 Ma. This body has volcanic arctype
geochemistry but is very strongly deformed, and shows
highly anomalous potassium and rubidium values (McCourt &
Cobbing 1993). These factors casts doubt on the reliability of
the reported age, which is at least 50 Ma older than all other granites
of that affinity.
A further example of the difficulties in interpreting the isotopic
ages of the granites of Sumatra is provided by the Sibolga Batholith
in northwest Sumatra. This pluton has yielded a wide range of isotopic
ages from 75 to 264 Ma. It is a very large body, and may well
be composite, comprising several distinct units of different ages. In
the hinterland of Sibolga the granite consists of biotite-hornblende
granite and granodiorite with pink K-feldspar megacrysts, mafic

enclaves and mafic dykes. These characteristics are typical of the

Eastern Province Granites of Peninsular Malaysia and the Tin
Islands, and distinguish these rocks from the tin-associated granites
in the same areas (Cobbing et al. 1986, 1992). The position of the
Sibolga Granite however, is completely anomalous, as it crops
out on the far west coast of Sumatra, 300 km away from the
Eastern Province Granites of Peninsular Malaysia.
The isotopic age of 264 Ma (Aspden et al. 1982b) may represent
the age of emplacement of the Sibolga Granite itself, but the 13
other ages recorded from this body, ranging from 75 to 264 Ma,
cannot represent an emplacement age for the Sibolga Pluton,
and may have been obtained from satellite plutons in the
Sibolga region.
Unlike the Sibolga Batholith there is no question of uncertain
provenance for the Lassi Batholith (Fig. 5.1) which has yielded
a much quoted Early Cretaceous age of 112 Ma (Katili 1974a).
However, this is incompatible with the K-Ar age of 56.3 Ma
reported by Sato (1991). The five K-Ar ages of 57, 55, 54, 53
and 53 Ma from different units of this batholith given in
McCourt et al. (1996) and the 4~ ages of 55 and 56 Ma
(Imtihanah 2000) confirm its Palaeocene age.
The Lassi examples suggests that many of the isotopic ages
reported from Sumatra do not reflect the age of emplacement,
but it is at present impossible to distinguish these from reliable
ages, unless complementary methods of isotopic dating have
been used, a requirement which substantially diminishes the
value of the currently available data set. For these reasons some
of the isotopic ages quoted in the following acount may be
subject to revision. Most of the granite ages considered in this
account are those for which there is supporting isotopic and
geochemical data.

Until recently the U-Pb zircon age of 264 Ma obtained by Liew &
McCulloch (1985) from the Kuantan Granite of the Eastern Province
of Peninsular Malaysia was the oldest recorded age for granites of
the region. This has now been extended to 275 Ma by Schwartz &
Askury (1990) who obtained K-Ar biotite ages from plutons in
the Kuantan-Dungun region ranging from 220 to 275 Ma. Ages
from the Main Range Province in Peninsular Malaysia are generally
younger, from 207 to 230 Ma (Cobbing et al. 1992). The peak of
magmatism for the Main Range Granites in Peninsular Malaysia
and the Tin Islands is 220 Ma, with granites ranging to older ages,
especially in the Tin Islands: e.g. Belinyu 251 _ 10 and Penangas
252 _ 8 (Cobbing et al. 1992) (Fig. 5.2).
96OE 98 ,~
- 6<,N ~ BANDA ACEIt
~. ~""S i k u I e h.,._.._~
, ,{JL.~ Batholith ~
GeuXfit'~eu~ ~ ~ _ ~ . .
Granodiorite\'~ ;~ ?LSerbadjadl
Diorite ~ ....
2 c'
-- 0 < (~
\X "}
.... i i

~\. L
i ~' HataPang'x~-N-'~ ,,[,u,on,
' Muarasipongi ~~ -~Rokan
L., "~ \~X "? .... Siabu
Ombilill Sulit Air"[
G ran itel~.~J)te.~ ),,Sijunjung
102 ~' 104"-' 106" t 08 ~
Biotite-hornblende diorites~,~
i . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tonalites, granodiorites and ~~
monzogranites of Volcanic
Arc affinity, l-Types
Age range 203-5 Ma
-4'~ Biotite monzogranites of
l ~,, J Post-collisional affinity S-Types
l "~ J Some tin-associated
Age range 247q43 Ma
Biotite and biotite-hornblende
_6 ~ [--~
monzogranites of post-collisional
and crustal I-Types
Age range 264-216 Ma
~anjung ~; "~lsahanU~'\"-P'---~ ,Gadang <,,, \
_North O JAMB.]
I~IL Bungo Batholith ~:
~I'L~ South .

0 100 200 300 400 500km
96" 98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~
. . . . . . . . 1 .................. i .................. l .......................... I
~.e Garba
"--. LIN Batholith
Padean oguru
rbamba */Jatibaru
Plu~tnong ~ "X>~.~'~O n~;~Sulan T~
104 ~
Fig. 5.1. The granites of Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and the Tin islands of Bangka and
Billiton. Data from Beddoe-Stephens et al. (1987), Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens
(1987), Cobbing et al. (1986, 1992), Sato (1991), McCourt & Cobbing (1993), Gasparon &
Varne (1995). Broken line shows the eastern limit of the Western Province
Granites in Sumatra.

In Peninsular Malaysia the Eastern Granite Province is separated

by the Bentong-Raub Line from the Main Range Province, where
the ages of the granites are generally younger, ranging from 207 to
230 Ma (Late Triassic) (Figs 5.1 & 5.3) although some granites,
especially in the Tin Islands, have given Late Permian ages, e.g.
the Belinyu and Penangas quoted above (Cobbing et al. 1992).
Although a great deal of work has been done on the granites of
Sumatra only six studies have provided sufficient detail of their
geological, geochemical and isotopic features for useful comparison.
These are the publications of Beddoe-Stephens et al. (1987)
for the Muarasipongi Batholith, Schwartz & Surjono (1990a)
for the Tiga Puluh region, Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens (1987) for
the Hatapang Granite, Sato (1991) for three I-type and S-type
plutons in central Sumatra, Gasparon & Varne (1995) for selected
plutons of mainly volcanic arc character from the whole island,
McCourt & Cobbing (1993) who provided a complete data set
of their collection for the southern half of Sumatra, and
McCourt et al. (1996) giving selected data from that data set. It
is however useful to interpret the ages and affinities of other granites
in Sumatra within the framework provided by these recent
studies, using the field and petrographic characteristics provided
by earlier studies.
t 06 ~
lsahan [~,~

:am _La~o. i 226Ma
I~-~'~ ~ll BINTAN
5k,'~ ~ J East Bintan
-% \- ~-j oBatholith
X~ Loban 229Ma
,~ Laut
Eastern Province
(I-Type) Granites
" ~ ~~ ~ Main Range Province
%~ (S-Type) Granites
_ st Central
_ Paku ~-/SINGKEP
"~--"~ BANGKA
\,~ Belinyu Klabat Batholith
25~anjong Layang
~ P e n a n g a s ~---:'~ ...... )\Tanjong Batu o ~
S U M A T R A M~e~9n u~~n~9a . .~l r - - ,. Tanjong Raya Z' 200Ma 2-. .---<7"z~ .....\
f _ j ~ % s Tanjong BILLITON
Pluton ~ ~ n n Man
~" 213Ma \ .......... ?f 21g6Mpa'(' ~4 /) -~'"'~ u ~ g
PA LEMBANG 0 . Bukit L T~ oboal~i ,~"/-r5.-,- -2 0 %2 7 n o n g Le gau
Batu 225Ma ~'-~ / Nama Parangb~h gP Kelumpang
100 200 300km (/
104 '~ 106 ~ 108 ~;`
I /I I
Fig. 5.2. Main Range and Eastern

Province granites in the Indonesian Tin

Islands (after Cobbing et al. 1992).
Karimun is a Tin granite, but it does have
A-type affinities. Segal and Akat are both
l-types. Karimun has affinities with Dabo.
The granite suites
The granites of Sumatra form two distinct groups. An older group
is widely distributed as isolated plutons and batholiths over the
whole island, but mainly in the area to the east of the Barisan
Range. Some of these granites are tin-associated and have a
narrow compositional range of SiO2 values, generally above
70%. These older granites are related to the Central (Main
Range) Province of the Southeast Asian Tin Belt of Peninsular
Malaysia and Thailand (Figs 5.1 & 5.3). A younger group of granites
form the plutonic component of a volcanic arc suite. They are
confined to the Barisan Range, where they form small batholiths
and separated plutons with an extended compositional range
from gabbro to monzogranite.
The Tin-associated suite
Tin-associated granites are of S-type affinity and are probably
mostly of Triassic age. They are widely distributed in Sumatra
but are poorly exposed. They are equivalent to the Main Range
granites of Peninsular Malaysia and of the Indonesian Tin
Islands. There is however, an almost complete lack of geochemical
and isotopic data for these granites. Schwartz (1987) and
Schwartz & Surjono (1990a) reported five major and trace
element analyses from greisens and K-feldspar megacrystic
biotite granites from the Sungei Isahan and adjacent areas in the
Tiga Puluh region of South Sumatra (Fig. 5.1). Three of the analyses
are of greisens and are anomalous in their composition,
but two are from normal K-feldspar megacrystic monzogranites

with SiO2 values of 71.7 and 71.47% which correspond closely

with the geochemical signatures of granites from the Main
Range Province of Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand. K-Ar
ages of 197 2 Ma and 193 4- 2 Ma were obtained for muscovite
in greisens in the Sungei Isahan and an age of 198 4- 2 Ma from
biotite in K-feldspar megacrystic granite at Bukit Kayumambang
20 km east of Sungei Isahan.
The Sijunjung Batholith, which is located on the eastern flank of
the Barisan Range to the northeast of Padang (Fig. 5.1), is a very
large and inaccessible body, but a large sample was dated and
chemically analysed by Sato (1991). The K-Ar age is 247 Ma
and the geochemistry, with a SiO2 value of 72.71%, is similar
to that for the S-type granites of the Main Range Batholith of
Peninsular Malaysia and the Tin Islands (Sato 1991).
The Sungei Isahan and Sijunjung occurrences are at present the
only examples of the tin-associated granites of Main Range Type
in mainland Sumatra lbr which there is both geochronology and
geochemical analyses. Provisionally these two occurences may
be regarded as representative of the Tin-Associated Suite as a
whole. Although the database for the widespread Tin-Associated
Granites is small, where the writer has inspected them in the
field they were found to bear a striking resemblance to granites
of the Main Range (Central) Province in Peninsular Malaysia
and the Tin islands.
The Hatapang Granite, which is located to the south of Lake
Toba (Fig. 5.1) was discovered by the investigation of a tin
anomaly revealed by reconnaissance geochemical surveying.
The geochemical and isotopic study by Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens
(1987) established an Rb-Sr isochron age of 80 i 1 Ma
with an initial ratio of 0.7151, which indicates an S-type affinity.
They suggested on the basis of these results, that the pluton was

not representative of the tin-associated granites of Triassic age,

but was more likely to be one of the Western Province granites
of mainly Cretaceous-Tertiary age occurring along the ThailandBurma border and the Shan Scarp region of Burma. Representatives
of this suite are present at Phuket in southern Thailand
north of the Ban Kram Fault Zone (Garson et al. 1975), and
)L; 100 ~
,,, ",,
~i~i' 8ili4~,'1!~i:~8!':~.4ii!~., ~ '
!~i ii~~~i ,ii' ~) : :/:)~i
200 400 600
110 ~
800 1000km
~ilil; :~:iii
~!.?#~e ~ , "',,_
[aub Complex
95OE 100 ~ 105 ~ ~ "~--.110~
Fig. 5.3. Granitic provinces of Sumatra and adjacent areas (modified after
Cobbing et al. 1992 and McCourt et al. 1996).
Clarke & Beddoe Stephens (1987) suggested that this suite

continued southwards in central Sumatra, thus bringing stanniferous

granites of younger age into an area dominated by older tin
granites. The geochemical data from the Hatapang Granite
suggests that it may have some alkali affinity, since it falls
mostly within the 'Within Plate Granite' (WPG) field on Pearce
diagrams (Fig. 5.4a, b) and in or close to, the alkali feldspar
field on the QAP Le Maitre diagram (Clarke & Beddoe Stephens
1987) (Fig. 5.5). They also plot above the calc-alkali field of Kuno
(1969 fig. 6.7). Such an affinity is compatible with the compositional
range present in the granites of the Western Province
(Cobbing et al. 1992).
The Volcanic Arc Suite
It is however, the Volcanic Arc Suite (Fig. 5.1) that has provided the
main focus for granite studies in Sumatra. The volcanic-arc affinity
0 =J
I O0
o. ooOO:
syn-COLG Oo "~,~. ~/"
_9 . ".-- ..2../
_9 . . . . . t
~Ol , ~lJ_9l l I I / / I I ,Ill i i I I ~l l t l
t0 100 1000
Log Y ppm

-- b o -=_
= ~yo COLG oo~ ~176
_ _9 2
_9 elDOO go //
_9 "" ;'.'" / i _9 !
VAG _9
10 100 1000
Log Y + Nb ppm
Fig. 5.4. (a) Nb/Y and (b) Rb/(Y + Nb) discfiminant diagrams for syn-collision
(syn-col), volcanic arc (VA), within plate (WP) and normal and anomalous ocean
ridge (OR) granites after Pearce et al. (1984). Volcanic Arc granites, South Sumatra
(filled circles; McCourt et al. 1996), the Hatapang granite (open circles; Clarke &
Beddoes-Stephens 1987) and Bukit Batu (squares; Gasparon & Vame 1987).
of these granites was established by McCourt & Cobbing (1993)
and McCourt et al. (1996). Most of the currently available geochemical
and isotopic data is from southern Sumatra, but BeddoeStephens et al. (1987) published six whole-rock analyses from
the Muarasipongi Batholith in northern Sumatra (Fig. 5.1), with
62-68% SiO2 and an Rb-Sr isochron age of 158 4-23 Ma,
which established its Jurassic age and volcanic arc affinity. Sato
(1991) provided whole-rock geochemistry and K-Ar ages for the
Padangpanjang and Lassi bodies located to the northeast of
Padang (Fig. 5.1). The isotopic data from these granites established
a Cretaceous age of 64 Ma for Padangpanjang and 56 Ma for Lassi,
and the geochemistry confirms their volcanic arc affinity.

These results are similar to those of McCourt & Cobbing (1993)

and McCourt et al. (1996) who provided chemical analyses and
K-At ages from 13 plutons and batholiths from southern
Sumatra which, while not being a comprehensive data set, can
be regarded provisionally as being representative of this group
for the region as a whole. That work established an age range of
203 to 5 Ma from rocks with SiO2 values ranging from 50.83 to
76.71%. The lithological range is from gabbro to monzogranite.
This range is similar to that for Volcanic Arc and Cordilleran
granitoids elsewhere and all other geochemical indices confirm
that affinity (McCourt & Cobbing 1993" McCourt et al. 1996).
o .,:
8. +.
A/ 8 , , / ' v 7 v ' v Ov v 9 o v O\ , 7 x , , x1 0 ~,
Fig. 5.5. South Sumatran Volcanic Arc Granites (filled circles), Hatapang
Granite (open circles and Bukit Batu Granites (squares) plotted on the QAP
modal diagram of Le Maitre (1989).
They also plot within the volcanic arc field on Pearce diagrams
(McCourt & Cobbing 1993; McCourt et al. 1996) (Fig. 5.4) and
in the calc-alkali field in Figs 5.6 & 5.7.
At about the same time Gasparon & Varne (1995) published a
study of selected granites and volcanic rocks from widely dispersed
localities from the whole of Sumatra. They provided 16
analyses of granitic rocks ranging from 50 to 77% SiO2. Eleven
of these analyses were from southern Sumatra and seven from
northern Sumatran granites, including the Sikuleh Batholith at
the northwestern tip of the Island (Fig. 5.1) from which two
samples were taken, a monzogranite and a granodiorite. This is
a large, complex and in part deformed and foliated batholith, for
which until now only been field observations have been available.

The data of Gasparon & Varne (1995) confirms the volcanic arc
nature of all these granitoids.
The majority of granitoids of the volcanic arc suite are undeformed,
or only weakly foliated. Some however, are strongly
deformed and some show clear evidence for deformation during
crystallisation. During field work in 1992 five phases of synplutonic
deformation were recognised from the Aroguru Pluton in
southern Sumatra (Fig. 5.1). This body lies close to the present
trace of the West Sumatra Fault Zone, it is however older than
Na=O+K20 MgO
Fig. 5.6. Compositions of the Volcanic Arc granites of southern Sumatra plotted
on the AFM diagram of Irvine & Baragar (1971).

,-i eS~ [fill - - - - - ~ ' - / 0 ~ J'~ ~ O0
IO ..~,I
"~ e i fi~
0 t t ............
50 60 70 80
Fig. 5.7. Compositions of the granites of southern Sumatra plotted on a total
alkalies vs. SiO2 diagram, dashed lines denote the calc-alkaline field of Kuno

(1979). Symbols as in Figure 5.5

the fault, which was initiated during the Miocene, and it is most
likely that the deformation developed as a result of emplacement
processes. Barber (2000, p. 732) has suggested that it was
emplaced in an active sinistral strike-slip shear zone. Elsewhere
along the West Sumatra Fault, particularly to the north of
Padang, strong cataclastic deformation has been observed from
plutons which were fully crystalline before the initiation of the
fault. This is particularly the case for some K-feldspar megacrystic
granites which are representative of the tin-associated granites.
Comparison of recent work
Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens (1987) provided 17 chemical analyses
from the Hatapang Pluton in North Sumatra (Figs 5.1, 5.5 & 5.7),
ten of these were of granites and seven from greisens and veins.
The pluton is an oval body of 6 x 4 km 2 located about 70 km to
the SE of Lake Toba. The granite is a coarse K-feldspar megacrystic
rock with a marginal zone of about 100 m width consisting of
microgranites, aplites, pegmatites and greisens, grading into
normal granite. The greisens are strongly mineralized with cassiterite,
wolframite and other minerals, and there is a wide aureole
of several hundred metres containing microgranite and pegmatite
veins and dykes. Chemical analyses of the main porphyritic facies
have silica values ranging from 73 to 77% SiOz. The granite has a
Rb-Sr isochron age of 80 Ma and an initial ratio of 0.7151. The
authors established an S-type affinity for the granite, and
because of its age, suggested that it might be a representative of
the Western Granite Province established by Beckinsale (1979).
The nearest representatives of the Western Province are at
Phuket in Peninsular Thailand. Gasparon & Varne (1995) have
questioned this interpretation on the basis of the Rb-Sr initial
ratio, which they intimate is too low for a Western Province

granite. Cobbing et al. (1992), however, reported ages and

initial ratios from the Western Province in Burma which are comparable
with that for Hatapang, supporting the interpretation of
Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens (1987).
Beddoe-Stephens et al. (1987) studied the Muarasipongi Batholith
in North Sumatra in connection with the skarn mineralization
developed in contact limestones of that region, and published six
chemical analyses with a silica range of 62-68% SiO2 and a
Rb-Sr isochron age of 158 +_ 3 Ma which were interpreted as
indicators of an I-type affinity in the scheme of Chappell & White
(1974), and are similar in their composition to the Volcanic Arc
Suite of South Sumatra (McCourt et al. 1996).
Gasparon & Vame (1995) provided 20 chemical analyses from
both northern and southern Sumatra, all from the Volcanic Arc
Suite, with the possible exception of the Bukit Batu pluton
(Fig. 5.1). Eleven of these are from southern Sumatra with a
range of SiO2 from 49.36 to 77.23% and five from North Sumatra
with a more restricted, but essentially similar range of 51.0776.81% SiO2. They also gave eight estimated Rb-Sr ages ranging
from 15-t-3 to 135 +_ 7 Ma, together with estimated initial
87Sr/86Sr ratios from 0.7038 to 0.7059. The extended compositional
range is similar to that from other regions of volcanic arc related
plutonism and the Rb-Sr ages, although estimated, suggest an
extended period of granite plutonism. This data is also in keeping
with field information recorded from both northern and southern
Sumatra, that the granites have a lithological range from gabbro
and diorite to monzogranite, similar to that in other Volcanic Arc
However, the two samples from the Bukit Batu intrusion in SE
Sumatra, lying to the SW of the island of Bangka and SE of Palembang

(Fig. 5.1), have highly anomalous compositions with > 10%

combined soda and potash and ca. 60% SiO2. The isotopic data are
also markedly different, with estimated initial SVSr/86Sr ratios of
0.71564 and 0.71477 and an estimated age of 170 i 35 Ma. On
the Nb vs. Y (Fig. 5.4a) and Nb + Y (Fig. 5.4b) discriminant
plots of Pearce et al. (1984) the data from both samples fall in
the 'Within Plate' (WPG) field. They also have extremely high
values of Ce, La and Zr, and these strange rocks seem to have
an A-type affinity but are clearly quite different from the Hatapang
Granite. The low silica values and high content of CaO and Na20,
together with the presence of hornblende in one of the samples,
suggest a possible affinity with the volcanic arc granitoids.
However, the wide geographical separation between Bukit Batu
and the outcrop of the Volcanic Arc Suite, restricted to the
Bar Range, does not support this interpretation. Gasparon &
Varne (1995) considered these rocks to be of S-type affinity,
because of their high 87Sr/86Sr estimated initial ratios and estimated
age, but stated that 'they are unlike any other granitoids
in Southeast Asia'. It is, however, possible that they may be of
alkaline affinity. Three granites of this affinity are present in the
Tin Islands Suite (Fig. 5.2), of which Karimun and Dabo are tin
mineralized, and West Central Singkep is not (Cobb et al.
1986, 1992). However, none of these granites has such an
extreme composition as the Bukit Batu granite.
A field and geochemical/geochronological study of Sumatra south
of the equator was conducted in 1992 and reported in McCourt &
Cobbing (1993) and McCourt et al. (1996). The data consists of 54
whole rock chemical analyses and 40 K-Ar ages. Nineteen plutons
and batholiths were investigated. Material for geochemistry and geochronology
was collected from three main areas extending from the
latitude of Padang to the southeastern tip of Sumatra (Fig. 5.1). The

most northerly area to the east and northeast of Padang and Lake Sinkarak
included the Sulit Air suite, the Lass Batholith (Table 5.1 b)
and the Lolo Pluton (Table 5.1c). To the east the large Tanjung
Gadang pluton was sampled and geochemically analysed, but was
not dated because of the weathered condition of the rock. Ten
samples were taken from the Bungo Batholith which lies about
200 km to the SE and were geochemically analysed and six of
these were dated (Table 5.1d). The Garba Batholith about 300 km
further to the southeast is not well exposed, but was partially
sampled and dated (Table 5.1e). The remaining plutons of
Aroguru, Sulan, Padean, Jatibaru, Brant and Waybambang are
located close to the southeastern tip of Sumatra (Fig. 5.1) (Tables
5.1f-i). Most of these plutons are simple, consisting of only one
granite unit, but some are more complex. Most of the plutons are
characterised by primary magmatic textures, but some are foliated,
sometimes strongly, and some, especially Aroguru, were affected
by polyphase deformation.
Table 5.1. %SiO: and isotopic ages,from Sumatran Granites
Pluton/Unit Sample Si02 Age (Ma)
Geological age
(a) Sulit Air Granite Suite
Guguchina SSG8 63.28 142 + 5Bi
149 5H
Saloga SSG l 0 63.77
Belimbing SSG 12 65.09
Sulit Air SSG13 63.42
(b) l_ztssi Granite Batholith
Guguk Sara SSGl5 50.8
Lass Granite SSG20 75.3
Pianggu SSG21 57.7

Lass Granite SSG21 a 74.9

Leucogranodiorite SSG23 63.8
Hornblende Diorite SSG24 61.0
Gabbro SSG25 52.6
Sungai Durian SSG26 68.7
Bukit Bais Gabbro SSG31 52.9
(c) Lolo Granite Pluton
Granodiorite SSG36 65.6
Monzogranite SSG37 7 I. 14
(d) Bungo Granite Batholith
Bungo North
Bungo Granite SSG43 76.37
Rantaupandang SSG44 60.76
Rantaupandang SSG46 60.97
Muarabat SSG48 73.18
Bt Apit SSG52 75.61
Bungo South
Sungai Siwai SSG54 70.08
Dusunburu SSG55 60.39
Kalan SSG58 65.2
Dusunburu S SG59 64.15
Dusunburu SSG59a 64.18
(e) Garba Granite Batholith
Garba SSG70 71.46
Sungai Liki SSG72 69.46
(f) Aroguru Granite Complex
SSG82 65.6
(g) Padean Granite
SSG80 73.69
SSG80a 73.53
SSG80b 74.08

SSG80c 74.61
SSG80d 74,67
SSG81 75.15
138 +_ 4H
183 4H
203 + 6Bi
53 1.5
53 1.4
53 1.7
55 1.6
57 1.5
5 1.2 Miocene
l l + 1 Miocene
129 4Bi Lower Cretaceous
54 2 Eocene
148 4 Upper Jurassic
169 5Bi Jurassic
154 + 2Bi Jurassic
156 5H
86_+ 3 Bi Cretaceous
117 3Bi
89.2 Cretaceous
83 2Bi Cretaceous
82 2Bi Cretaceous
84 +_ 2 Cretaceous
(h) Way Sulan Gabbro
SSG87 55.3 151 + 4Hb Jurassic
(i) Sulan Tonal#e, and the Jatibaru, Wayambang

Sulan Tonalite SSG83 69.31 111

SSG85 69.2 113
SMO4 69.95
Jatibaru Pluton SSG88 75.6 55 1.5Bi Palaeocene
63 IBi
Waybambang Pluton Tcl7A 70.3 20 i 1BiHb Miocene
Brant Pluton Sm79 70.62 86 3Bi Cretaceous
and Brant granite plutons
_+ 3Bi Cretaceous
_+ 3Bi
H, hornblende; Bi, biotite.
On the basis of the new data these authors introduced concepts
which, while not new, had not formerly been recognized in
Sumatra. These were: (1) geographical persistence of granitic
source regions over lengthy periods of time; (2) occurrence of
distinct plutonic episodes; (3) westward younging of the Miocene
and Pliocene plutons.
(1) Persistence of granitic source regions is indicated by the
Sulit Air Suite which consists of three small dioritic plutons of
similar lithology, located to the northeast of the Lassi Batholith.
Two of these, the Guguchina and Belimbing plutons are close in
age at 138 Ma and 141 Ma, but the Sulit Air Pluton gave K-Ar
ages of 203 ___ 6 and 183 + 13 Ma (Table 5.1a) and 192-193
Ma (4~ method, Imtihanah 2000). The suite was evidently
emplaced over a period of 55 million years. An even more
remarkable example is the Rantaupandang Unit of the Bungo
Batholith which shows identical lithological and petrographic
features in samples from two widely separated localities,
subsequently confirmed by identical major and trace element
analyses from the two samples. Biotite and hornblende K-Ar geochronology

provided ages of 148 ___ 4 Ma and 137 + 7 Ma for

SSG47 and 54 ___ 2Ma for SSG44a (Table 5.1d). Duplicate
analyses confirmed these results, which can only mean that the
source region remained unchanged for nearly 100 million years.
(2) The existence of distinct plutonic episodes is suggested by
breaks in the sequence of intrusion, with durations of between
20 and 34 Ma in the ages of plutons emplaced within the same plutonic
lineament. Four episodes were recognized 203-130 Ma,
117-82 Ma, 60-53 Ma and 20-11 Ma (McCourt et al. 1996).
Future work may modify these results, but with the present data
they appear to be real.
(3) Westward younging of the plutonic arc is indicated by a distinct
line of small plutons of Miocene age, extending from Lake
Ranau to Padang (McCourt & Cobbing 1993).
Most of the plutons sampled are characterized by primary magmatic
textures but some, lbr example Sungei Durian in the Lassi
Batholith and the Sulan Tonalite, are strongly foliated. In the
case of the Sulan Pluton this is clearly a magmatic foliation,
characterized by evenly deformed mafic enclaves and the alignment
of mafic and felsic minerals. The most striking example of
deformation is seen in the Aroguru Diorite in South Sumatra to
the North of Bandar Lampung, where five phases of progressively
weaker deformation were recorded. These phases provide a record
of movement in the region during the emplacement of the pluton,
which has been dated at 89 2 Ma (McCourt & Cobbing 1993;
McCourt et al. 1996; Barber 2000).
The Lassi Batholith (Table 5. l b) comprises at least nine units,
five of which were dated. Most of these units are diorites and
gabbros of varying lithologies and texture, but a distinctive
coarse K-feldspar megacrystic granite is present in at least seven
small dyke-like intrusions. The foliated and poorly exposed

Sungai Durian granodiorite with an SiO2 content of 68.7%

forms a large outcrop in the southern part of the body. The
spread of ages from 203 to 55 Ma for the Sulit Air Suite and the
Lassi Batholith is noteworthy, since their field, petrographic and
geochemical characteristics are sufficiently similar for them to
have been initially considered as a consanguineous group
(McCourt & Cobbing 1993).
The Lolo Pluton (Table 5.1c) is one of the youngest granites
with a full geochemical analysis to have been dated, with an
40 39 intrusion age of 15 Ma ( At/~ Ar method. Imtihanah 2000). It
is of tonalitic composition and is a component of the belt of
very young plutons close to the southwest limit of the plutonic
arc (McCourt & Cobbing 1993; McCourt et al. 1996).
There is little doubt that both the Lassi and the Bungo batholiths
are more complex than at present appears to be the case. Most of
the other granites sampled are simple plutons, consisting of one
major rock type, but some plutons are zoned, having a compositional
variation from diorite or tonalite to granodiorite or
Table 5.1(c-i) show almost the whole compositional range of
the South Sumatra granites and is sufficient to show their essential
similarity to the data of Gasparon & Varne (1995) and, by analogy,
to the entire volcanic arc suite of Sumatra.
Granitoids with volcanic arc characteristics have been
recovered from oil exploration drilling programmes in NW Java
(Patmosukismo & Yayha 1974). These authors report the presence
of granitic rocks, described as quartz microdiorite, with a K20
content ranging from 1.29 to 4.04% and K-At ages ranging from
94 to 56 Ma, in three exploration wells. These granitoids can be
correlated provisonally with the Volcanic Arc Suite of Sumatra.
The relationship of Sumatran granites to adjacent

areas of Sundaland
Sumatra, including the Tin Islands, the southwestern part of
Kalimantan, the Malay Peninsula, Thailand and Burma constitute
part of Sundaland. The tin-associated granites of Sumatra and the
stanniferous and non-stanniferrous granites of the Tin Islands can
be correlated with the Main Range and Eastern Granite Provinces
distinguished in those areas (Hutchison 1989, 1994) (Fig. 5.3).
Although there is a paucity of geochemical and isotopic data for
the tin-associated granites in Sumatra, that which is available,
together with their distinctive field characteristics, leaves little
doubt that these granites are an expression of the same phase of
plutonism as that developed in the Main Range (Central Belt) in
mainland SE Asia (Mitchell 1977; Beckinsale 1979; Hutchison
1989; Cobbing et al. 1986, 1992).
Similarly, the volcanic arc plutonism of the Barisan Range finds
a ready analogue in the Central Valley Province of Burma, where
the Wuntho Batholith and the Salingyi Complex show a range of
lithologies similar to those which are developed in Sumatra, but
which are restricted to the Cretaceous (Cobbing et al. 1992;
McCourt et al. 1996).
The Hatapang Granite of Cretaceous age is stanniferous, and
Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens (1987) have suggested that it may be
an outlying representative of the Western Belt, developed in
Peninsular Thailand and the Shah Scarp region of Burma (Mitchell
1977; Beckinsale 1979).
Most of the regional relationships of the granites of Sumatra
to the geology developed during the geological evolution of
Sundaland are straightforward, but some are not. Unfortunately,
the most intractable problems are located in the area between
Peninsular Malaysia, eastern Sumatra and the Tin Islands.
These problems centre around the southward extension of the

Bentong-Raub Line (Figs 5.1 & 5.3) which, in Peninsular Malaysia

and Thailand, divides stanniferrous S-type granites of the Main
Range (Central) Belt, from non-stanniferous and stanniferous granites
of the Eastern Belt. This line is clearly marked in Peninsular
Malaysia by the sporadic occurrence of ophiolites. It can also be
followed northwards, across the Gulf of Thailand, as far as the
border with Laos. It cannot, however, easily be followed southwards.
Whereas some of the islands of the Indonesian Archipelago host
stanniferous S-types, most of the granites are non-stanniferous
I-types. There are also both stanniferous and non-stanniferous
A-type granites (Cobbing & Mallick 1984; Cobbing et al. 1992).
There is an extensive literature on this question which is summarised
by Hutchison (1994) who concludes that the Raub-Bentong Line
probably follows a course near the east coast of Sumatra and lies
somewhere in the neighbourhood of Bangka and Billiton.
Granites in most of the northern islands of the Riau Archipelago
are non-stanniferous I-types, but stanniferous S-types with Main
Range (Central Belt) characteristics are present on the island of
Kundur and at the southwest tip of Singkep (Fig. 5.2). The prolongation
of this direction leads directly towards the islands of
Bangka and Billiton, and follows an arcuate form leading eastward
from Sumatra towards Kalimantan. Bangka and Billiton contain a
mixed population of stanniferous S-type granites and non stanniferous
I-type granites (Fig. 5.2, in which the S and I type granites
are mingled together and are not separated into distinctive belts).
There is also a suite of intermediate character containing both
I-type and stanniferrous S-type granites termed the Bebulu Suite
(Pitfield 1987; Cobbing et al. 1992). The only logical explanation
for the mixed granite population of these islands, especially of
Bangka and Billiton, is that the contrasted granitic suites have

different source regions. It may be that in the arcuate region to

the east of Sumatra the suture was imbricated into a m61ange of
deep crustal wedges derived from adjacent Gondwanan and Cathaysian
blocks, providing a complex of compositionally contrasted
source regions for both S and I-type granites. These compositional
differences are reflected in the geochemical and isotopic characteristics
of the granites derived from them (Cobbing et al. 1992).
Pulunggono & Cameron (1984) proposed a similar interpretation
with the Bentong-Raub Line running through Singkep and
Bangka, following the southern margin of the Klabat Batholith
(Fig. 5.2). They also commented that the suture zone is 'more
complex than shown and is occupied by lensoid fragments of
both microplates'. Similarly Gasparon & Varne (1995) considered
that 'the boundary between the Central and the Eastern Granite
Provinces may run through the Tin Islands'.
Within the stanniferous granites of the Tin Islands, the Tanjong
Pandang Pluton on the island of Billiton, is the only body in which
the tin has behaved as a decoupled element, in that the tin content
does not increase with magmatic differentiation (Lehman &
Harmanto 1990). In this respect it corresponds to granites belonging
to the Kuantan-Dungun stanniferous granites of the Eastern
Province of Peninsular Malaysia, where tin contents are low and
are similarly unrelated to differentiation, but increased during
the hydrothermal stage (Schwartz & Askury 1990).
The distribution of stanniferrous and non-stanniferous granites
on these islands suggests that the Bentong-Raub Line, or perhaps
a strand of that structure, runs through or close to central Bangka
and northern Billiton. Moreover, the location of the Main Range
type S-type granites in the northern half of Bangka and the Itypes
of the Bebulu Suite in the southern half (Cobbing et al.
1992) have a distribution which is the reverse of that in Peninsular

Malaysia and Thailand. This reversal of the normal pattern provides

additional reason to support the concept of the nearby
location of a structurally complex Bentong-Raub Line or Zone.
Host rocks for granites on the islands of Bangka and Billiton
include limited outcrops of pebbly mudstone facies and larger
occurrences of mainly terrigenous sedimentary rocks of CarboniferousPermian age, overlain by Triassic sandstones (Ko
1986). According to Priem et al. (1975) country rocks on both
these islands are low-grade meta-sedimentary rocks of Stephanian
to Norian age. These sequences are similar to those present in the
Eastern province of Peninsular Malaysia. The host rocks to the tin
granites of the Main Range Province in Peninsular Malaysia
consist mainly of Lower Palaeozoic formations of Ordovician to
Devonian age and consist mainly of pelitic rocks of low to moderate
metamorphic grade with subordinate limestones. The observed
sequences are essentially the cover to middle and lower crustal
material present at depth.
As noted above the composition of granites within the region is
not confined to S- and I-types but A-types are also sporadically
developed. These however, except in the Tin Islands, are not
common in Sumatra (Cobbing et al. 1992). Only the Hatapang
and Bukit Batu plutons can be viewed as approaching an A-type
composition and these may be very highly evolved examples of
S and I-type lineages, respectively. However, the isolated location
of the Bukit Batu Pluton in relation to the main outcrop of the Volcanic
Arc Suite at the western margin of the island does not
support such an interpretation for that body.
Most of the granitic rocks of Sumatra can be accommodated
within the framework of granitic belts established in earlier
studies, e.g. Mitchell (1977), Hutchison & Taylor (1978),
Beckinsale (1979). McCourt et al. (1996) correlated the Volcanic

Arc Suite with the Central Valley Province of Burma, the

Tin-Associated Suite with the Main Range Province of Peninsular
Malaysia and Thailand, and the Tin islands with the Eastern
Province, with the granites of Bangka and Billiton being shown
as of mixed affinity. Most of these correlations have been followed
here, but there are some amendments, and some alternatives have
been suggested. Some of the boundaries are of tectonic origin
and are well defined, or at least give that impression, others are
not, or appear to be 'porous' in that granites of contrasting type
or age appear to be mingled together or are 'out of place'.
The only known representative of the Jurassic-Tertiary
Western Province on Sumatra is the Hatapang Granite (Clarke
& Beddoe-Stephens 1987). While more may yet be found, all
the other tin-associated granites for which there is data, are of
Triassic-Jurassic age and suggest that the Main Range (Central)
Province occupies virtually all of Sumatra to the east of the
Barisan Range. Granites of this affinity also occur as tectonic
slices within the range itself, and in the region of Sibolga,
biotite granites and sedimentary rocks of the the Kluet-Kuantan
Formations of Upper Palaeozoic age extend as far as the west
coast of Sumatra (Clarke 1990), which suggests that the volcanic
arc was built, at least in part, upon older continental crust. On the
basis of the occurrence of the Hatapang granite, McCourt et al.
(1996) extended the Western Belt through the whole of Sumatra
as a narrow strip east of the Barisan Range. However, in the
light of the available evidence this may not be the case, perhaps
the Hatapang Granite is the sole representative of that belt
within Sumatra.
The status of the A-type Bukit Batu granitoids remains enigmatic.
A-type granites have also been identified in the Tin
Islands and the islands of Singkep and Karimun (Cobbing et al.

1986, 1992). The Bukit Batu granitoids are associated in the

field with stream sediments containing quartz and cassiterite, but
in view of their unusual composition it is highly unlikely that
they are stanniferous. The sediments may be of alluvial origin,
derived from the Tin Islands a short distance to the east (Katili
1974a; Pulunggono & Cameron 1984). The geochemical affinity
and high estimated 86Sr/87Sr ratios of the Bukit Batu granitoids
suggest correlation with the Tin Islands Suite. However, the estimated
age of 163 + 50 Ma is more compatible with the Volcanic
Arc Suite. If the Tin Islands affinity of these granitoids were to be
confirmed this would have implications for the position of the
Bentong- Raub Line.
The granites of Sumatra have developed through two contrasting
geological cycles, a Carboniferous-Permian cycle of convergence
and collision followed by a younger Triassic-early Jurassic
cycle in which a new subduction zone was formed along the
southwestern margin of the new continent (Hutchison 1994;
McCourt et al. 1996). During the first, collisional cycle, the
different accreted terrains, distinguished by their stratigraphic
and faunal assemblages, were host rocks to granites which,
because of their contrasting geochemical and isotopic characters,
seemed to mirror the lower crustal regions from which they were
derived. These terrains are distinguished most clearly in
Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand as contrasting belts which are
additionally characterised by stanniferous S-type and generally
non-stanniferous I-type granites (Beckinsale 1979). The second
cycle generated granites having a wide compositional range
from diorite to monzogranite, associated with the development
of a late Triassic-early Jurassic volcanic arc along the southern
margin of Sundaland. McCourt et al. (1996) suggested that the

two cycles overlap in Sumatra.

The association of the Main Range Province granites with sedimentary
rocks of Gondwana affinity and the Eastern Province
granites with those containing Cathaysian floras provided a
further strand of evidence for the disparate geological histories
of those crustal segments which eventually formed the southern
borderlands of Eurasia during the Permo-Triassic (Hutchison
1994). The generation of these syn- and post-collisional granites
took place over an extended period from about 275 to 190 Ma,
with the main peak of post-collisional plutonism from 220 to
200 Ma. It was during this period that most of the stannifeous
granites of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia were emplaced.
At about 200 Ma this phase of crustal plutonism was superseded
by volcanic arc-related plutonism and vulcanism, generated as the
result of the formation of a subduction zone at the southern margin
of the new continent which now included Sumatra and Burma.
This resulted in the production of granitic and volcanic rocks
in a relatively narrow zone, with an extended compositional
range from diorite to monzogranite, similar to those of other
volcanic arc terrains, such as the Cordilleras of South and North
America. The granites of Sumatra differ from those regions in
that they do not form linear granitic batholiths of great size, but
for the most part are represented by numerous isolated plutons
and small batholiths, confined within a narrow belt along the
southwestern margin of the island. Most of these plutons
are characterised by holocrystalline plutonic textures, but
some are deformed, and more rarely, some have several phases
of polyphase deformation, perhaps resulting from a period of
emplacement coincident with episodic movement on major
structures. There has, however been strong cataclastic deformation

of earlier granites within the Sumatran Fault Zone which seems to

have particularly affected the tin-associated granites.
A notable feature of the Volcanic Arc granites is their extended
time range, from 203 to 5 Ma. This is in marked contrast to Cordilleran
batholiths which generally have a more restricted time
range. There are consequently both similarities and differences
between the volcanic arc granites of Sumatra and those of the
western Americas. The Sumatran granites have not yet been
found to have the same economic potential as similar granites in
other regions, but it is uncertain whether this opinion is correct,
having regard to the difficulties of the terrain. Perhaps the apparent
lack of mineralization is associated with the lengthy time scale and
the relatively small volume of granite produced.
An additional contrast with the Cordilleran situation is that
whereas the youngest and more evolved granites tend to be
present towards the back arc region, the situation in Sumatra is
the reverse, with younger granites located close to the coast, and
hence towards the subduction zone.
Chapter 6
Pre-Tertiary volcanic rocks
Volcanic activity and associated plutonism, ranging in age from the
Carboniferous to the Late Cretaceous, has made an important
contribution to the Pre-Tertiary geological evolution of Sumatra.
This chapter summarizes the known occurrences of Pre-Tertiary
volcanic rocks and their geological settings (Fig. 6.1 &
Table 6.1). There has been no systematic isotopic dating
programme directed at determining the ages of the volcanic
rocks, but dating of volcanic episodes in Sumatra has benefited
greatly from stratigraphic palaeontological studies on the associated
sedimentary units, summarized by Fontaine & Gafoer

(1989). Unfortunately, little progress has been made in determining

the chemistry of the volcanic rocks of Sumatra, subsequent to the
96OE :,
I. \.
0 ~ Panti Fm
(and Indonesian Islands)
~ Bentong-Raub Suture Zone
Riau-Billiton Accretionary Complex
Carboniferous-Early Permian
'Kluet' Formation
Bohorok Formation (Visean)
3 ~ ~ Alas Formation
Quartzite Terrain and Pcrsing Complex(Singkep)
~-.',','.~. _9 . .

Carboniferous-M id-Permian
l Tanjung Puab & Pawan Formations
(tremolite and chlorite schists)
Permian Silungkang Formation (Calcareous Member)
Panti, 'Barisan' & Palapat formations
Kuantan Formation (Visean)
Kluet Formation
6 ~ 99 ~ 102 ~
I I I I 'i" i'i i l l i l
,, , , , i i ,io5,o i
i i I i 6 ~ ,, i i l l l l i ,
llll,,I I,I, ,lI Il
"4 I I I I I I I
I ~ l l l ,11111111
l l J ! i l l llll
, , \ , I i i i I"I I
l l l l l l l III
I I I I I I\1 I I I
I I I I l l l III
.>1-.I I I I I I~ I I I
.~. r-4. i l_k4~ i l l

N\%, .'Y~ I r l l~
_9.~ '~--~'4-.2%k1-, ,x, 1 I I
_9 _9" _'t~'~x"~'.'P I ]xJI I I
_9 :.2.O..'~'N]Sugil i l l I
. ~-'~,.. t,~'%.'%51 I I I I
M4..-'> .".'t~'N.xlo1 ' ' ' ' b(
.-//,,, ...~).....~-~-N~[TtLingg a ~~--:..-.N~DI i i
" "J'l u h ( . '"-". -".' " " ~lr,~-.b~".i ,n~(. k e p I ~.c...",.~_- - . ' . . v _ . . . , , ~ . , ,
~t I
[.' I
:1 ong..':.." _9 '. ". . I
~,Member~'<. ~ : . :. i i i i
-e~;,'ff, i"..".'.'.~.q.:.: i Bangka:
~2' '~' ' ' - ' '.~-.''~.'.~;.'.k~...'~.~.. .-...k. ~ ~I I I I
"."~.J..~'-" "- ". "- ". ".~'-'=~'/____~,~r ,~,.,~,,,.~,.~,.,, .. ~"~ mi n e~~__(b~.~..~.~ i ~..~....
105 ~
Fig. 6.1. Simplified Pre-Triassic geology of the West and East Sumatra Blocks and the Indochina
Block of Peninsular Malaysia showing the principal Palaeozoic
volcanic units and localities discussed in the text.
Table 6.1. Pre-Tertiar3, Volcanic and Volcanic-Plutonic Belts, Arcs and occurrences in Sumatra
Ma Duration Description

120-75 Aptian-Campanian
Early Cretaceous
Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous
Triassic onwards
1 6 9 - 1 2 9 Mid-Jurassic-EarClyre taceous
Late Triassic-Early Jurassic
224-180 Late Triassic-Early Jurassic
270-255 Early-Middle Permian
c. 270 Early Permian
Carboniferous (Vis6an)
Devonian-Late Permian
Late Cretaceous Plutonic Arc*
Collision of Bentaro-Saling Oceanic Arcs with West Sumatra*
Intrusions in Bentaro-Saling Oceanic Arc*
Volcanism in Meso-Tethys forms Bentaro-Saling Oceanic Volcanic Arcs
Mid-Oceanic volcanism forms plateau in Meso-Tethys many of
which grow limestone caps
Jurassic-Cretaceous Plutonic Arc
Woyla Accretionary Complex forms behind subduction zone
West Sumatra Volcanic-Plutonic Arc
Pahang Volcanic Belt
Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone formed incorporating sediments and volcanics
Situtup Fm volcanics (in Miocene thrust zone) (West Sumatra Block)
West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt (West Sumatra Block)
East Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt (Sibumasu)
Kuantan Formation volcanics (West Sumatra Block)
Accretionary Complex forms behind subduction zone beneath East Malaya and
Riau-Billiton sections of Indochina Block interface with Palaeo-Tethys

Ocean; accretion of volcanics of oceanic origin

*Associated volcanics not identified.
compilation of analyses reported by Rock et al. (1982), but
the initial results of a programme of detailed mapping studies by
the Geological Research and Development Centre, Bandung
promises an improved understanding of the geochemistry of both
volcanic and plutonic rocks in the island (Suwarna et al. 2000).
According to the tectonic synthesis which has been presented in
this volume (Chapter 14), in the late Palaeozoic (Fig. 6.2a) the
eastern half of Sumatra formed a segment of the margin of
the southern Gondwana Supercontinent facing the Palaeo-Tethys
ocean, off NW Australia, while Australia was undergoing glaciation.
On the other hand, the western half of Sumatra lay in tropical
latitudes, beyond the Greater Sula Spur of Eastern Indonesia, at
the junction zone between Gondwana and the Indochina Block
of the northern Cathaysian continent (Fig. 14. I1). Palaeo-Tethys
was subducted beneath the Indochina Block in the Late Palaeozoic
and Early Mesozoic, accumulating an accretionary complex from
buoyant oceanic detritus, including ophiolitic fragments, oceanic
volcanics and oceanic sediments at the margin of the Indochina
Block. The deformed remains of this accretionary complex form
the Bentong-Raub Suture Zone (Metcalfe 2000) and continue
into the Tin Islands Archipelago. In the Early Permian Gondwana
began to move southwards (Fig. 6.2b), and this movement caused
extension along the Gondwana margin with Palaeo-Tethys,
accompanied by volcanism and plutonism within the Sumatra
blocks. The East Sumatra Block formed part of Sibumasu, a
continental fragment which detached from Gondwana in the
Early Permian (Sakmarian) and collided with the Indochina
Block later in the Permian or in the Early Triassic (Metcalfe 2000).
Following the collision of Sibumasu with the Indochina

Block, the West Sumatra Block became detached from the

Gondwana-Cathaysia interface in the Triassic and was translated
by transcurrent faulting along the Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone
to be accreted along the outer margin of Sibumasu (East Sumatra
Block) (refer to Figs 14.11 - 14.14).
During the Triassic, after the collision between the Sibumasu
and Indochina blocks, the orogen collapsed, into a system of
horsts and grabens parallel to the orogen axis (Fig. 6.2c) and
granites of the Eastern and Main Range Provinces were intruded
into the collision zone. The Pahang volcanics in east Malaya
represent the volcanic carapaces to Eastern Province granites,
preserved along the faulted margins of the grabens. The Main
Range Granite Province with its extensive tin mineralization
extends into Sibumasu, but no volcanics are reported.
Between about 224 and 180 Ma (Late Triassic-Early Jurassic)
the Meso-Tethys commenced subduction along the margin of
the combined West Sumatra Block and Sibumasu continent and
a continental margin volcano-plutonic arc was formed, a small
amount of these volcanics are preserved. Accretion of oceanic
materials may have been associated with the formation of this
arc. Accretion between 169 and 129 Ma (Mid-Jurassic-Early
Cretaceous) is better documented in the Oceanic Assemblage of
the Woyla Group, composed of buoyant oceanic volcanics,
sediments, oceanic crust fragments which accumulated in the
Woyla accretionary complex. Accretion was associated with the
formation of a Jurassic-Cretaceous continent margin plutonic
arc with its associated volcanics (Fig. 6.2d). This phase of subduction/
accretion was brought to a close by the arrival at the
subduction zone of a large string of oceanic island arcs which
had originated within the Meso-Tethys Ocean. The arrival of
Bentaro and Saling Oceanic Island Arcs (Fig. 6.2e) terminated

subduction, thrust the Woyla Oceanic Assemblage and Volcanic

Arc over the margin of the West Sumatra Block in the Woyla
Nappe, and caused deformation which penetrated deep into the
Malay Peninsula. Subduction of the Meso-Tethys resumed late
in the Cretaceous on the oceanward side of the Bentaro-Saling
Volcanic Arcs and a new plutonic arc was formed on the Woyla
Nappe and the margin of the West Sumatra Block.
Carboniferous volcanism
Gafoer & Purbo-Hadiwidjoyo (1986) used the term 'Kuantan
Volcanism' for metavolcanics (Table 6.2) mapped by Silitonga
& Kastowo (1975, 1995) in the Lower and Phyllite and Slate
members of the Kuantan Formation in West Sumatra. The older
episode, within the quartzitic Lower Member, is represented by
intercalations of volcanic rock and chloritized tuff, which underlie
the Limestone Member, which has been dated as Early or Midto
Late Visdan (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). The younger episode
is represented by flows of andesite and basalt among the quartzites
and quartz sandstones of the Phyllite and Shale Member.
~~A~ ona ~
Fig. 6.2. Cartoons illustrating significant volcanic events in the geological evolution of Sumatra
from its dispersal from Gondwana to the collision of the Bentaro-Saling

Oceanic Volcanic Arcs. (a) Gondwana Margin Break-up Volcanicity (V, volcanic localities) at the
Gondwana-Cathaysia interface after the opening of Meso-Tethys in the
Early Permian. In this reconstruction the West Sumatra Block is still in position between
Cathaysia and the Greater Sula Spur. Figure based on Figure 4.21 and Charlton
(2001). (b) The advances and retreats of Gondwana shown by the palaeomagnetic record for
Australia (after Klootwijk 1996). Gondwana reconstruction by Charlton
(2001). (c) Palaeogeographic reconstruction of Sumatra and the Malay Penisula in the Mid-Late
Triassic (from Fig. 4.25). The Pahang Volcanic Belt (V, volcanic
localities) is shown in the Semantan Basin. (d) Sumatra in the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous showing
the Plutonic Arc, the Woyla Foreland Assemblage, the Meso-Tethys
and the Bentaro-Saling Arc with the Woyla Accretionary Complex. (e) In the Late Cretaceous the
Bentaro-Saling Oceanic Arc has collided with and has been overthrust
onto Sumarta as the Woyla Nappe. Collision was followed by the resumption of subduction in
the Late Cretaceous.
Table 6.2. Palaeozoic volcanic units in the West Sumatra Block
Formation Unit with volcanies Age Description Reference
Kluet Probable Carboniferous-Early Green metavolcanics in phyllites in Cameron et al. (1983)
Hippogriffe rocks
Phyllite and Shale Member
Lower Member
Permian the upper Jambo Aye and green
metatuffs in the upper Serbajadi
river among conglomeratic
metawackes, metaquartzites,
metalimestones, phyllites and
Porphyritic matic metavolcanics
associated with metasediments in

the Kr. Rancah (?2936 3939).

Phyllites and schistose metatuffs
Flows of andesite and basalt among
quartzites and quartz sandstones
Vis~an Intercalations of volcanic rock and
chloritised tuff within quartzites,
sandstones and shales
Carboniferous-Early Permian
Cameron et al. (1982b)
Verbeek (1897)
Rock et al. (1983)
Silitonga & Kastowo (1975)
The metatuffs mapped by Rock et al. (1983) and the diabase
(Verbeek 1897) forming the Hippogriffe rocks, an islet south of
P. Bangka in the Java Sea (Fig. 6.1) also may be included in
this episode. The younger episode of Kuantan Volcanism has
not been dated, but is post-Vis~an, and may be of Permian age
(see later).
The green metavolcanics noted by Cameron et al. (1982a) in the
Alas Formation in the Medan Quadrangle may be of Vis6an age,
like the associated limestones, while metavolcanic localities in
the Kluet Formation in the north of Sumatra have not been
accurately dated, but may be of Carboniferous or Permian age.
East Sumatra Plutonic-Volcanic Belt
(Permian volcanism)
The East Sumatra Plutonic-Volcanic Belt, the 'Permian magmatic
arc' of Katili (1973), was defined on the basis of Rb-Sr
age determinations on feldspars obtained from cores drilled
in the concealed Setiti batholith (Setiti-4, brecciated granite,
298 + 30Ma and Setiti-5, sheared granite, 276 ___ 10Ma).

Suwarna et al. (1991) suggest that the volcanic Condong

Member of the Mentulu Formation (Table 6.3) in the nearby
Tigahpuluh Mountains (Simandjuntak et al. 1991) is also of
System Stage
~_9 Wuchiapingian
>5, Artinskian
<~ Sakmarian
....... ,

| i _9 _9 _9
Guguk Bulat
Bukit Pendopo
I I I _9 l 1
tl I i ! I I
I I _9 I I !
II,l~',~]J~ ~
II I i 1 i I
~ Calcareous Member
f,,...., .....i.t VolcanicMember

~i iii~ i~ii ~i~ (Palepat Formation)

fi!~i~i~i~i!~i~i:!l Mengkarang Formation
Formation N
Batumilmil Formations
Kluet Formation
Condong Member
'Pebbly mudstone'
Bohorok and Metulu
Gangsal Formation
Limestone Member Alas Formation
iL:!~-!~ !:!i Lower Member
%, ~ "% "X. "*,.
I% % %-. % ~'%N
k. ", _%2"~ ~ . J ,
basalt and
Fig. 6.3. Simplified composite Carboniferous and Permian stratigraphies of the East and West
Sumatra Blocks and the Indonesian islands in the Indochina Block.
Table 6.3. Palaeozoic volcanic units in the East Sumatra Block
Formation Unit with volcanies Age Description Reference

Probably Asselian-Artinskian Tufts beneath Tertiary sediments

Permian Stages
Mentulu Condong Member
Pebbly Mudstone Facies
Permian Stages
200-250 m of metatuff, tuffaceous claystone
and grey to brown, hard and porphyritic
andesitic to basaltic tuff
Crystal tufts and other tuffaceous rocks
Rhyolite clasts (unknown age)
Eubank & Makki ( 1981)
Simandjuntak et al. (1991) &
Suwarna et al. ( 1991)
Bennett et al. (1981c)
Cameron et al. (1980)
Permian age. In their reconstruction of the geology of the PreTertiary basement Eubank & Makki (1981) show an area of
tufts encountered in boreholes to the NW of Pakanburu that may
be related to a volcanic centre, and are similar to those of the
Condong Member.
In the Langsa Quadrangle Bennett et al. (1981 c) describe 'some
crystal tufts and other tuffaceous rocks' belonging to an unnamed
volcanic unit within the Bohorok Formation. Cameron et al.
(1980) recorded rhyolite clasts within the Pebbly Mudstone
Facies of the Bohorok Formation in Northern Sumatra, indicating
the presence of rhyolitic volcanics in the source region from
which the pebbles were derived. These rhyolites could be of any
age prior to the Permian.
West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt

(Early-Mid-Permian volcanism)
Lower-Middle Permian volcanics and sediments and several
associated granitic plutons crop out within the West Sumatra
Block, and form a discontinuous belt, much disrupted by
strike-slip movements along the Sumatra Fault Zone, parallel to
the west coast of Sumatra (Fig. 6.1). In Table 6.4 these volcanic
rocks are described from north to south, and their relationships
to the local stratigraphy are illustrated in Figure 6.4.
Katili (1969, 1973) described these plutonic-volcanic rocks
as a continental margin arc, on the basis of lithology, but the
non-genetic term 'belt' is used here. Two extensive but poorly
exposed formations are distinguished to the south of the equator.
The Silungkang Formation, named by Klomp6 et al. (1961),
which lies to the SE of Lake Singkarak, consists of Volcanic
and Calcareous Members. The petrology was described by Katili
(1969) and the geological setting by Silitonga & Kastowo
(1975). The other unit, the Palepat Formation (Rosidi et al.
1976), was previously known as the Air Kuning Beds (Zwierzijcki
1935). The main outcrop lies to the SW of Muarabungo. Earlier
this formation was mapped by Tobler (1922) as the 'Oudere
diabaasformatie' (Palaeodyas or Lower Permian age), overlain
by the 'Porfierformatie' (Neodyas or Upper Permian age).
Tobler (1917, 1922) shows outcrops of the Porfierformatie west
of the main Palepat Formation outcrop in the vicinity of the
System Stage Ua
Aspden et al. (1982b) Katili (1969); Fontaine & Gafoer (1989)
Silitonga & Kastowo (1975)
Fontaine & Gafoer (1989) 1 .Silitonga & Kastowo (1975)
2. As used in present account

i UJ Chansingian
IWuchi piogian
~. Capitanian
W Wordian
uji~s Roadian
,~ Sakmarian
Sibolga Granite
. ~ 3_,j.,,..L~ Guguk Bulat 2.

Shale Bukit Pendopo -%~,4E~-.~--.

Tabir Formation ~'~ ~' v V[
Basalt ...............
Silungkang Ngaol Formation {:::: : ]
~ Limestone lvv vv v vvl
Volcanic Member iv v v v v v v I Palepat Volcanics
Shale ii!iiiii~ii:iiii 1 Mengkarang Formation
Pawan & Tanjungpuah
Phyllite & shale
~ ~ J ~ ~JLimestoneMember
Lower Member
Fig. 6.4. Stratigraphy of units within the West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt.
Table 6.4. Volcanic units' in the West Sumatra Permian Plutonic- Volcanic Belt
Formation Unit Area Age Thickness (m) Description Reference
Kluet (uncertain Sibolga Early Permian Poorly sorted volcanic Aspden et al. (1982b)
affinity) wackes in roof-pendants
Panti Volcanic Lubuksikaping Probable Permian
Silungkang Lubuksikaping Mid-Late Permian
Silungkang Calcareous SE Danau Sakmarian-Wordian
Member Singkarak stages of Permian
(type area)
Silungkang Calcareous Outliers:
(formerly Member Near Tanjung
Kuantan) Gadang

?Roadian- Wordian
Tabir S. Tabir Mid Permian
Palepat B. Palepat Artinskian-Wordian
stages of Permian
B. Tabir
B. Tantan
Mengkarang B. Mengkarang Asselian Stage
c. 1500
of the Sibolga Granite
Varied greenschist facies
sheared metavolcanics and
Meta-limestones, porphyritic
metavolcanics, metatuffs,
volcaniclastic sandstones
and hornfelsed tufts
Sandy limestone, calcareous
sandstone, and clay shale
with a few intercalations of
agglomeratic tuff and
several flows of augite
andesite and basalt
Hornblende andesite, augite
andesite, meta-andesite
and meta-dacite with thin
intercalations of tuff,
limestone, shale and
sandstone mixed with
tuffaceous material

Hard, fractured, locally

vesicular, dark-grey to
green-grey basalt with a
trachytic texture and
composed of felsic and
mafic minerals set in a
microlilic groundmass;
Conglomerate and tuffaceous
sandstone with
intercalation of pisolitic
andesite tuff
Andesitic > acidic lavas and
tufts; randomly distributed
basalt and rhyolite. Also
siltstone, shale and
Volcaniclastic rocks, lithic
and crystalline tufts and
andesitic lava, locally
diabasic; local clastic
sediment interbeds
Andesitic-dacitic lavas, tufts,
diabase, and volcanic
breccias containing clasts
of andesite and dacite,
intercalated with shale,
siltstone, sandstone,
claystone and limestone;
commonly altered and

Acid-basic tuff intercalations

in shallow-marineterrestial
Rock et al. (1983)
Rock et al. (1983)
Silitonga & Kastowo
Katili (1969)
Silitonga & Kastowo
(1975): age revised
by Gafoer et al.
150/450 Rosidi et al. (1976)
1100 Rosidi et al. (1976)
> 800 Simandjuntak et al.
>200 Suwama et al. (1994)
?500 Suwarna et al. (1994)
Sumatra Fault Zone, but Zwierzijcki (1930a) subsequently attributed
these outcrops to the Cretaceous, so that they are currently
considered to be part of the Woyla Group.
In the southern outcrop, the predominantly volcanic Palepat
Formation (Suwarna et al. 1994) interfingers with the lower
parts of the terrestrial to shallow marine Mengkarang Formation
and can be dated palaeontologically. Andesitic-dacitic volcanism
commenced in the Asselian and peaked in the Artinskian
(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). The Tabir Formation, previously
believed to be of Jurassic age (Suwarna et al. 2000), but now
known to be Permian, interfingers with, and overlies the Palepat
and the Ngaol formations. The Ngaol Formation (obsolete term)

of Rosidi et al. (1976) is of Artinskian to Wordian (Murgabian)

age (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989) (see Fig. 4.11) and appears to be
a facies of the Palepat Formation beneath the Tabir Formation.
If so, the Tabir Formation could be younger than the Wordian.
In the Painan Quadrangle (Rosidi et al. 1976) the eastern part of
the Barisan Formation (obsolete term) includes discontinuous outcrops
of the Palepat Formation which link up with the Silungkang
Formation (Table 6.4 & Fig. 6.5a,b). The Silungkang Formation is
Sakmarian-Wordian in age, although the upper age limit is
not well controlled (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). A K-Ar age of
248 _+ 10 Ma obtained from a volcanic rock from the Silungkang
Formation, reported by Nishimura et al. (1978), is in agreement
with the stratigraphic age range.
Anomalous younger K-Ar ages are reported by Suwarna et al.
(2000) from volcanic rocks from the Silungkang and Palepat
formations, with an andesite from the Silungkang Formation
dated at 140 _ 10 Ma, and an andesite from the Palepat Formation
outcrop dated at 75 + 1 Ma. Evidently younger volcanic rocks
have been mapped as part of the Palaeozoic outcrop, probably
because similar lithologies of different ages are intermixed in
discontinuous exposures. The volcanic rock from the Silungkang
Formation which gave a 140 + 10 Ma age may be associated
with the Lower Cretaceous andesites known to occur beneath
the Tertiary sediments in the nearby Ombilin Basin, and dated at
143 + 4Ma (Koning & Aulia 1985). As mentioned above,
Tobler (1922) also mapped Cretaceous volcanics as part of the
Palepat Formation.
Lithologies in the Silungkang Volcanic Member are similar
to those in the Palepat Formation (Table 6.4). Outliers of the
Calcareous Member of the Silungkang Formation intercalated
with basalts 4kin NE of Tanjung Gadang, and diabase at

Lubukkarak (Gafoer et al. 1992a), were previously mapped as

part of the Phyllite and Shale Member of the Kuantan Formation
by Silitonga & Kastowo (1975). The results of the reappraisal of
age of the limestone outliers of the Kuantan Formation (Fontaine
& Gafoer 1989) suggests that a similar reappraisal is required for
the volcanics in the main outcrop of the Phyllite and Shale Member.
To the NW the large strike-slip duplex structure within the
Sumatra Fault Zone in the Lubuksikaping Quadrangle (Rock
et al. 1983) contains faulted outcrops of the Silungkang Formation
and the Panti Volcanic Formation, which are deformed lithological
correlatives, respectively, of the Volcanic and the Calcareous
members of the Silungkang Formation in the type area.
In the north of Sumatra, in the Takengon Quadrangle, the
Situtup Formation, contains metavolcanics and limestones.
Cameron et al. (1983) suggest that the metavolcanics are mainly
of Late Permian age. Fossils from the associated limestones
are of Mid-Permian (Artinskian-Capitanian) and Mid-Late
Triassic (Ladinian-Norian) age (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). The
outcrops are allochthonous and much disrupted by Miocene
thrusting. Hutchison (1994) following van Es (1919), included
the Situtup volcanics within the West Sumatra Permian
Plutonic-Volcanic Belt. If this correlation is correct and the
Situtup Volcanic Formation extends into the Triassic, it is the
youngest component of this belt. However the presence of the
Situtup Volcanic Formation in the belt may be a coincidence
as Barber (2000) has suggested that this formation is an allochthonous
component from the Woyla Accretionary Complex.
Geochemistry of the Silungkang and Palepat Formations
Chemical analyses of selected volcanics from the Silungkang and
Palepat Formations are presented by Suwarna et al. (2000) who
found that the compositions of the two formations are very

similar. The range of SiO2 in the Silungkang Formation is

~ Limestones with
t= intercalations of
sandstone & slate
Basaltic extrusives
L.~,~,.~,.,:~-,:t Tufts & agglomerates
___O I ."-" ."_. ."z ."- ."4
[i.ili![i][i[i~!ii[i[![ii!~i[iil Hornblende andesites
(tufts) with silicified
shale intercalations
m Augite andesites
~ NNN Meta-andesites
__o Meta-dacites
I Silicified shales and
Plutonic Intrusions-Undifferentiated
Lower Permian
~__ ___ .-.....I

_.9.- . li:
_ 100045 '
-- I
Fig. 6.5. (a) Lithologies and members in the Silungkang Formation. (b) Geological map of the
Silungkang Formation (after Katili 1969).
(wt%) 2
45 53 57 63 68
Si20 (wt%)
_9 Silungkang Formation
(b) FeO _9 Palepat Formation
Na20+K20 MgO
Fig. 6.6. (a) Potassium-silica diagram for the Silungkang and Palepat

Formations. (b) AFM diagram for the Sih, ngkang and Palepat Formations.
Adapted from Suwarna et al. (2000).
48-58%, with a rhyolite sample at 85%, and in the Palepat Formation
is 47-62%. The composition of the rock samples analysed
varied between basalt and andesite (Fig. 6.6a), showing both
tholeiitic and calc-alkaline differentiation trends (Fig. 6.6b).
K20 contents in the Palepat Formation are higher than those
in the Silungkang Formation and fall in the potassic alkaline
field, while K20 values in the Silungkang Formation are lower
and the rocks more calc-alkaline. The magnesium number
(Mg# = 100 Mg/Mg + Fe 2+) for the Silungkang Formation was
calculated at 40-56, while the range for the Palepat Formation
is 31-56, indicating that the basalts were out of equilibrium
with the mantle (Mg# -- 68-75) due to the fractional crystallization
of olivine and pyroxene. Chondrite-normalized REE patterns
(Fig. 6.7a) for two samples from each formation have moderate
Eu anomalies, indicating some plagioclase fractionation. The
rock/chondrite normalization diagram (spidergram) (Fig. 6.7b)
shows that the range of values for the two formations overlap,
but the samples from the Silungkang Formation show a greater
range and fall between the normal and enriched values for
MORB. Suwarna et al. (2000) concluded that the analysed
samples showed evidence for fractionation, differentiation and
possibly contamination processes, and noted that the volcanics
had geochemical similarities with those from an island arc
setting, although a continental margin, fault-related, origin has
also been proposed.
-..@..... B ..... 0... ",.,. /0 .....

. . . . . . . . ....~?? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
La Ce Pr Nd Sm Eu Gd Dy Er Yb
o ............. _9 SILUNGKANG FORMATION
~m - 100 nra
-i- 10o
On- 1
ID.O__O.-O ...... O._ O
Ba Rb Th K Nb La Ce Sr Nd P Sm Zr Hf Tb
Fig. 6.7. (a) Chondrite-normalized REE patterns for the Silungkang and Palepat
Formations. (b) Chondrite-normalized spidergram for the Silungkang and
Palcpat Formations. Adapted from Suwarna et ell. (2000).
Metavolcanics and s e r p e n t i n i t e s in t h e Medial
Sumatra Tectonic Zone
The Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone ('Line' of Hutchison 1994) is
a wide zone of deformed rocks which separates the West Sumatra
Block from Sibumasu (East Sumatra Block). The zone is best
known north of the equator where Rock et al. (1983) and Clarke
et al. (1982b) described the outcrops of the intensely deformed
Pawan and Tanjungpuah formations (Table 6.5). The Pawan

Member consists of fine-grained chloritic metavoicanics interbedded

within intensely folded muscovite, chlorite and tremolite
schists, often with carbonate. The tremolite schists are deformed
and metamorphosed ultrabasic rocks, and probably originated
as tectonic slivers of ophiolite. To the SE, to the west of the
Tigapuluh Mountains, Andi-Mangga et al. (2000) found serpentinites
within slates of the Ganggsal Formation. The Ganggsal
Formation (refer to Fig. 4.6) is intensely deformed compared to
the other rock units in the Tigapuluh Mountains (Simandjuntak
et al. 1991) and may be the SE continuation of the Medial
Sumatra Tectonic Zone.
Bentong-Billiton Accretionary Complex
The 'Bentong-Billiton Accretionary Complex' is an assemblage
of deformed and imbricated basic volcanics, ultrabasic rocks and
sediments in Peninsular Malaya and the Tin Islands of Indonesia,
occurring between the Sibumasu and the Indochina blocks
(Fig. 6.8). The complex includes the Bentong-Raub Suture
(Line) in Peninsular Malaysia (Metcalfe 2000). The continuation
of the suture into Indonesia has been a source of speculation
(see Metcalfe 1996). However, Barber & Crow (2003) suggest
that the 'suture' is a broad zone of imbrication passing from the
Table 6.5. Metavolcanics and meta-ultrabasic rocks in the Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone
Unit with volcanics Age Description Reference
Pawan Member
(Kuantan Fm)
Alas Fm
Carboniferous-Early Permian
Vis6an or younger

Intensely folded muscovite, chlorite, tremolite schists (derived from ultrabasic

rocks), often with carbonate. Interbedded fine-grained chloritic metavolcanics.
Serpentinites within slates
Rare 'possible green metavolcanics' among striped, slumped shales, siltstones,
cherts, sandstones, conglomerates and wackes
Clarke et al. (1982b)
Rock et al. (1983)
Andi-Mangga et al. (2000)
Cameron el al. (1982a)
10/o E-,~.,~ l ~ ~ g o ! ~
.---.._~ Malang Formation ._~_~.' ~=~", ",.. ~ i i : : ~ . . - - " - ,,"' ~ ' . , KARIMUN di~!RATAMii.~--),"~S[t ;B)N.~A.N.~.. -ij
',, ,;iiiiihk BESAR _~ ~ ~'~ii:i~.~,[-{ (~:~~----!~
"~,~', ~', ', ', ,,'",- 'K"{ ~ . ~ _ : ! : i : i : f ~ ,...~t ~ ~ " -~*~8~
", ...,..-,...~,~ ~ ~"---~~-': CITILIM ~ centre ~~;~
", L~,ur!,P,,Y,~ ',, ~ ~ k.iiiii..k, v c7
"-.. .... ., ,-, ','.~,, ~.
%~ 2) 0
I I I I I I I-b-,,.
o Iiiiiiiii 0o_
Main Range Granites I~ Eastern Province Granites
......... (S and A-type) (I-type) ~ ~ _ ~ I ~ ~,
TRIASSIC ~ Volcanics ~ ! ~ A ; i i ~
, ~ ~ "-" LI IN L.~ L~
Riau-Billiton C~(E]2~ ~ J'~ Accretionary Complex FK@d l"I l~l, ',iI'I, H', _i9 ;\ , \
Persing Complex and ,ii[i K
Tapanuli Group "":" '

104 ~
Fig. 6.8. Simplified geological map of the Riau and Lingga Archipelagos. Granite typology after
Cobbing et al. (I 992).
Table 6.6. Metavolcanics and meta-ultrabasic rocks in the Riau-Billiton Accretionary Complex
in the Tin Islands Archipelagos
Island Litbological description Reference
Batam Grey and violet sericite-schist, quartz-sericite-talc phyllite and silicified, sericitized,
kaolinised metavolcanics Van der Bold & Van der Sluis (I 942)
with altered former plagioclase phenocrysts
Sugi Radiolarian cherts and metavolcanics are recorded from the NW corner ?in situ
Pait Talc schist is present on Pait between Sugi and Combol lslands
Bangka Narrow zone of talc schists and mica-chlorite schists south of the Klabat Batholith on
both sides of Klabat Bay
Serpentinites exposed in Belinyu No. 17 pit; 100 m of serpentinite encountered in a borehole at
Permali Mine
Skarns at Pemali mine: idocrase-actinolite-diopside-epidote; diopside-wollastonite-calcitequartz;



Permali Group: Volcanic Chert Facies with sills or stratified basic to intermediate volcanics,
tufts, cherts & shales
Lenticular masses of ?original fayalite in the Seloemar lode

Nam Salu lithologies: metasandstone, metasiltstone, radiolarian chert, metavolcaniclastics and

The Schachtader lode (currently inacessible) a 2-3 m skarn composed of green amphibole (?
pyroxene, andradite, ilvaite, iron sulphides and cassiterite overlain by + 10 m of radiolarite
beneath shales.
Manganese-facies ironstone is reported in boreholes
Siantu Formation: Metabasalts, agglomerates and breccias at Cape Siantu
Van Wessem (1942)
Westerveld ( 1937); Katili (1967)
Pulunggono & Cameron (1984);
Suryono & Clarke (1981)
Schwartz & Surjono (1991)
Ko (1986)
See Adam (1960, Fig. 26)
Schwartz and Surjono (1990b)
See Adam (1960, Fig. 24)
Bahruddin & Sidarto (1995)
Malay Peninsula through the Tin Islands and beneath the Triassic
graben on Bangka, rather than a discrete line as illustrated by
Pulonggono & Cameron (1984) (see Fig. 14.2).
The accretionary complex is well known in Malaya where it
consists of severely deformed sediments, volcanics and slivers
of ultrabasic rocks ranging in age between Devonian and
Upper Permian (Metcalfe 2000). In the Tin Islands, where
fossils are scarce, Bothe (1925a,b) distinguished Pre-Triassic
(?Carboniferous-Permian) volcanics and sediments, from
similar, but also deformed, Triassic volcanics and sediments, on
the basis of their more intense deformation and metamorphism,
their basic and ultrabasic (as opposed to acidic) composition,

and the absence of associated granitic plutons. One fossil locality

on Bangka yielded Permian fossils, and on Billiton, fossils spanning
the Sakmarian to Kungurian stages have been identified
(Fontaine & Gafoer 1989). The Permian rocks in the Tin Islands
are considered to have a Cathaysian affinity (Indochina Block)
on the basis of the identification by Jongmans of poorly preserved
Gigantopteris plant fossils (van Overeem 1960; Hosking et al.
1977) and the occurrence of fusulinids (De Roever 1951;
Strimple & Yancey 1976).
Early geological studies in the Riau and Lingga archipelagos
are summarized by van Bemmelen (1949) and the scattered
occurrences of metavolcanics, ultrabasic rocks and their metamorphosed
derivatives are compiled in Table 6.6 and the localities are
shown in Figure 6.8.
Ko (1986) identified poorly exposed pre-Triassic rocks
(Fig. 6.9) on Bangka Island as facies of the Pemali Group. The
Pebbly Mudstone Facies in the Toboali area in the south of the
island is correlated with the glaciogenic Late CarboniferousEarly Permian Bohorok Formation of Sumatra and is included in
the Sibumasu Block (Barber & Crow 2003). The other Pemali
Group facies of Volcanic-Chert, Bedded Chert, Laminated
Mudstone and Pyritic black shale-limestone are considered to
be components of the accrelionary complex and include EarlyMid-Permian rocks (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989).
105~ V~I h ,I. i
.~,~,~a, _ ~ lo6 ~
iii:iiii:iii ii:iii
""~ Thrusts ~ t

}~]q :FF~ MMaaiinn RRaannggee ((SS ttyyppee)) / i

Eastern Province (I-type)
- 3~ 0 50km
, 106 ~ j
107 ~
TRIASSIC ~ Tempilang
LOWER- Sandstone
MIDDLE ~ Oceanic Facies
PERMIAN ~'~ Undifferentiated
Pebbly mudstone
Bebulu Batholith
_9 " " ' " ' ' " ' " ' " ' " " ' " ' " ' " ' " ' " " :'1
107 ~
Fig. 6.9. Simplified geological map of
P. Bangka. Geology compiled from Ko
(1986), Katili (1967), Osberger (1968) and
Verbeek (1897). Granite typology after
Cobbing et al. (1992).
Ko (1986) described diabase sheets intruded into radiolarian
cherts and sediments at Cape Penjabung in the NW of Bangka
as part of the Volcanic-Chert facies of the Pemali Group. These
diabases were previously mapped as volcanics by Zwierzijcki

(1933) and Verbeek (1897), but Westerveld (1936, 1937)

describes them as intrusive sills into folded rocks and suggested
that they were precursors of the adjacent granite. Cobbing et al.
(1992) consider that they are an early basic (dioritic) facies of
the Klabat Batholith.
Ko (1986) includes the lithologies described by De Roever
(1951) and Schwartz & Surjono (1991) in the Pyritic Black
Shale-Limestone Facies of the Pemali Group. According to
Schwartz & Surjono (1991) the lithologies exposed in the open
pit at the Pemali Mine are deformed hornfels and skarns derived
from metasediments. However, the mineralogy (Table 6.6) and
geological setting suggest that in addition to sediments, these
metasomatic rocks also were derived from volcanic and ultramafic
rocks described at this locality by Pulunggono & Cameron (1984)
and Suryono & Clarke (1981).
Similar skarns, encountered during mining, are present in the
Permian rocks on Billiton (Kelapakampit Formation of Bahruddin
& Sidarto 1995). Of interest are the are lenticular masses of
?original fayalite in the Seloemar lode (Adam 1960), and the
presence of fayalite as a minor constituent in the tin ores at Nam
Salu in the Klapa Kambit mine. Here, Schwartz & Surjono
(1990b) showed that Permian metavolcanics and metasediments
(Table 6.6) had been metasomatized and that tin ores had been
formed in association with Triassic granite intrusions, which
ANDESITE j / , .-/" .... " - , , , J r
.......... u-'77_9 " _ I

_9 _9 " , , ~ ; , i
o.ool A i
O.Ol o.1 1 lO
Fig. 6.10. Zr/TiO2-Nb/Y discrimination diagram showing fields for volcanic
rocks based on immobile elements (after Winchester & Floyd 1977). Both
ratios are indices of alkalinity but only Zr/TiO2 ratio represents a differentiation
index. Small squares represent element ratios in the metasomatised Nam Salu
'phyllite'. Adapted from Schwartz & Surjono (1990b).
were the source of the tin. The Nam Salu ore body is a layer of
iron formation, corresponding to the silicate facies of Algoma
Type, mixed with tuff which was metasomatized into micaceous
phyllite. Schwartz & Surjono (1990b) concluded that the Nam
Salu phyllite was chemically a 1:1 mixture of basalt and
silicate-facies ironstone; the bulk of their analyses (Fig. 6.10)
correspond to the sub-alkaline basalt field of Winchester &
Floyd (1977) in a discrimination diagram using immobile
elements. The mineralogy of the Schachtader lode indicates it
is either a metabasalt or even a meta-serpentinite, although
Schwartz & Surjono (1990b) describe it as an altered volcaniclastic
West Sumatra Triassic Plutonic-Volcanic Arc
Volcanic rocks associated with the West Sumatra Triassic Arc
are preserved in the Cubadak Formation (Rock et al. 1983), as
a sequence of dark green volcanic wackes interbedded with
mudstones and siltstones containing Halobia, faulted against,
and possibly part of the carapace of the early Jurassic
Muarasipongi Batholith, which has been dated at 197 ___ 2 Ma.
Pahang Volcanic Belt

There are abundant occurrences of volcanic rocks in the Triassic of

the eastern Malay Peninsula belonging to the Pahang Volcanic
Series (Hutchison 1973). These volcanics are invariably associated
with IS and A-type plutons of the Eastern Granite Province
(Central Belt) (Cobbing, pers. comm.). This association in the
Semantan Basin (Fig. 14.11) and its continuation in the Riau
and Lingga archipelagoes (Fig. 6.8) is described here as the
Pahang Volcanic Belt (Table 6.7).
P. Karimun Besar is formed of a core of metaluminous granite
of IS or A-type (Cobbing et al. 1992) which is mantled by the
contact metamorphosed Malarco Formation (Cameron et al.
1982c). The presence of volcanic rocks within the graben
sediments strongly suggests that the pluton was intruded into its
carapace of surface volcanics in a resurgent caldera. The
Karimun Besar granite has not been dated radiometrically;
Cameron et al. (1982c) suggest a date of emplacement between
Mid- and Late Triassic (Carnian-Norian).
In the SE of Bintan the rhyolites and trachytes which abut
the East Bintan batholith, intruded around 230 _+ 12 Ma (Rb-Sr
isochron, Cobbing et al. 1992), are likely to be relics of the
volcanic carapace of this batholith.
On Lingga the Lingga pluton is intruded into Triassic cherts
containing Daonella and volcanic rocks which appear to be associated
with this biotite-hornblende two-phase granite (Cobbing
et al. 1992). The deformation noted by Bothe (1925a, b) may be
due in part to later intrusion of the pluton into its own volcanic
Table 6.7. Volcanic lithologies in the Pahang Volcanic Belt in the Tin Islands Archipelagos
Island Formation Description Reference
Karimun Besar Malarco Porphyritic rhyodacites and lithic tuft's, Cameron et al. (1982c)
hornfelsed shales, ?chert,

?conglomerate and limestone

Rhyolites and trachytes
Quartzporphyrites interfingered
with Triassic sediments
Rhyolites, dacites, porphyrites
and accompanying tufts
Van Bemmelen (1949); Osberger (1968)
Van Wessem (1942)
Both6 (1925a,b)
Jurassic-Cretaceous Plutonic-Volcanic Arcs
Volcanism and the associated plutonism in Sumatra has a a complicated
history during the Late Mesozoic. To a large extent this
is the history of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Woyla
Group, as described by Cameron et al. (1980). The stratigraphy
and current understanding of the geological setting of the Woyla
Group are discussed by Barber (2000) and by Barber & Crow
(Chapters 4 & 14). The distribution of the different assemblages
in the Woyla Group is shown in Figure 6.11 and the volcanics
present are described with reference to these assemblages in
Tables 6.8-6.10.
In central Sumatra Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous I-type
plutons (Fig. 6.11 ) form a continental margin Andean arc related
to subduction (McCourt et al. 1996). The plutons are better
known than their associated volcanics. Lower Cretaceous
andesites occur at Palanki in the Tertiary Ombilin Basin
(143 + 4Ma, Koning & Aulia 1985) and a new date of

99~ 102 ~ 105 ~
~ Jurassic-Early Cretaceous
Oceanic Island Arc (Bentaro Arc)
Accretionary Complex
(ocean-floor material)
Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Foreland
t:::::::t sequences: Tembesi and Rawas Fms
~ Jurassic-Early Cretaceous
Plutono-Volcanic Arc
te Cretaceous Plutonic
Kanaikan &'~,
K~e %ri%n'" %c
0o i","-.","',." ~
"~----,,--- Thrusts

0 100 200 300km

99 ~
Fig. 6.11. The distribution of the Woyla Group Assemblages in Sumatra.
102 ~
Table 6.8. Volcanic lithologies in the Oceanic Assemblage of the Woyla Group.
Formation Lithological description Reference
Aceh Province
Lam Minet
Woyla Group
Padang area
Tembesi- Rawas Mountains
'Mesozoics with mafics'
-t-2000 m massive, green to grey, deformed mafic to intermediate volcanics,
frequently epidotized, uralized or silicified, some pyroclastics, amygdaloidal
basalts, minor phyllites and pods of siticified metalimestone
Calcareous, carbonaceous to manganiferous slates and meta-argillites, green
volcanic wackes and chert/basalt beds; the Bengga Limestone Member is
composed of metalimestones, coarse marbles and metavolcanics

Basalts, red cherts, argillites, metavolcanic wackes and greenschists

Partially epidotized basalt breccias & agglomerates; schistose metabasalts
Includes intermediate to marie metavolcanics, cherts and slates
Metavolcanics, metalimestones and serpentinites and metagabbro intrusions
Basic volcanics, including pillow lava, volcanic breccia, tufts, volcaniclastic
sediments, radiolarian chert and massive or bedded limestone
Quartzites, shales, siltstones, slates and volcaniclastics
Diabases and basalts, associated with turbidites and a large limestone body
Limestone, quartzite, slate, schist, tuff, igneous breccia, tuff breccia, metavolcanic,
diabase and serpentinite
Bennett et al. (1981a)
Bennet et al. (1981a)
Cameron el al.
Cameron et al.
Cameron et al.
1983); Barber(2000)
Cameron et al. 1982a)
Yancey & Alif (1977);
McCarthy et al. (2001)
Rosidi et al. (1976)
Suwarna et al. (1994)
De Coster (1974)
Lampung area
Menanga Tuffaceous and calcareous claystones, sandstones and shales with intercalated Barber
radiolarian-bearing cherts, manganese nodules, coral limestones and rare
porphyritic basalt. The sandstones contain clasts of glassy andesite and lithic
fragments of andesite, quartz-diorite and quartzite
See Table 6.9 for the Natal area.

Table 6.9. Volcanic units and volcaniclastic sediments of oceanic and continental affinity within
the Woyla Group Accretionar~, Complex in the Natal area
Formation Lithological description Environment Ref.
Tambak Baru Volcanic Unit Altered, purple, quite strongly sheared, porphyritic andesites and
Volcanic centre & proximal volcaniclastics 1
andesite agglomerates and proximal debris flows
Dark green, foliated megabreccias with basic volcanic and limestone 1
megaclasts interbedded with poorly sorted conglomerates and
greywacke sandstones
Vesicular basic lavas, keratophyes and dolerite dykes
Breccias with basic volcanics, radiolarian cherts, limestones with Mnmineralisation
Volcaniclastic siltstones, fine siltstones and rare conglomerates
Volcaniclastic sandstones and unsorted conglomerates (lahars)
Undeformed porphyritic andesites with amygdales and altered matrices
and andesitic tufts
Greenschist facies banded quartz, muscovite, chlorite schists
Simpang Gambir Megabreccia
Nabana Volcanic Unit
Panglong Mdlange
Belok Gadang Siltstone
Ranto Sore
Parlumpangan Volcanic Unit
Si Gala Gala Schist Unit
Simarobu Turbidite
Batang Natal Megabreccia
Rantobi Sandstone
Jambor B aru
Muarosoma Turbidite
Mdlange Unit
Pasaman Ultramafic Complex
Igneous rocks in Batu

Nabontar Limestone
Volcaniclastic turbidites with minor calcareous siltstones
Large clasts of limestone, rare clastic sediments and igneous rocks in a
slaty matrix
Thin bedded volcaniclastic sandstones and siltstones
Volcaniclastic conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, limestone and tuff
Thin bedded volcaniclastic turbidites with noticeable quantities of
quartz clasts and less mafic and chlorite material
House & room sized fragments of greenstones, greenish wackes,
cleaved metatuffs, sheared fossiliferous limestones and 50% by
volume cherts; the blocks are disrupted by serpentinite and invaded
by dykes
Variably serpentinized, massive to foliated hartzburgite, with minor
dunite pods and stringers, and pyroxenite dykes
Serpentinized dunites and hartzburgites intruded by thin dykes, now
Banded metavolcanics, slates and limestones in north of Lubuksikaping
Proximal sediments and olistostromes derived
from volcanic centre
Ocean-floor basalts, Seamount
Mdlange ?olistostrome, of ocean-floor materials
and pelagic sediments
?lower trench slope basin fill
Fluviatile intra-arc deposits
Volcanic arc or local volcanic centre fragments
Metasediments derived from an acidintermediate
arc or centre of continental type
Ocean-floor or trench deposit
Olistostome or mud diapirs in accretionary

Forearc basin deposits
Shallow marine and deeper water forearc basin
Upper trench slope basin sediments
M61ange ?olistostrome of ocean-floor materials,
pelagic sediments & limestone
Ocean-floor volcanics and basement slices;
Slices of ocean-floor basement
?Accretionary complex
References: 1, Wajzer et al. (1991); 2, Rock et al. (1983).
Table 6.10. Volcanic units in the Oceanic Volcanic Arc fragments of the Woyla Group
Formation Litbological description Ref.
Bentaro arc
Bentaro Volcanic
Tapaktuan Volcanic
Meukuek Gneiss
Kenyaran Volcanic
Insu Member
M~lange Complex
Porphyritic basalts and basalts and agglomerates with andesine, associated with mafic dykes, l
Basaltic vents surrounded by tufts, breccias and volcanic sediments were found near Lam No

and north of the Bentaro river

Volcanic wackes, subordinate sandstones and siltstones, mafic volcanics and limestones l
Massive, partly epidotised, frequently porphyritic andesites, subordinate basalts with 2, 3
feldsparphyric varieties and coeval dykes. Agglomerates, breccias and tufts are present in the
southeast. Subordinate shales and slates containing volcanic debris and purple to red tuffaceous
Biotite-hornblende-andesine schists & biotite amphibolites interpreted as syntectonic deformed 2
Tapaktuan Volcanics associated with concordant gneissic leuco-granites
Epidotized intermediate to mafic lavas which are frequently amygdaloidal and porphyritic and
Chloritised and prophylitised andesitic and basaltic lavas, tufts and breccias with local limestone
Basalts and andesites interbedded with claystone, siltstone, calcilutite and chert 4
(?) amygdaloidal and porphyritic lavas of basalt and andesite, crystal tufts, chert and rare 5
Basalt and andesite lavas with minor lenses or intercalations of chert 5
Boulders and clasts of limestone, chert, schist and andesite similar to the andesite lava in the
Garba 5
Formation, all within a scaly matrix
References: l, Bennett et al. (1981a); 2, Cameron et al. (1982a); 3, Barber (2000); 4, Gafoer et
al. (1992e); 5, Gafoer et al. (1994)
140-t- 10 Ma from the Silungkang Formation (Suwarna et al.
2000) indicates that Lower Cretaceous volcanic rocks are more
extensive than previously thought, but were previously included
with Permian volcanics.
The Siulak Formation, forming a limited outcrop within
the Sumatra Fault Zone near the southern margin of the Painan
Quadrangle (Rosidi et al. 1976), includes dacitic lavas and
tufts and a 500 m thick fossiliferous (Cretaceous) Limestone

Member. It is suggested that this formation represents forearc

sediments and continentally-sourced andesites trapped by strikeslip
faulting within the fault zone.
Continentally sourced voicaniclastic sediments which occur as
fault packets in the Woyla Oceanic and Accretionary Complex
in the Batang Natal section (Wajzer et al. 1991) may have
been derived from erosion of the contemporaneous JurassicCretaceous Plutonic-Volcanic Arc.
Volcanics in the Woyla Accretionary Complex
Volcanic lithologies occur commonly in the Woyla Group,
where they are tectonically juxtaposed as fault packets within
the Accretionary Complex (Tables 6.8 and 6.9). They are best
known from the Batang Natal section, where Wajzer (1986)
carried out detailed mapping and documented the variety and
discussed the origin of oceanic and pelagic rock types (Wajzer
et al. 1991). Elsewhere in Sumatra the distribution of the major
lithological units within the Woyla Accretionary Complex has
been established by reconnaissance mapping only.
Aceh Province (refer to Fig. 4.13)
The Geumpang, Lain Minet and Penarum formations in the Banda
Aceh and Takengon quadrangles include basaltic lavas, often
pillowed, basaltic breccias and conglomerates, tufts and volcanic
sandstones, imbricated with limestones, radiolarian chert and
argillites of the Woyla Oceanic Assemblage (Bennett et al.
1981a; Cameron et al. 1983; Barber 2000). The more massive
limestones may represent the carbonate caps to seamounts
constructed on oceanic crust. Serpentinite is also imbricated into
these formations and sometimes occur as diapirs within the
Sumatran Fault Zone. The larger bodies of serpentinite (Tangse,
Cahop and Beatang Ultramafic Complexes) represent slices of
oceanic upper mantle harzburgite incorporated into the accretionary

complex. The volcanic rocks are often deformed and altered

to greenschists, and the ultramafic rocks to talc schists. Garnetiferous
amphibolites present in the Reunguet River are suggested
by Barber (2000) to have been subducted and metamorphosed at
high pressure before being tectonically exhumed. The large area
of undifferentiated Woyla Group south of the Sumatra Fault
Zone includes intermediate to mafic metavolcanics, cherts and
slates, and may be considered, to be composed mainly of the
Woyla Oceanic Assemblage.
The Upper Permian-Triassic Situtup Formation in the
Takengon Quadrangle (Cameron et al. 1983) composed mainly
of limestones, also includes metavolcanics such as epidotised
basalts, basaltic breccias and agglomerates and schistose metabasalts.
The adjacent Toweren Member also contains massive
metavolcanics. Barber (2000) points out that the descriptions of
the volcanic lithologies in the Situtup and Toweren formations
resemble those of the Woyla Group and suggests that Woyla
volcanics may have been tectonically imbricated within the
Situtup Formation.
Natal area (refer to Figs 4.14 and 6.12)
Oceanic rocks of the Woyla Group in the Natal area were first
mapped by Rock et al. (1983) as part of the Lubuksikaping
Quadrangle. The rock units and their relationships were described
in detail from the Batang Natal river and road sections by Wajzer
(1986), with a more accessible summary in Wajzer et al. (1991).
The section shows imbricated slices of massive limestone, serpentinite,
volcaniclastic sandstone, sometimes turbiditic, pillow
basalt, radiolarian chert and m~lange, composed of blocks of
these lithologies in a clay matrix, arranged in an apparent
random fashion (Fig. 6.12 & Table 6.9). Undifferentiated

Pre-Tertiary banded metavolcanics, slates and limestones, on the

northern margin of the Lubuksikaping Quadrangle (Rock et al.
1983 geological map) are shown as part of the Woyla Group in
the geological synthesis of Stephenson & Aspden (1982) and
Rock et al. (1983, fig. 4). Aspden et al. (1982b) extended
subcrop of the Woyla Group up to the Sibolga Fault. These
rocks are considered to belong to the Woyla Accretionary
Assemblage, even though no ultrabasic rocks were described.
Slivers of serpentinitized dunite and hartzburgites intruded
by thin basaltic dykes, are faulted within the Batu Nabontar Limestone
at the northeastern end of the Batang Natal section near
Muarasoma (Wajzer 1986). These slices may be related to the
Pasaman Ultramafic Complex which crops out to the SE. This
complex has a length of 75 km, an area in excess of 100 km 2
(Rock et al. 1983), and is the largest ophiolite slice in Sumatra,
although the thickness is not known. The complex is faulted
against an extensive limestone unit, the strike equivalent of the
Batu Nabontar Limestone and a mdlange unit, similar to the
Batang Natal Megabreccia in the Natal section. Wajzer et al.
(1991) reported a Late Triassic foraminifer from a limestone
block in the Batang Natal Megabreccia, indicating that oceanic
limestones, probably deposited on volcanic seamounts as old as
Late Triassic, are incorporated in the accretion complex, either
as an olistrosomes or as mud diapirs.
The depositional environment of the Muarasoma Turbidite Formation
was probably in a small basin perched on the trench slope
of the accretion complex. The virtual absence of quartz in the
Jambor Baru Formation indicates an oceanic environment, while
absence of plutonic fragments and presence of (altered) andesitic
debris indicates that the volcanic source was nearby, perhaps
within the accretionary complex but Wajzer (1986) suggested

the source was a oceanic island arc in process of erosion. The

Jambor Baru Formation is bounded by strike-slip faults and a
sliver of Parlumpangan-type volcanic rock is faulted within the
The Simarobu Turbidite Formation is composed mostly of
volcaniclastic turbidites with minor calcareous siltstones, strongly
deformed and metamorphosed in the greenschist facies. The
calcareous siltstones may be recrystallized pelagic limestones,
while in the turbidites, the sparse quartz and K-feldspar and the
highly altered mafic volcanic clasts, suggest an intermediate
volcanic source and a trench or ocean-floor depositional environment
(Wajzer 1986). The unit is affected by thrusts and later
strike-slip faults.
The Parlumpangan Volcanic Unit is of extrusive origin, probably
representing different levels of a volcanic pile constructed
on the sea floor, which was emplaced and faulted within the
accretionary complex. The Si Gala Gala Schist encloses, and
is strike-slip faulted against the Parlumpangan Volcanic Unit.
Wajzer et al. (1991) interpret the Parlumpangan Volcanic Unit
as fragments of a non-specific volcanic arc, but stress that the
associated the Si Gala Gala Schists are derived from a continentally
based acid-intermediate volcanic arc. A volcanic
centre within the accretionary complex broken up by faulting is
a likely source of these two units.
0 1 2 3km
Jambor Baru

Batu Nabontar
Limestone (BNL) \',,.
Si Gala Gala
Volcanics (PV)
Nab~a Volcanics 4
BNL -~": "L'."
: :~.~: i ,i ;i ~i ii !i i,i!. i~ i:!. ~) i:!.. : ~: " ~ ~ i "i i .Me.ga brecciaBata~ng.T(BI NM)Natal
'~': :!iii!ii!ii!ii! iiii.~:i~STF
~ Ranto Sore
_9 _9 . . . .
-::: _9B elok Gadang
~ k: : Siltstone
i b;>
Tambak Baru
"" %'~.%. ,..%,".. "% "~ ,~f ~i:.iiiiiiiiiiiii:.--:~i!iiii Si'l<um'lou'!i!i!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~
:Langsat ~!:!~::..~..:.:-.- iiii::i::i::.T:ur:b!d:!!e.siiiiiii!i!i!i!i!i!!!!i!i!i!i:i:S:: '"PANG GA,B,R

_9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _9 . . . . . . - . . . . . . . . . . - . - . . . . .%. . . . - . . . . . . -.Volcanics..v %" _9

-,- -," --," ,," v v v %" %" %" %" %" " ' = ' = ' : . ' = ' : ' ; - : - = ' = - = - : ' . ' : " - : ' : - : ' " : - = ' : '
~..- , , . %" %" %" 4... %" %" ,...
.:.. . ~ . . : . : . : . : . : . :
: . . _9 _9 . . : . : . = .
_9 .
Muarasoma Turbidite
Formation (MTF)
-.'.:.:.:,. % . . - . . . . . , ..., %, %, ..., 4/
-~L-L~zM'J anung al'x",,"
,." x"x~ x B atho litgh,"x ~ ',,'
,"x"x"x 87.0Ma J'x"-,'
~30 %" %" "" %" %" " " " " " " " " " " . . .
"V" %" "," %" %" %" "," %" V V %"
%" %" ",~ %" %" V "." "." %" %" %"
~" "4 Jgcan,c . . . . . . .
_9 v '..~ v v v --,." %.' %"
v %" --.-" v %" %" %" v
_,9,. " %" %" %" "v" "-,-' "-,." , , . ",,~ ~,-" %" "-.." "-.~ %" %" %" "-.-"
. . , ~ 5_, 9.. , %" .,... v -.,.' %" %" %" -,.. ".,~ %" %,' %" %" %" v %-" 2Ma, v v %" %" v -~, %"
-~- v v v %" %"
Location o f limestone b l ....- v -.., %" ~., ,.- %" v .4, 4, %" %" %" , , . %"

_9~ wi t h L a t e Tr i a s s i c f o r ami n i f e~ %' . . . . . .-~. v v v .~- . . . . _9 v

%" .... v %" .4....... v ..0 Locations f o r K/Ar dates } ~ " ".29.7Ma" " %', v %"
~5' %" ~," V ~," %" "I %" %" "~" V V "v'O ;~
-,.- -v- - _9 %" ~., %" %"
0 . . . . . . . . , ~ %" %"
i i ~ i AIR v v
Fig. 6.12. Simplified geological map of the Batang Natal river section. Adapted by Barber (2000)
from Wajzer et al. (1991). S, serpentinite.
The Nabana Volcanic Unit at the southwestern end of the
Batang Natal section (Fig. 6.12) is composed of vesicular spilitic
basic volcanics intruded by dolerite dykes. These vesicular pillow
lavas indicate submarine extrusion at less than abyssal depths. The
dolerites are metamorphosed at greenschist facies. The Nabana
Volcanic Unit is interpreted as a tilted slab of oceanic crust with
ocean-floor basalts and dolerite feeder dykes. Again, associated
limestones may be part of a seamount carbonate capping
(Wajzer et al. 1991). Two preliminary analyses of spilites from
the Nabana Volcanic Unit/Belok Gadang Formation are given
by Rock et al. (1983) (Table 6.11).
The Tambak Baru Volcanic Unit of andesites and andesite
agglomerates and the associated Simpang Gambir Megabreccia
are the faulted remains respectively of a volcanic centre and associated
proximal volcaniclastic erosional debris. A sample of andesite
yielded a Campanian-Maastrichtian (Cretaceous) K-Ar age of
78.4 + 2.5 Ma (Wajzer et al. 1991) [N.B. this date should not
be given too much credence, as the rocks are affected by lowgrade
metamorphism; Editor]. The unit was suggested by Wajzer
et al. (1991) to represent a collided volcanic arc, but the units are
not highly deformed as might be expected in a collision; a volcanic

centre intruded into the accretionary complex during the Late

Cretaceous is a more probable explanation.
Padang area (refer to Figs 4.16 and 6.13)
In the Padang Quadrangle, to the north of the Danau Maninjau volcanic
centre, the northern margin of the Woyla Accretionary
Complex is truncated by the Sumatra Fault Zone (Kastowo &
Leo 1973). Here a zone of serpentinite pods aligned along faults
has been emplaced in massive limestones, phyllites, metasandstones
and metasiltstones, occasionally with mafic greenstones.
Jurassic fossils were collected from the limestones at Palembanjan
by Volz (19 ! 3).
To the east of Padang, McCarthy et al. (2001) recognized
thrusting in the volcanic-sedimentary sequence in the Indarung
Formation of Yancey & Alif (1977) and identified Mid-Jurassic
radiolaria in cherts, indicating that part of the accreted ocean
crust was of Jurassic age. The Golok Tuff Formation composed
of crystal tufts which lies above the Lubuk Peraku Limestone
(Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous, Yancey & Alif 1977) has
been dated using the K-Ar method at 105 _+ 3 Ma (Koning &
Aulia 1985). McCarthy et al. (2001) interpreted the massive
Lubuk Peraku Limestone as part of a fringing reef to a seamount
which collided during subduction with the Accretionary
Complex and was imbricated within it.
The Limestone Member of the Siguntur Formation, on strike
to the SE at Surian in the Painan Quadrangle, is described by
Rosidi et al. (1976) as similar to the Indarung Limestone and
possibly also capped a former seamount. The main outcrop of
the Siguntur Formation south of Padang includes quartzites
(McCarthy et al. 2001). Rosidi et al. (1976) remark on the
cherty nature of quartzites, which suggests that they may have
an oceanic origin. The diverse origins of sediments are typical

of the Oceanic and Accretion Complex, and this poorly exposed,

but extensive unit includes distal terrestrial, volcaniclastic,
pelagic and chemical oceanic sediments, probably juxtaposed by
thrusting and movement along strike-slip faults.
Danau Diatas to Gunung Kerinci
Between Danau Diatas and Gunung Kerinci to the east of the
Sumatra Fault Zone (Fig. 6.13) a 'serpentinite front' to the
Woyla Oceanic and Accretion Assemblage is marked by serpentinite
pods (Rosidi et al. 1976). Serpentinite and pyroxenite are also
present at Galagah (McCarthy et al. 2001). North of Lubukgadang
a large serpentinised hartzburgite body is associated with a lens
of megabreccia composed of blocks of metasediment and
serpentinite. The serpentinite body is thrust into a turbidite
sequence, probably equivalent to the Rawas Formation in the
Tembesi-Rawas Mountains, along strike to the SE.
Tembesi-Rawas Mountains
In the Sarolangan Quadrangle the boundary of the Woyla
Accretionary Complex is taken at the Rawas Thrust, marking
the approximate southern boundary of the Asai Formation.
Serpentinite pods are mapped along the thrust (Suwarna et al.
1994). Diabases and basalts are also present, associated with turbidites
and a large limestone body in a pelagic marine sequence,
which has been affected by thrusts and strike-slip faults. The
generalized description of the Rawas Formation is fairly typical
of the Oceanic and Accretion Complex elsewhere in Sumatra,
but the detail is lacking and it is described by Suwarna et al.
(1994) as interleaved within the non-volcanic, shallow marine,
Peneta Formation and perhaps represents a forearc basin deposit.
The Woyla Accretionary Complex is exposed in river sections
where tuffaceous shales alternate with meta-limestones to the
west of the Barisan Mountains, in the Sumatra Fault Zone, and

to the east of Danau Kerinci (Kusnama et al. 1993b).

Subcrop beneath the South Sumatra Tertiary Basin
The subcrop of the Woyla Accretionary Assemblage beneath
Tertiary sediments between the Gumai and Garba Mountains
and Palembang has been reconstructed from oil company borehole
termination records (Fig. 6.13). These were studied by Adiwidjaja
& de Coster (1973) and de Coster (1974) who distinguished a belt
of 'Mesozoics with mafics' south of the 'Mesozoic Metamorphics'
of the Tembesi-Rawas area of the Woyla Foreland Assemblage.
Mesozoics with mafics were encountered in exploration drilling
of the Tertiary sediments north of Tebingtinggi beneath the
headwaters of the Sungai Musi (Kikim-Teras High) and east of
Baturaja (Lematang Sub-Basin). Lithologies encountered correspond
with those in the Foreland, Oceanic and Accretion
Complex Assemblages of the Woyla Group. The Foreland
Assemblage sediments are on strike with the Peneta and Asai Formations,
and the Oceanic and Accretion Complex metavolcanics
beneath the Lemat Formation volcanics (Eocene), are recorded
in oil-well terminations as far north as the Sungai Musi.
De Coster (1974) reports a Mid-Cretaceous (?deformation)
K-Ar age of 121 _ 2 Ma from tuffaceous clastics at the base of
the Lemat-2 well, south of the Sungai Musi.
Lampung area (refer to Fig. 4.8)
Two Pre-Tertiary units, the Menanga Formation and the
Gunungkasih Complex (McCourt et al. 1993), were mapped in
the Kotaagung (Amin et al. 1994b) and Tanjungkarang
(Andi-Mangga et al. 1994a) Quadrangles. The Early Cretaceous
Menanga Formation, which is in thrust contact with the older
(Palaeozoic) Gunungkasih Complex, consists of a mixture of
lithologies ranging from shales with cherts, sandstones, siltsones
and claystones and rare porphyritic basalt. The claystones

are tuffaceous and the sandstones include andesite, glassy andesite

and quartz-diorite clasts. The sedimentary environment of the
Menanga Formation is interpreted as deep marine, related to a
volcanic arc, and is correlated with the Lingsing Formation of
the Gumai Mountains by Amin et al. (1994b) and Andi-Mangga
et al. (1994a). According to Barber (2000) the depositional
environment was that of a forearc to an Andean-type volcanic
arc, built on continental basement, and he interprets the
sequence as part of the Foreland Assemblage of the Woyla
Group. The lithological mix suggests that the Menanga Formation
'~0oo~', ~ ~ e , " ~ C ' . l ' . , ~
~ - ~ - - ~ k~

101 ~
, Singkarak
102 ~
103 ~ %,/ I
105 ~
106 ~
50 100km
Faults ""

~ Oceanic Volcanic Arc
-~ Accretionary Complex
(ocean-floor material)
Foreland assemblage
[ [ Palaeozoic basement
102 ~ 103 ~ 104 ~
121 +2Ma
Fig. 6.13. The distribution of the Woyla Group Assemblages in Southern Sumatra and localities
mentioned in text.
(Table 6.8) is a tectonic composite of oceanic and foreland
West Java Sea
To the east of Sumatra, in Java and the West Java Sea, the
Woyla Group is difficult to trace, but lithologies of the Woyla
Accretionary Complex have been recognized in oil well terminations
in the off-shore Sunda oil field, where serpentinite and
metasediments, together with Late Cretaceous granites, were
encountered beneath Tertiary sediments. In the southern part of
the Sunda Basin, in the East Java Sea, the Woyla Group is overlain
by Late Cretaceous sediments. Ben Avraham & Emery (1973)
found that the interpretation of magnetic intensity measurements
in the East Java Sea was problematic, but the magnetic anomalies
have large amplitudes (200-600 gamma) and the wavelengths
(10-30kin) are shorter than, but resemble those of oceanic
crust. In the regional context these anomalies might represent

the subcrop of ophiolite from the Woyla Accretionary Complex.

Certain zones within the West Java Sea have the magnetic
signatures of large basic or ultrabasic bodies, one example, on
the SE margin of the Lampung High of SE Sumatra, has a
similar magnetic signature to the Pasaman Ophiolite Complex in
the Natal area.
Oceanic volcanic arc fragments
Oceanic island arcs, fragments of which are incorporated within
the Woyla Accretionary Complex, originated in Meso-Tethys
probably in the Early Jurassic. The volcanic arcs have been
suggested to have been constructed on continental basement
(Cameron et al. 1980), but Hamilton (1988) and Barber (2000),
with more detail, has thrown doubt on this idea, and also on the
suggestion that these arcs originated as fragments of Gondwana
(Metcalfe 1996). It would appear that the Woyla Oceanic Volcanic
Arcs originated within Meso-Tethys, although how many island
arc strings were created, and whether the strings were continuous
is not certain. In Aceh there are three large arc fragments, the
Bentaro, Tapaktuan and Sise (Fig. 4.13) of which the latter is possibly
a different age to the other two, depending upon the nature of
the undifferentiated area of Woyla Group east of the Anu-Batee
Fault. In Southern Sumatra the Gumai-Garba Line (Fig. 6.13) of
McCourt et al. (1993) links a string of arc fragments (Saling Arc)
which appear to be of a similar age. Lithological details of the
Oceanic Volcanic Arc fragments are given in Table 6.10.
Aceh Province (refer to Fig. 4.13)
The Bentaro Island Arc (Barber 2000) is the largest of the oceanic
island arc fragments included in the Woyla Group. The Bentaro
Island Arc is faulted, thrust and intruded by Late Cretaceous and
Tertiary granitoids. The component units of the Bentaro Arc are

described in the Banda Aceh and Calang Quadrangles by

Bennett et al. (1981a, b). Here the Bentaro Volcanic Formation
is overlain by reef limestones and dark limestones (Lamno
Formation) with Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous fossils, and is
faulted against and underlain by the Lhoong Formation. The
Raba Limestone Formation, composed of reef limestones and
thin bedded argillaceous and siliceous limestones is thrust over
the Lhoong Formation. Near the Sumatra Fault Zone the
Bentaro Arc is overthrust by the Geumpang Formation which
belongs to the Accretionary Complex. In the Calang Quadrangle
volcanics are not exposed, only reef limestones of the Teunom
Formation are seen.
Barber (2000) includes the Tapaktuan Volcanic Formation
which crops out in the coastal plain of the Tapaktuan Quadrangle
(Cameron et al. 1982b) within the Bentaro Arc. The Tapaktuan
Volcanic Formation crops out as fault lozenges in the Kluet
Fault Complex. In the NW of the main outcrop, the Tapaktuan
o4 3
I-2 V ;2 ,~ 6 8 10

10 0 20' 0 3 0 0 40' 0
Zr ppm
Fig. 6.14. Geochemical discrimination diagrams for basaltic rocks after Floyd &
Winchester (1975) showing the affinity of the volcanics collected from the Saling
Formation, Gumai Mountains. Diagram after Gafoer et al. (1992c).
Formation is thrust over the oceanic Babahrot Formation, and in
the Meukek River volcanics are transformed into amphibolites
in the Meukek Gneiss Complex. Barber (2000) suggests these
garnet amphibolites represent rocks which were subducted,
metamorphosed and subsequently tectonically exhumed.
Barber (2000) places the Sise Limestone Formation (reef limestones)
and the Kenyaran Volcanic Formation (epidotized basalts)
of the Takengon Quadrangle (Cameron et al. 1983) within the
Island Arc Assemblage, from which it has been displaced by
movements of the Sumatra Fault Zone.
Gumai Mountains (refer to Fig. 4.19)
The remote inlier of the Woyla Group in the Gumai Mountains
(Musper 1937; Gafoer et al. 1992c) includes the Early Cretaceous
Saling Formation (amygdaloidal and porphyritic andesite and
basalt), the Sepingtiang Limestone (reef limestone) and the Lingsing
Formation (andesite and basalt with interbedded sediments).
Gafoer et al. (1992c) considered that these rocks constituted an
oceanic assemblage, but Barber (2000) has proposed that all the
units are components of the Oceanic Island Arc Assemblage,
with the Lingsing Formation originally occupying a more distal
location than the Saling Formation. Chemical analyses of volcanics
from the Saling Formation in Table 6.11 are quoted from
Gafoer et al. (1992c), but sample localities were not given.
Using the discriminant plots of Floyd & Winchester (1975) the

analyses indicate that the Saling Island Arc volcanics are of

oceanic tholeiitic (MORB) affinity (Fig. 6.14).
Faunas from the Sepingtiang fringing reef range in age from
Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous (Fontaine & Gafoer 1989)
and diorite dykes, dated at 116 _+ 3 Ma by the K-Ar method,
intruding the volcanics are interpreted by Gafoer et al. (1992c)
as feeders to the volcanics, indicating a younger, Aptian age for
at least part of the volcanic sequence. A basic rock collected
from one or other of the two large ultrabasic pods in the Lingsing
Formation was dated using the K-Ar method and gave an Early
Cretaceous age of 122 ___ 4 Ma.
Musper (1937) considered that the different facies in the Gumai
Mountains were thrust together, and van Bemmelen (1949)
suggested that the volcanic facies 'formed on the slope of a
volcanic range or row of islands' and slid over the bathyal deposits
as a result of gravitational tectogenesis. The rocks are highly
deformed and folded, tectonic fabrics and banding strike eastwest,
but the sparse field data does not resolve the question of
whether these units are imbricated to form part of an accretionary
complex (Barber 2000).
Garba Mountains (refer to Fig. 4.7)
In the Garba Mountains the Oceanic Volcanic Arc Assemblage is
present in NW-SE-striking strips bounded by faults (Gafoer et al.
1994) and comprises the Garba Formation (amygdaloidal and
porphyritic basaltic and andesitic lavas) and the Insu Member
(m61ange). The limestone clasts are considered by Gafoer et al.
(1994), to be derived from a fringing reef limestone on the
continental foreland, but more likely were derived from a
limestone reef fringing the island arc. A thick (500 m) chert
unit (Situlanglang Member) is probably part of the oceanic

Origins of the volcanic units and their environments
of formation
Palaeozoic volcanism in Sumatra and the break-up of
The andesite and basalt flows in the Lower Member of the
Kuantan Formation in the West Sumatra Block occur among
distal turbidites and debris flows indicative of deposition in a
deep-water environment, possibly in a forearc setting (Turner
1983). If these volcanics are contemporaneous with the sediments,
they are Vis6an (Lower Carboniferous) in age. Volcanic rocks of
this age are unusual in SE Asia and Australia (Veevers & Tewari
1995). The Kuantan Volcanism may be related to seafloor spreading
in Palaeo-Tethys and be a precursor of the break-up volcanism
along the margin of the Gondwana Supercontinent. Volcanics
from the Gondwana Break-up Sequence are known from the
dating of drill samples from the West Australian margin
(Veevers & Tewari 1995) and crop out in Timor where they are
stratigraphically well constrained (Charlton et al. 2002). These
dated West Australian volcanics form a reference sequence for
comparison with the Sumatran Permian volcanics (Fig. 6.15).
Rhyolite clasts in the Late Carboniferous?-Early Permian
Pebbly Mudstone facies of the Bohorok Formation in Sibumasu
(East Sumatra Block) could be of any age, and plausibly were
eroded from the same land area from which granite clasts in the
mudstone also originated. A trondhjemite clast from the comparable
Singa Formation on Langkawi Island, west of Peninsula
Malaysia, has been dated at 1029 Ma (Hutchison 1989) suggesting
a Proterozoic provenance. Volcanic rocks of the Condong Member
of the upper Mentulu Formation (Bohorok Formation equivalent)
and the Setiti plutons of the East Sumatra Plutonic-Volcanic Belt

(c. 298-276 Ma) have a similar Permian Asselian-Sakmarian

age, coinciding with the volcanic episode related to the breakup
of the Sibumasu/Gondwana margin. The East Sumatra
Plutonic-Volcanic Belt is of regional extent, being represented
by volcanics in the Bohorok Formation of North Sumatra
(Bennett et al. 1982c), and again by volcanic tufts which are
widely distributed in the Mergui Series (comparable to the
Bohorok Formation) around Mergui and Tavoy (Chhibber 1934;
Pascoe 1959) and in islands offshore Peninsular Myamar. The
East Sumatra Plutonic-Volcanic Belt is related in time to the fragmentation
of Sibumasu from Gondwana, but a great deal more
chemical and chronological data is required to amplify this
-320 D
I J_
-340 <n - VISEAN
-240_~(2 ANISIAN ~v.ll ........ L~'el ris.._.e

-260 z KUNGURIAN !
-270 rr iii
a. SAKMARIAN /,,,,,'
1280 I
ABSELIAN " Ice ', --290-- i VolJin e i
-310 i i
, ,,
con on

(-9 z <=o_
VvV ~u..
-~O V V V
I Calcareous
, Member
! Formation)
I Limestone
V V V Member
Gondwana Margin Events
' retreats to
Volcanicity accompanies south
Sea-floor spreading in II
Meso-Tethys (Phase 2)

I Separation of
Sibumasu and Opening of
Baoshan Blocks Meso-Tethys
(Phase 1)
Rift faulting and
volcanicity Gondwana
Glaciation of Sibumasu advances
and West Australian to north
Gondwana margin
'Namurian' uplift of Gondwana
Kluet volcanism ?related to
sea-floor spreading in Palaeo-Tethys
Opening of Palaeo-Tethys
Fig. 6.15. The Permian sequence in Timor after Charlton et al. (2002) showing volcanic horizons
related to the break-up of the Gondwana margin and seafloor spreading
in the Meso-Tethys Ocean. Sibumasu is understood to have broken from Gondwana at the close
of the Sakmarian (Metcalfe 1996) and the West Sumatra Block in the
West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt
It has been established that the Permian volcanics in the
Mengkarang Formation in the West Sumatra Block, the Volcanic
Member of the Silungkang Formation, and the Palepat Formation
were erupted between the Asselian and the Artinskian and that
basaltic volcanics in the Calcareous Member of the Silungkang
Formation are probably Roadian. Radiometric dating suggests
that some of the volcanics (the andesite-rhyolite sequence in
the Volcanic Member of the Silungkang Formation and at
Sibolga) are the extrusive equivalents of plutonic intrusions.

The Ombilin granite is a foliated muscovite (?)S-type granite

(McCourt et al. 1996) with a K-Ar age of 287 3 Ma, corresponding
to the Asselian Stage, and a younger Rb-Sr age of
256 _+ 6 Ma. The oldest intrusive phase in the Sibolga Granite
Complex has a Rb-Sr isochron age of 264 6 Ma (Aspden
et al. 1982b) and may be associated with the volcanics in the
Kluet Formation.
Three geological settings for the West Sumatra Permian
Plutonic-Volcanic Belt have been proposed; an island arc, subductionrelated continental margin arc, or continental breakup.
The West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt is referred
to as the 'Palepat Terrane' by McCourt et al. (1996) who
discuss the suggestion by Wajzer et al. (1991) that the 'Palepat
Terrane' represents an allochthonous oceanic arc which collided
with Sumatra in the Late Permian or Early Triassic. This interpretation
was adopted by Metcalfe (2000). The Palepat Terrane/
allochthonous oceanic island arc hypothesis is rejected by
Barber (2000) on the grounds that oceanic volcanics and ophiolites
have not been identified, nor is the 'Palepat Terrane' bounded
along its eastern boundary by thrusts (Katili 1970), as had been
supposed previously (Tobler 1922; Zwierzijcki 1930a).
Cretaceous ophiolite outcrops shown within Early Permian
sediments in the Solok Quadrangle by Gafoer et al. (1992a) are,
according to Silitonga & Kastowo (1975), basaltic lavas interbedded
within phyllites and quartzites of the Phyllite and Shale
Member of the Kuantan Formation. These basalt outcrops are
now considered to be an outlier of the Calcareous Member of
the Silungkang Formation and are not associated with ultrabasic
rocks, so their ophiolitic association is not established.
Katili (1969, 1972, 1981) interpreted the Volcanic Member
of the Silungkang Formation, the Palepat Formation and the

associated granite suite, as relics of a continent margin magmatic

arc of subduction origin. This interpretation is supported by the
tholeiitic and calc-alkaline trends in these volcanics (Fig. 6.6)
(Suwarna et al. 2000). The location of this magmatic arc in the
palaeogeogeographic reconstruction (Fig. 14.11) would have
been on the southern margin of the Cathaysian supercontinent
(Fig. 6.2a), where it might have been related to a contemporary
Permian magmatic arc in the Indochina Block of East Peninsular
Malaysia described by Cobbing et al. (1992).
A third alternative proposed by Suparaka & Sukendar (1981), is
that the volcanics represent igneous activity associated with a
passive continent margin. Charlton (2001), on palaeogeographic
reasoning, has suggested that the West Sumatra Permian volcanics
were related to the break-up at the Gondwana-Cathaysia interface.
In this hypothesis the volcanism was associated with the
thermal uplift of the Gondwana margin (Veevers & Tewari
1995) which coincided in the Asselian with the conclusion of
the Gondwana glaciation and the start of sea-floor spreading in
Meso-Tethys (Fig. 6.15). At this time the West Sumatra Block
lay well to the north of the glaciated area (Fig. 14.11), so that
the thermal uplift resulted in shallow-water deposition under
tropical marine conditions.
The geochemistry of the Silungkang and Palepat Formations
as shown in the rock/chondrite normalized REE plots and the
spidergrams of these volcanics (Suwarna et al. 2000) resembles
similar plots for the Gondwana break-up volcanics identified in
the Himalayas (Garzanti et al. 1989), and the REE pattern of the
dolerites and amphibolites from the Dili area of Timor (Berry &
Jenner 1982).
The timing and chemistry of the West Sumatra Permian
Plutonic-Volcanic Belt suggest that it was linked both with subduction

and continent margin faulting/seafloor spreading, but

the chemical data do not discriminate which process was dominant
at any particular time. This might be explained by the palaeogeographic
setting of the West Sumatra Block between Cathaysia and
Gondwana, where the Cathaysian margin subduction regime
appears to have been affected by the break-up faulting of the
Gondwana margin. This palaeogeographic setting ended when
Sibumasu collided with the Indochina Block of Cathaysia in the
Changsingian and Scythian (Metcalfe 2000).
Bentong-Billiton Accretionary Complex
The basic and ultrabasic meta-igneous and volcanic lithologies in
the Riau-Billiton Permian Volcanic belt in north P. Billiton
and P. Bangka, and those in west P. Batam and on P. Sugi are
on the strike continuation of the Bentong-Raub collision zone.
These rocks are components of an Accretionary Complex on the
Palaeo-Tethys margin of the Indochina Block, derived from
detached slices of the Palaeo-Tethys ocean floor, volcanic rocks,
intrusions and sediments, all of which were deformed during the
collision with Sibumasu. Volcanics in the Tin Islands appear to
be Permian in age, but the complex as a whole contains sediments
ranging in age from Late Devonian to Late Permian (Metcalfe
The Gondwana excursions and the Gondwana Margin
break-up volcanicity
Charlton (2001) has a novel explanation of the Gondwana margin
sequence of extension, uplift, associated magmatism, fragmentation
and dispersal during the Permian, based on the study of the
palaeomagnetism of Australia and its vicinity by Klootwijk
(1996) (see Fig. 6.2b), Palaeomagnetic data indicate that eastern
Gondwana made a northward excursion commencing in the
Early Carboniferous, and reached low to moderate latitudes in

the mid-Carboniferous, before moving southwards again in the

later Carboniferous and Early Permian. The return phase of this
excursion coincides with the rift-faulting, crustal extension,
associated magmatism and fragmentation of Sibumasu from the
Gondwana (Fig. 6.2a,b & 6.15). In this scenario Sibumasu did
not drift away from Gondwana, as envisaged for example in the
reconstructions of Metcalfe (1996), but was abandoned during
the phase of crustal extension which accompanied the southward
return of the Gondwana Supercontinent. The detachment of the
West Sumatra Block from the area of contact between Cathaysia
and Gondwana occurred later in the Triassic. By this time
Sibumasu had collided with the East Malay Block resulting in
the deformation of the Riau-Billiton Accretionary Complex.
This event was accompanied by a second northward excursion
of Gondwana in the Triassic, during which the West Sumatra
Block was translated along the Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone
to arrive in its present position alongside the Sibumasu Block.
Triassic Plutonic-Volcanic belts in post-collision Sumatra
Extensive igneous activity took place during the Triassic in
Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia in both of which axial uplifts,
resulting from successive collisions, were followed by extensional
collapse (cf. Dewey 1988). This collapse led to sedimentation in
faulted basins and grabens, beneath and between which, extensive
granitic plutonism of the Main Range and Eastern Provinces
took place in Malaya and in the Tin Islands off Sumatra. The only
volcanic units related to this phase of plutonism which have survived,
form the Pahang Volcanic Belt associated with the
Eastern Granite Province of Peninsular Malaya.
At the same time Meso-Tethys commenced subduction beneath
Western Sumatra creating the continental margin West Sumatra

Triassic Plutonic-Volcanic Arc. Some of these Triassic arc

plutons were intruded into the (formerly) extensive limestone
platform which formed at the Meso-Tethys ocean margin
but few associated volcanics have been recognized (Cubadak
Jurassic-Cretaceous plutonism and volcanism
Towards the end of the Jurassic, before the accretionary margin of
western Sumatra was firmly established, the Mid-Jurassic-Early
Cretaceous was a time of extensive plutonism associated with volcanism
of the continental margin Jurassic-Cretaceous Plutonic
Arc. This magmatic pulse in Sumatra coincides with the rapid
formation of the Pacific Plate (c, 175-170Ma, Bartolini &
Larson 2001), which led to a world-wide flare-up of subduction
magmatism. The rapid growth of the Pacific Plate (15 cm a -I)
continued until the Oxfordian, when it reduced to 10 cm a -l. In
Sumatra the Mid-Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Plutonic Arc dates
from 169-129 Ma (McCourt et al. 1996) in the Meso-Tethyan
Ocean and the Woyla Accretionary Complex incorporated
oceanic seamounts dating from the Triassic and volcanic units
derived from oceanic and continental sources (Figs. 6.16 & 14.16).
Limited chemical data (Table 6.11) hints that on the basis
of separation into high (> 1%) and low (< 1%) TiO2 contents,
volcanic rocks from the Saling Formation of the Gumai Mountains
include examples from the oceanic crust (high-Ti contents) while
low-Ti samples represent volcanics of subduction origin, some
high in Si and another high in Mg. Analyses of the Nabana
Volcanics in the Batang Natal and from the Tapaktuan Formation
are high in Ti, confirming the field identification of ocean-floor
volcanics within these units (Fig. 6.14).
Other volcanic units in the Woyla Accretionary Complex are
suggested to be the remnants of volcanic arcs (Tambak Baru,

Parlumpangan) but the absence of collision deformation suggests

an alternative origin as volcanic centres intruded into the complex
which were subsequently broken up by faulting. A reconstruction
of the different depositional and volcanic environments within
the oceanic assemblage of the Woyla Accretionary Complex is
attempted in Fig. 6.16. The environments of the sedimentary
units (Table 6.9) were appraised by Wajzer et al. (1991). Subsequent
oblique subduction beneath the Woyla Accretionary
Complex caused transcurrent faulting, which broke up and
dispersed the component sediment and volcanic units as described
by Wajzer et al. (1991).
The large serpentinite bodies are fragments of the basal harzburgite
layer of the ocean crust which have become detached from
their volcanic and dyke carapaces as a result of their emplacement
across the subduction complex and subsequent strike-slip faulting.
The majority of serpentinite bodies in the Aceh area are of this
type, but others, like the Pasaman Complex (Rock et al. 1983),
and the various serpentinites in the NW corner of the Takengon
Quadrangle (Cameron et al. 1983), are associated with large
limestone outcrops. Such serpentinites may be the remnants of
the foundations of uplifted oceanic plateaus with limestone caps
(Wajzer et al. 1991) which collided with the subduction zone
and were fragmented.
(arc assemblage)
Andesitic volcanics
and volcaniclastic
(Tambak Baru and

Volcanic Units)
(oceanic assemblage)
r ' . . . , . . . . _9
volcaniclastic sediments
and reefs
(Rantobi Sandstone and
Jambu Baru Formations)
beneath the Woyla Nappe
in the mid-Cretaceous
(Belok Gadang with olistostrome
Siltstone (Panglong
Formation) Melange
TRENCH Formation)
(Simarobu I
Turbidite ]
Forr~ation) $
/ (Triassic- mid-Cretaceous)
oceanic lithosphere, ocean floor
and pelagic sediments
(Nabana Volcanic Unit

Pasaman Ultramafic Complex)

Fig. 6.16, Cartoon reconstruction of environments of sediment and volcanic units within the
Woyla Accretionary Complex of the Natal area. Sediment environments are
as interpreted by Wajzer et al. (1991) and in Table 6.9, but do not represent a specific time frame.
Fossil evidence indicates that the Bentaro string of island arcs
began to grow within Meso-Tethys around the Jurassic Oxfordian
stage. Their origin is shrouded in uncertainty, but Barber
(2000) has suggested that they were generated along transform
faults. Their formation may have resembled the origin of the
Izu-Bonin-Mariana island arcs in the Eocene (Stern &
Bloomer 1992). In this model, displacement along translbrm
faults in the Pacific Plate juxtaposed oceanic crust and lithospheres
of different ages, densities and thicknesses, which led to
instability relieved by subduction within the ocean. Subduction
led to volcanism and the growth of volcanoes, forming
an oceanic island arc, which upon emergence above sea-level
became surrounded by fringing reefs.
The presence of at least one generation of island arcs within
the Woyla Oceanic Volcanic Arc Assemblage has been deduced
in NW Sumatra. Other large contemporaneous Tethyan oceanic
island arcs include the Kohistan Arc of northern Pakistan
(Treloar et al. 1996) which grew in the Mid-Cretaceous and the
Spontang Ophiolite of the Ladakh Himalaya (Pedersen et al.
2001). The collision of the Bentaro-Saling Arcs and the associated
oceanic crust carrying the Oceanic Assemblage of the
Woyla Group with the West Sumatra margin of Sundaland
had tectonic effects which reached into Peninsular Malaysia and
beyond. However the Bentaro-Saling Arcs of Sumatra are
relatively small and have not been up-ended compared to the
contemporaneous giant Kohistan Arc of northern Pakistan which

represents a deformed crustal section perhaps 40km thick

(Hamilton 1988).
The debate concerning the nature of the basement of the Bentaro
Island Arc, whether continental (Cameron et al. 1980 and
Pulunggono & Cameron 1984) or oceanic (Wajzer et al. 1991;
Barber 2000), has already been alluded to. The Bentaro Arc was
deformed and metamorphosed at low temperatures as a result of
its forceful collision with the Sumatra margin. To date only a
I%w localities of garnet amphibolite are known believed to be
the exhumed products of subduction metamorphism (see Barber
2000 for details). The simplest explanation is that as a result of
the collision, the arc was detached from its oceanic basement,
ramped onto the Sumatra continent margin, and so overlies thin
continental lithosphere. This is demonstrated by the continent
margin-type mineralogy of the Late Cretaceous (97.7 0.7 Ma)
intrusion of the Younger Complex of the Sikuleh Batholith into
the Bentaro Arc and the subsequent (Late Tertiary?) molybdenum
mineralisation and drainage tin anomalies (Bennett et al. 1981b).
The debate over the oceanic or continental origins of arcs
is complicated by the discovery of a fragment of a continental
arc within the Woyla Oceanic and Accretion Assemblage. In the
Batang Natal section, severely deformed Si Gala Gala Schists
represent volcanics with a more acidic (continental) source than
the intermediate composition volcanics and volcanogenic sedimentary
units of oceanic origin in the assemblage. The intense
deformation in the Si Gala Gala Schists, compared to other
units, may have been the result of a collision of a continental
island arc with the accretionary margin (Wajzer 1986). Alternatively,
and believed to be more likely, the Si Gala Gala Schists
represent a relatively autochthonous fault-sliver of a local
Sumatran volcanic centre, deformed as a result of fault movements.

The intermediate composition Parlampungan Volcanic

Unit is adjacent, and may be related to the Si Gala Gala Schists,
but is not deformed. Wajzer (1986) suggested that it was a fault
sliver transported from the continent margin Sumatra Arc by
strike-slip faulting and became incorporated within the accretionary
complex, but alternatively it is a variably deformed local
volcanic centre with intermediate volcanics differentiated from
oceanic basalts.
In conclusion, the reconnaissance study of the Pre-Tertiary volcanics
of Sumatra has already provided fascinating data assisting
the understanding of the geological evolution of Sumatra.
Further study of the volcanic rocks of Sumatra will lead to a
better understanding of the history of the break-up of Gondwana,
and the rearrangement of crustal blocks during collision and
accretion processes throughout the Permian and the Mesozoic,
with implications far outside Sumatra.
Chapter 7
Tertiary stratigraphy
The purpose of this account is to review the complex terminology of
the Tertiary stratigraphic units in Sumatra and propose a revised and
a simplified terminology based on the significance of formations for
the tectono-stratigraphic development of the island. Formations are
classified in terms of Pre-Rift, Horst and Graben, Transgressive, and
Regressive tectono-stratigraphic stages.
The island of Sumatra lies along the southwestern margin of
the SE Asian continent (Sundaland) beneath which the Indian
Ocean Plate is currently being subducted at a rate of about
7 cm a-1 in the Sunda Trench (Fig. 7.1). The continental margin
of SE Asia is of Andean type, with active and inactive Quaternary
volcanoes rising to over 3000 m above a Pre-Tertiary basement,

exposed towards the west coast of the island in the Barisan

Mountains. Tertiary sedimentary basins occur both to the SW
and the NE of the mountains and small basins also occur within
the mountain range itself. These basins are described with relationship
to the present-day subduction system as forearc, backarc and
intra-arc or intramontane basins (Fig. 7.1 ). The Barisan Mountains
are transected by the Sumatran Fault System, a major dextral
transcurrent fault zone which extends along the length of the
island from the Sunda Strait to the Andaman Sea.
Stratigraphic research in the Tertiary sedimentary basins
commenced in the last decades of the nineteenth century when oil
was discovered in the Telaga Tiga (I 883) and Telaga Said (1885)
wells near Pangkalan Brandan in North Sumatra. Initially, wildcat
drills were sited near oil seeps until systematic surface mapping
commenced in the 1880s. Local stratigraphies in the oilfield areas
were compiled from field outcrops by geologists working for the
Bataafse Petroleum Maatschappij (BPM, now Shell) and the Nederlandsche
Koloniale Petroleum Maatschappij (NKPM, later Stanvac)
(van Bemmelen 1949). Five large and many small oilfields were
discovered in Sumatra before World War II. Since the 1970s
Sumatra has developed into a major oil and gas province. In the
post-war period petroleum exploration has been based largely on
borehole data and seismic reflection profiling. The seismo-stratigraphic
units have generally been correlated with the main stratigraphic
units which had been previously defined on the basis of
outcrop descriptions and borehole data.
A systematic compilation and correlation of the Tertiary stratigraphic
units throughout Sumatra became possible through
the mapping programmes of the Geological Survey of Indonesia
(GSI), by the Geological Research and Development Centre
(GRDC) and the Directorate of Mineral Resources (DMR), in

association with the United States Geological Survey (USGS)

and the British Geological Survey (BGS) carried out during the
1970s and 80s. These programmes were completed in the 1990s
with the publication of forty-one geological map sheets at the
scale of 1:250 000 covering the whole of Sumatra. The maps illustrate
the distribution and extent of the outcrops of the Tertiary stratigraphic
units and each map is accompanied by a booklet giving
detailed lithological descriptions and age constraints for the units
shown on the map. This account is up-dated from a study undertaken
on behalf of the University of London Consortium for Geological
Research in Southeast Asia (de Smet 1992).
Stratigraphic review
The review of the stratigraphic terminology which has been
used over the past hundred years for Tertiary sedimentary and
volcanic units in Sumatra is a formidable task. More than 200 stratigraphic
groups, formations and members have been described
and defined in the Tertiary of Sumatra; the majority of these
names have been introduced as the result of the GSI mapping
programme during the past few decades. Fortunately only about
15% of these names are in common use. Often, the regional
relations of these units are not fully clear due to poor outcrop
conditions and the difference in style of definitions used by the
various research and exploration groups. Many of the units have
been described only from localized areas and were never incorporated
in the regional picture. A further problem is that names,
definitions and classifications have been continually altered or
revised as a result of subsequent work, and because of improvements
in biostratigraphic age dating. Some of the changes in
nomenclature and classification for the backarc, forearc and
intra-arc basins are illustrated in Figures 7.2-7.4. Particular problems
have arisen where units, which were originally described

and defined from field outcrop, have been adopted by oil companies
for time/rock units, defined by reflectors in seismic sections.
During this process, facies variations that originally were regarded
as separate formations on the basis of lithological data in the
field outcrops, were incorporated within a single unit in seismostratigraphy.
The ages of the earliest Tertiary sediments in
Sumatra are generally poorly constrained, as the oldest units are
commonly terrestrial deposits in which body fossils are exceedingly
rare and palynological dating has often proved inconclusive.
The earliest sediments are generally considered to be of Oligocene
to earliest Miocene age, but in the absence of definitive fossil
evidence an Eocene age is not precluded, and has been suggested
in some areas.
During the proliferation of stratigraphic terms for the Tertiary
sediments of Sumatra, attempts have been made to simplify
and rationalize the classification by developing hierarchical stratigraphic
schemes. Oil companies use their own schemes of groups,
formations and members in their concession areas, but these are
rarely used consistently, and cannot be easily extended to cover
broader areas. A scheme of classifying formations into groups
and supergroups was developed during the GSI mapping programme
and is used on the published GRDC maps. The scheme
follows the recommendations of Hedberg (1976) and Whittaker
et al. (1991). Groups are defined in a vertical stratigraphic
sense, incorporating several successive formations, and are confined
to the area of a single basin, while Supergroups link together
units considered to belong to the same tectono-stratigraphic
stage throughout Sumatra. In principle this may be a sound
method of classification, but in practice the scheme was initially
poorly applied, as the Tertiary II Supergroup covers what could
be more sensibly classified as two distinct tectono-stratigraphic

stages, awkwardly designated Supergroups IIa and IIb. The

scheme has not proved sufficiently flexible to incorporate the
flood of new data and continually revised interpretations.
In the present account stratigraphic units are considered only
at the formation level using the stratigraphic terminology given
in Figures 7.2-7.5. Formations are described in terms of the
tectono-stratigraphic stage that they represent in the history of
the backarc, forearc or intra-arc basin in which they occur. Four
distinct tectono-stratigraphic stages have long been recognized
in the Tertiary sediments of the Sumatran backarc basins, and
this scheme may readily be extended to cover the intra-arc
basins within the Barisan Mountains. It may, however, only be
~P 94 ~
"~ SEA
96 ~ 98 ~
-6 ~
................................................... ../. . ~. .... / / /
[ NORTH . . . . . :':/
- - 4~
_2 ~

N "~
_0 o
_ 2 ~ INDIAN
_4 ~
_ 6 ~ ~.
,~ N i A~
0 , < ~ \ s IBERU~T
),N t~
%\ ~"
Sumatran Tertiary basins outlins ~,
Sundaland continental crust
Sumatran Fault System
Subduction zone

M EN TA ~W-#~
\~, a,
"~ ENGG2 \
M'B 1 L 1 N ~
B'A\SI N >.... = ,
0 100 200 300 400 500km
94 = 96 ~ 98 ~ 1 00 ~ 1 02 ~
Fig. 7.1. Structural sketch map of Sumatra showing the Tertiary backarc, forearc and intra-arc
basins and localities mentioned in the text.
/ SEX ,
applied in modified form to the forearc basins, and is only applicable
in the most general way to the forearc islands. The stratigraphic

relations between this scheme and the most commonly

recognized formations in Sumatra are shown in Figures 7.6-7.8.
Pre-Rift stage (Eocene)
Sediments of the Pre-Rift stage are relatively poorly represented
in Sumatra, but are more common elsewhere in Sundaland.
Platform limestones that have been dated as Eocene occur unconformable
on pre-Tertiary basement in Java, Sulawesi and Borneo.
A comprehensive report on these limestones is presented in
Wilson (2002). The units characteristically are distributed along
the margin of the Sundaland pre-Tertiary basement and they
clearly predate the subsequent formation of horst and graben
In the earliest stages of sedimentation on Sumatra, Tertiary
shallow-water continental margin sediments were deposited
directly on the eroded surface of the Sundaland pre-Tertiary basement.
Deposition followed a period of erosion considered to
extend from the latest Cretaceous into the early Tertiary. In the
backarc area these deposits, which include the Tampur and
Meucampli formations (Fig. 7.2), are restricted to the North
Sumatra Basin. In South Sumatra, Eocene Nummulitic limestones
occur on the margins of the Bengkulu Basin (Gafoer &
Purbo-Hadiwidjoyo 1986). In Central Sumatra, no formations
are known from this stage, but their former presence is documented
by reworked clasts of Nummulitic limestones in Early
Tertiary conglomerates and melanges of the outer arc islands
(van Bemmelen 1949; Budhitrisna & Andi Mangga 1990;
Samuel et al. 1997).
The Tampur Limestone of North Sumatra is described by
van Bemmelen (1949), Cameron et al. (1980, 1982a),

~. tu Lignite Zone
t,, Fossiliferous Marl and Sst
'~ Rotalia Sst Fm
~ ~ ~,
o ~ ~ z~O~
ILl ,,,,~
e, nl
Early GDRC
CAMERON et al.
1980, 1983
Present report,
in part adapted from
KIRBY et al. 1989
Julu Rayeu Fm ~ J u l u Rayeu Fm Z
Seureula Seureula Seureula 'r Seureula
Formation Formation Formation 0D9 Formation

Keutapang Formation Keutapang Formation KeutapangF ormation O KeutapangF ormation
Upper Baong Shale Baong Formation [ SecuraiS hale
Middle Baong Sst I Seumpo Sst Mb I
Lower Baong Shale Baong Formation Baong Formation
Peunulin Sst Peunulin Sst a. Peunu|in Sst
~ O Peutu
Robulina Clay Baong Formation
Intervening Sst Seumpo Sst Mb I
Border Clay Baong Fm
Peunulin Sst Peunulin Sst
Black Mudstone
~ ~ " = Formation/ ~ (.9 ~ Formation / .~ ~
Peutu Peutu ~'~ = ~="=E UJ 2= ~ J N~
Formation Formation - ~ _~ %= ~~ ~ ~ ~-~ ~ ~o ~= .~- ~~ =
Belumai :~ ~ E'~ ~ 0 ~ ~ ; z =
Formation "~ = -Mica m ~, < ~=
~ Parapat Parapat Bampo Formation Bampo Formation
Formation Formation Bruksah Formation Bruksah Formation
Reefal Limestones ~ Formation ~ Formation "x...F.ormation ~ ~ ~ and Dolomite
Meucam.pli ~ Meucampli ~ Meucampl l"-~. DN ea: Meucamph~ "'~-~Formation ~ Formation ~ Formation "~ Formation
Fig. 7.2. The development of the stratigraphic terminology for the Tertiary of the North Sumatra
Bennett et al. (1981c) and Rusman Rory (1990). The formation
comprises massive recrystallized limestones and dolomites with
chert nodules. The unit has a basal limestone conglomerate and
includes biocalcarenites and biocalcilutites. Van Bemmelen

(1949) reports corals and coaly plant remains, and algal laminations
may be seen in outcrops in the gorge of the Tampur
River. These limestones were evidently deposited in a sub-littoral
to open marine environment. Due to the absence of age-diagnostic
fossils, the age of the Tampur Formation is poorly constrained, but
is assumed to be of Eocene-Early Oligocene age based on its stratigraphic
position and regional correlation (Bennett et al. 1981c).
The Meucampli Formation crops out extensively in the northwestern
parts of North Sumatra at the northern end of the
Barisan Mountains, where it rests with major unconformity on
the pre-Tertiary basement. The deposits are described by
Bennett et al. (1981a), Cameron et al. (1980, 1983) and Keats
et al. (1981). They comprise interbedded sandstones, siltstones
and shales, with local intercalations of limestone and polymict
and volcanic conglomerates. The sandstones show channeling,
cross-beds and graded beds. The sediments were deposited in
fluvial, coastal and restricted marine environments. Again, the
age of the formation is poorly constrained, but is considered to
be Eocene to Early Oligocene, based on its stratigraphic position.
Equivalent formations are the Semelet and Kieme formations of
Cameron et al. (1980), and Bennett et al. (1981c) distinguish a
marine Meujeumpo Member, consisting of limestones, calcareous
sandstones and shales, defined from the Meujeumpo River.
From the Late Cretaceous to the Early Eocene the area of the
Barisan Mountains formed part of a stable basement, extending
northwards into the North Sumatra Basin and westwards into a
continental shelf in the area of the present forearc basins, with
the shelf margin near the present outer arc islands. Sedimentation
on the margins of Sundaland in the Eocene, including in Sumatra,
is a first indication that the basement was affected by some
regional change in tectonic regime after a long tectonically

stable period. At this time also volcanoes were active in the

Barisan Mountains, represented by the Breueh Volcanic Formation
in the north (Cameron et al. 1980), and the 'Old Andesites'
and Kikim Tufts of van Bemmelen (1949) in the south. Again the
age of these volcanic rocks is poorly constrained.
Horst and Graben Stage (latest Eocene-Oligocene)
In the late Eocene, or earliest Oligocene, continental margin
sedimentation was brought to an end by the development of
horst and graben structures throughout Sundaland. A similar
sequence of events occurred not only in Sumatra, but also in
many other areas, including the Java Sea, the Gulf of Thailand
and the South China Sea (see e.g. Clure 1991 and Morley
2002b). The effect of this process on the landscape and sedimentation
patterns was dramatic. The former Sundaland peneplain
changed into a mountainous landscape with isolated deep, lakefilled
basins in which terrestrial, fluviatile and lacustrine
sediments, derived from the adjacent horsts, were deposited.
Analogous landscapes at the present time include the present
rift valley province in eastern Africa, as described by Morley
(2002a), or the canyonlands of southeast Utah, as described by
Trudgill (2002).
In northern Sumatra marine influences persisted, but elsewhere
the Horst and Graben Stage is represented stratigraphically by
scree, alluvial fans and fluvial sediments that pass laterally into
lake deposits. The sedimentation pattern was fault-controlled.
Alluvial fans and fluvial deposits are sedimentologically immature
and characteristically contain clasts of granite and metamorphic







& NAYOAN 1974
QUNAATREYR " PLCEEISNTEO " i I ! ! ~-~J~" ~ , ~ ~i J~-!- i ! ~
d J ~ p e r Nilo ~ Minas -~ Minas J Minas
Palembang Beds Formation Formation Formation Formation w
,,, Middle Korinci
Palembang Beds Formation
wm Lower
zmm m Palembang Beds
m Formation
g ,,,
Petani Petani Petani
Formation Formation Formation

Telisa Telisa Telisa

Formation F o r m ~
~ Sihapas
~ i ~ ~ I Formation
Bangko Fm ! <
(restr. marine) ~ (with several ~ TransitionF ormation
- ~ ~ members) ~ Menggala
r Formation
Pematang Pematang Brown Shale/ PEMATANG
Formation Formation _Fro_ - / GROUP
Fig. 7.3. The development of the stratigraphic terminology for the Tertiary of the Central
Sumatra Basin.
rock derived from the nearby basement. Lake sediments from this
stage reach thicknesses of several kilometers, often indicating
euxinic bottom conditions, and play a major role as source rocks
in the Sumatran petroleum province.
The age of sediments of the Horst and Graben stage is everywhere
problematic as due to their terrestrial origin, age-diagnostic
fossils are exceedingly rare. Palynological schemes have been
used for stratigraphic correlation (e.g. Morley 1991) but due to
reworking, age-dating based on palynology has often proved
inconclusive. The age of the Horst and Graben sediments is
constrained at a regional scale by underlying Eocene marine
platform limestones and by overlying Early to Mid-Miocene
marine shales. Published stratigraphic schemes show a range in
age for the Horst and Graben deposits from Late Eocene to earliest
Miocene. Age interpretations are rarely supported by biostratigraphic
data other than by the age of the overlying marine
shales. There may also be regional variation in the age of
formation of the grabens but, for reasons mentioned above, this

is difficult to prove. In the present account it is assumed that

graben formation in Sumatra commenced in the latest Eocene
and ceased in the Late Oligocene (Figs 7.6-7.8).
In the North Sumatra Basin the rift sediments comprise the
Bruksah and Bampo formations (Cameron et al. 1980) (Figs 7.2
& 7.6). Graben deposits from North Sumatra form an exception
to the rule that most sediments from the Horst and Graben Stage
are terrestrial in origin. Before the NW displacement of the
forearc area along the Sumatran Fault System, commencing in the
Mid-Miocene, the northern Sumatra area lay along the margin of
Sundaland and subject to marine influences (see Chapter 14). The
Bruksah Formation rests unconformably on the Pre-Tertiary basement
and commences with thick basal breccio-conglomerates,
representing alluvial fans, followed by light to dark grey, micaceous,
poorly sorted quartz sandstone, siltstone and mudstone, with
local green tuffaceous quartz arenite and coarse tuff. Sandstones
are commonly cross-bedded and may contain thin coal stringers
and mussel bands. The Bruksah Formation varies greatly in thickness
and is probably highly diachronous. It is interbedded with,
and overlain by the Bampo Formation, which consists of poorly
bedded, black, pyritic mudstone, locally interbedded with micaceous
and carbonaceous sandstone and siltstone with a sparse
fauna. Limestone nodules are locally abundant and tuffaceous intercalations
also occur. Environmental conditions were ftuviatile,
paralic and restricted marine. Pyritic mudstones indicate that
water circulation to the open ocean was restricted by a barrier
towards the west, allowing the development of euxenic conditions.
In Central Sumatra rift sediments are represented by the
Pematang and Kelesa formations. The Pematang Formation has
sometimes been regarded as a 'Group' and subdivided into formations
(e.g. Williams et al. 1985; Longley et al. 1990; Praptono

et al. 1991), and as a formation it has been divided into a series

of 'Members' (e.g. Lee 1982; Cameron et al. 1983). However
classified, the sediments include a variety of coarse red, green
grey and black breccias and conglomerates, with medium- to finegrained
sandstones, claystones and shales, intercalated with coal
seams. Environments of deposition are mainly continental: scree,
alluvial fan, fluvial and lacustrine with locally euxenic conditions
and minor marine incursions. The euxinic shales have a high
organic content and include the Pematang Brown Shale, which is
considered to be a good petroleum source rock. Deposition was,
at least locally, interrupted by erosion, weathering and soil development,
giving several internal unconformities within the succession.
The Kelesa Formation was defined by De Coster (1974) and is used
in Stanvac publications for the southern lateral extension of the
Pematang Group. It includes a similar range of lithologies to the
Pematang Formation, with the addition of tuffaceous shales, and
in the Bengkalis Trough lacustrine shale with a high organic
GAFOER et al. 1986


o 8 g.
Upper N ~ Kasai Tuff ~ Kasai I
Palembang Beds Palembang Mb ~ Formation r~ Palembang Formation c~
Middle Middle ~~ Blue Mb ] ~ .~ ~ C~
Palembang Beds Palembang Mb ~ ~ ~ %
Middle Muara Enim
Palembang Formation
x~ Brown Mb ~ ,~
Lower _9 Lower ~% Air Benakat ~ Lower Air Benakat
Palembang Beds Palembang Mb e. Sand and Clay ~ Palembang Formation
Telisa Beds
J Limestone
Upper Kikim Tufts
Lower Kikim Tufts |
~"i !i ! ;
.iiii I I ~iii~
Upper Gumai Shale Telisa Gumai
Telisa Mb Fomaation Formation Formation

U Telisa
] WelisaMb N ] Lilnestone Fm | Limestone ]Formation
~ Transition Mb ~.~ ~ _9
Lower .- Talangakar Talangakar
Telisa Mb [2- - - ~~= "~~ ~ Formation Formation
Gritsand Mb ~ ~ ~ m<
. . . . . . ~ Lemat
Tuff-breccia Formation Lahat
Fomaation . . . . . . ~ _ _
"Granite Wash"
i ijii I~,1 i :1i11: Iii
: i ] ] 'I :I~ IKiki KikimTuffs
Fig. 7.4. The development of the straligraphic terminology for the Tertiary of the South Sumatra
content, containing fresh water gastropods and algae. Although lhe
ages of all these sediments are poorly constrained, most publications
suggest a Late Eocene to Early Oligocene age (e.g. Praptono et al.
1991; Heruyono & Villaroel 1989).
In the South Sumatra Basin, rift deposition is represented by
the Lahat and Lemat formations which have much in common
with the Pematang Formation of Central Sumatra. The name
Lahat (Series) was proposed by Musper (1937) and descriptions
are given by Spruyt (1956), De Coster (1974), Hutapea
(1981), Widianto & Muskin (1989), Hartanto et al. ( 1991) and
Simandjuntak et al. (1991). The deposits, which outcrop in the
foothills of the Tigapuluh and Duabelas mountains, include breccias,
conglomerates and well-bedded greenish-grey sandstones,
with volcanic intercalations along the basin margins. In the
central areas of the basin, siltstones with tuffaceous shares are

encountered in boreholes. The deposits rest unconformably on

the basement; conglomerates contain clasts of slate, phyllite,
metasandstone, marble, basalt, andesite and vein quartz derived
from the basement. Environments of deposition range from
scree, alluvial fan and fluviatile to fresh or brackish water lacustrine
in the central parts of the basin. De Coster (1974) used
the Lemat Formation as a synonym of the Lahat Formation. He
distinguishes a coarse clastic member of breccias, conglomerates
and sandstones, and a fine grained Benakat Member, composed
of grey-brown shales, tuffaceous shakes, siltstones and sandstones
with occasional thin coals, irregular carbonate bands and
glauconitic units. Where beds of coarser grained material occur
within finer grained units they are described as 'granite wash',
the erosional product of nearby granites. They are sedimentologically
so immature that outcrops of the transported product
can often hardly be distinguished from the weathered in situ
granite basement. Finer-grained units occur towards the central
parts of the basin and in the upper part of the unit. The ages of
the Lahat and Lemat formations are given as late Mid-Eocene to
Late Oligocene (NP16-NP24) by Sardjono & Sardjito (1989).
For an understanding of the regional stratigraphy it is important
to appreciate that at this stage the Barisan Mountains had not yet
been uplifted and there was no separation between sedimentation
in the backarc and forearc regions. Grabens of the Horst and
Graben Stage cut across the area where the mountains now
stand. The best studied example of one of these grabens is the
Ombilin Basin near Solok in central Sumatra, which was subsequently
uplifted and now forms an intramontane basin within
the Barisans (Fig. 7.1). The Ombilin Basin, now at an elevation
of 500-1100 m above sea level, has a stratigraphy which is
directly comparable to that of grabens of the Central Sumatra

Basin to the East. In the Early to Middle Miocene, however, this

basin was still below sea level and receiving marine sediments
(Ombilin Formation). In the Late Miocene marine deposition
in the basin ceased, indicating that the uplift of the Barisan
Mountains had commenced.
Rift sediments in the Ombilin Basin are represented by the Brani
and Sangkarewang formations. The Brani Formation was defined by
De Haan (1942) from spectacular cliff exposures of red bmccias,
conglomerates and sandstones, to the north of the main Ombilin
Basin near Bukit Tinggi. A less well exposed hypo-stratotype,
showing similar lithologies, was later defined by Koesoemadinata
& Matasak (1981) in the Ombilin Basin. These authors distinguished
two members: the Selo Member with sandstone turbidites
in lacustrine shales, and a Kulampi Member, composed of
upwards fining sequences. The Sangkarewang Formation was also
defined by Koesoemadinata & Matasak (1981) and described as
dark, grey, laminated shales, rich in plant debris, with fine- to
very coarse-grained intercalations of quartz sandstone. The deposits
commonly show convolute bedding and slumping on a large
scale. Again the environments of deposition of the Brani and
AGE e.g. Budhitrisna & e.g. Andi Mangga & e.g. Nas & e.g. Djamal et al. 1994 e.g. Endharto &
Sukido. 1994
Andi Mangga 1990 Burhan, 1994 Supanjono, 1994 Situmorang et al., 1987
QUATER-NARPYLCE EISNTEO " ' . i('= ' rI ' i i' ' ~ :~i = i , I i i i ~~ i I ' I J I~11 i , J i ! [ '~ !
lJj I I ' ' 'i ~ i i ~I I I : ! I =! ~ j ~. . i . I . ~ ~1 l : i ' I i I I i=" !1 i li i 'Il :~

d .a Simatobat Formation unnamed Raparapa Formation Gunungsitoli Formation Sinabang

o z ,~
Kaleo Formation Gunung Bala Formation
Batumonga "'
Saibi / Marepan Sipika Hilihego
~ Maonai Formation : Formation Formation Formation
Formation , I i i I I i
l i Sigala Ultramafic
Complex and
Tarikan Tanahbalah
Melange Melange Metamorphic
with Ultramafics Complex
Formation / Dihit Layabaung
Sst Fm / Sorit Fm
~,~ Ai Manis
Lelematua :4 / Sibigo Sigulai

Formation Z Limestone Formation

Basal breccia? Conglomerate
Melange and ~ Baru / Umu Melange
Ophiolite _9 and Sibau Gabbro
Complex ~ Group
Fig. 7.5. Stratigraphic terminology for the Tertiary of the Sumatran Forearc Islands.
Sangkarewang Formations can be identified as scree, alluvial fan
and lacustrine. Palaeogeographic models for the development of
the basin were prepared by Whateley & Jordan (1989). The provenance
of the sediments in the basin and its origin and structural
development are discussed by Howells (1997a, b). Again, the
ages of the sediments are poorly constrained, in spite of the discovery
of fresh-water fishes in the Sangkarewang Formation; these
proved not to be age specific. Repeated attempts to assign an age
to these well-exposed and well-analysed Ombilin Basin sediments
using palynology have also proved to be inconclusive. However,
they are regarded as of Eocene to Oligocene age.
Sediments of the latest Eocene-Oligocene rift stage are poorly represented
by outcrop in the forearc region of Sumatra. Where present
they are buried beneath deposits of the forearc basins, although the
deeper parts of seismic sections from Meulaboh in the north
(Beaudry & Moore 1985) and Bengkulu in the south (Mulhadiono
& Sukendar Asikin 1989), show a faulted basement, suggesting
that the forearc region was affected by the horst and graben stage
of development in the same way as the rest of the basement.
The deposition of the rift sediments was followed in the Late
Oligocene by a change in the regional tectonic regime in which

an area of predominant uplift, marked by the present Barisan

Mountains, became contrasted with areas of continued sedimentation
in the forearc and backarc basins. The change resulted in
local inversion of graben systems with folding and thrusting of
the rift sediments. Uplift and erosion resulted in a widespread
unconformity when sedimentation recommenced.
Transgressive stage (Late Oligocene-Mid-Miocene)
Following the change in tectonic regime in the Late Oligocene the
whole region underwent regional subsidence in a sag phase, the
effects of which extended well to the east of Sumatra into
Malaysia. At the same time the arc system of Sumatra started
developing and the area of the Barisan Mountains became an
important source of sediments for the forearc and backarc
basins. The rate of subsidence was greater in the backarc area
than in other areas. Initially sedimentation outpaced the rate of
subsidence, with sediments transported over greater distances, so
that the basins were filled with fluvial units which extended well
beyond the margins of the original rift basins to rest unconformably
on the basement horsts.
For the first time in the Tertiary, rivers formed regionally
interconnected systems that transported their sediment load to a
few broad basins. Deltas extending westwards from Malaysia,
and from the present Gulf of Thailand, controlled sedimentation
in Central Sumatra. In North and South Sumatra and close to the
present Barisan range the sources of sediments were more
locally derived, although these sediments also show transport
by river systems. Deltaic deposits may contain coals. Continued
regional subsidence with the reduction of the size of eroding
areas meant that subsidence outran sedimentation leading to
marine transgression. Deposition in Sumatra subsequently
changed to open marine with local deltas and characteristically

with the local growth of reefs. The open marine deposits

provide the oldest well age-dated units in the Tertiary of
Sumatra. Their ages range from late Early to early Mid-Miocene.
From the start of the transgressive stage in the latest Oligocene,
the Barisan Mountains acted as a sediment source. This may not
be obvious from wells drilled in the central parts of the backarc
basins, which mainly show shales for this period, but is reflected
in the fluvial deposits exposed in the foothills of the mountains.
These deposits are sedimentologically too immature to be
derived all the way fi'om Malaysia and they also contain tufts,
reflecting that volcanoes were active in the range. The axis of
eld ~ead~
Start of

tnd first~
and ba(
pRST ,~
BASIN Environment of deposition I lithology I
Terrestrial: Sandstones and shales with volcanics
Coastal: Sandstones with coals and volcanics
Marine: Clays with major intercalations of
Marine: Clays with minor intercalations of ....--~
l Deltaic I .. Reefal
1 sandstones limestones
Terrestrial and deltaic: sheets of fluvial
sandstones with coals
Terrestdal: Allivial fans and lake deposits
tn North Sumatra Basin Area: restricted marine
Start (
:inal sta

In North Sumatra Basin Area: Carbonate platform

and deltaic
Fig. 7.6. Generalized tectono-stratigraphy of {he Tertiary in the backarc basins of Sumatra. The
diagram is highly simplified as most units interfinger and most boundaries
are diachronous.
the mountain range remained an eroding area in the latest
Oligocene, while the adjacent basinal areas were subsiding. It
demonstrates that the structural separation between forearc
basins, volcanic arc and backarc basins was in development.
The influence of the Barisan Range as a sediment source area to
the forearc and backarc basins was further reduced until the
Mid-Miocene and remained small until the Late Miocene. This
is because regional transgression initially outran the uplift of the
mountain range. In the Middle Miocene only some volcanic
peaks of the High Barisan were still above sea level while small
deltas and reefs accumulated in the adjacent forearc and backarc
areas (Figs 7.6 & 7.7).
In the North Sumatra Basin, the extensive fluvial sediments
from the early Transgressive Stage are represented by basal
members of the Peutu Formation, in the Central Sumatra Basin
by the Lower Sihapas and Menggala formations and in the
South Sumatra Basin by the Talangakar Formation (Fig. 7.6).
The marine sediments of the late Transgressive Stage are represented
in the North Sumatra Basin by the Peutu Formation,
the Belumai Formation and various reefal limestone units, in the
Central Sumatra Basin by the Telisa Formation and the upper
Sihapas Formation, and in the South Sumatra Basin by the
Gumai Formation and Baturaja Limestones (Fig. 7.6).
The Peutu Formation, comprising a wide range of lithological
units of Early Miocene to earliest Middle Miocene age, was
defined by Cameron et al. (1980) in the North Sumatra Basin.

In the foothills of the Barisan Mountains the basal members

are thick sandstone units of fluvial or shallow marine origin,
while those in the upper part of the unit were deposited in a
coastal to open marine environment. Cameron et al. (1980) interpreted
the basal sandstones as a marginal facies to the marine
members of the Peutu Formation. However, in this account the
basal units are taken to correspond to the extensive fluvial sands
of latest Oligocene age which form the oldest transgressive units
in the Central and South Sumatra Basins. The upper parts of
the Peutu Formation are described by Cameron et al. (1980) as
grey, calcareous and locally highly fossiliferous mudstones,
often carbonaceous, and occasionally intercalated with thin limestones,
turbiditic siltstones and fine sandstones. Several reefal
limestone members are incorporated in the Peutu Formation: the
Arun, Lho Sukon and Telaga Limestones. These limestones are
of Early to Mid-Miocene age and contain an abundant fauna of
corals and foraminifera and an algal flora. The limestones
formed as reef build-ups on a series of NW-SE-trending
en-echelon highs within the basin. Reef, near-reef and lagoonal
facies have been described (Abdullah & Jordan 1987). These
reefal limestones constitute the main gas reservoirs in northern
Sumatra. Where sandstones are predominant in the Peutu
Formation, Cameron et al. (1980) defined the sediments as the
Belumai Formation, consisting of fine- to medium-grained
sandstones, often glauconitic and sometimes carbonaceous, and
shales, intercalated with reefal limestones, calcarenites and
calcilutites which interfinger with the Peutu Formation and its
limestone members.
In the Central Sumatra Basin sediments of the Sihapas Group
were originally described from outcrops in the eastern foothills
of the Barisan Mountains where the group was divided into

several formations (see Fig. 7.3). The lower formations consist

of thick fluvial sandstones with varying amounts of intercalated
shales. They include the Lakat Formation (or Lower Sihapas),
which was defined by De Coster (1974) and the Menggala
Formation, defined by Mertosono & Nayoan (1974). The sediments
are fine- to coarse-grained sandstones with pebble conglomerates,
local tuffaceous and coal horizons and subordinate
d .a
Emergence of Baris;
Mountains leads tc
increasing clastic inl:
__Maxim um

Submergence of Bari~
Mountains and of Mala
Shield leads to reductio
clastic input
Start of regional sa(
and first differentiatio 1 between 8arisan
Mountains and forear
and backarc basins
Start of faulting
Final stage of stable
Fig. 7.7. Generalized tectono-stratigraphy of the Tertiary in the Barisan Mountains.
FOOTHILLS Environment of deposition I lithology /
Major volcanism in High Barisan,
Fast uplift and erosion
Upwards increasing influx from High Barisan
Major volcanism and first extensive emergence
of High Barisan
Marine clays deposition in most areas.
Only in the High Barisan small eroding islands

Slow subsidence and drowning. Local reef
Upwards decreasing influx from High Barisan.
Volcanism and erosion in High Barisan,
Fluvial sedimentation in wide basement
Local graben fills with terrestrial sedimentation,
Erosion / non-deposition in most areas.
Erosion / non-deposition
shales of fluvial to deltaic origin. The upper part of the Sihapas
Group is dominated by marine sediments and is followed by
monotonous brownish-grey and calcareous shales, thin glauconitic
sandstones, siltstones and limestones of the Telisa Formation,
deposited in an open marine environment, marking the
maximum transgression (De Coster 1974; Cameron et al. 1983;
Praptono et al. 1991).
Seismic exploration in the centre of the Central Sumatra Basin
later revealed that the upper Sihapas Group represented a delta
and a braided river system. During this period the outlet towards
the northeast was blocked by the Asahan Arch (Fig. 7.1) so that
the area of the Central Sumatra Basin was occupied by the apex
of a braided river system which carried sediments from the
Malaysian Shield southwards across the Central Sumatra Basin
into the South Sumatra Basin (Mertosono & Nayoan 1974;
Wongsosantiko 1976; Heruyono & Villaroel 1989). Although
these sediments have a completely different source from those
of the type locality in the Barisan foothills, the stratigraphic
nomenclature established in the Barisans was imposed on the
remainder of the sediments of the Central Sumatra Basin. The
sandstones of the Sihapas Group form the main reservoir horizons

in the Central Sumatra Basin. The time equivalent Bangko Formation

(Eubank & Makki 1981) is composed of marine shales.
Marine shales of the Early to early Mid-Miocene Telisa Formation
also overlie the Sihapas Group. This unit has a regional distribution
over the entire Central Sumatra Basin and represents
further marine transgression, with the reduction of the sedimentary
source areas.
In the South Sumatra Basin the Talangakar Formation corresponds
to the Sihapas Group. Here sandstone units are thinner
and finer grained, and alternate with claystones (Spruyt 1956).
The rocks are described as greyish-brown channel sandstones,
siltstones and shales, grading basinwards into light brown
carbonaceous shales with coal seams. The sandstones range
from conglomeratic to very fine, are compact, slightly micaceous
and include yellowish white tuffaceous layers. Pyrite, quantities of
silicified wood and molluscs occur at some horizons. 'Granite
washes' and sandstone turbidites, which provide good reservoirs
for oil and gas, are particular characteristic of the Talangakar
Formation. Environments of deposition range from fluvial and
lacustrine to lagoonal and shallow marine. The source areas for
these sediments lay in the Barisan, Tigapuluh and the Duabelas
In the South Sumatra Basin the Talangakar Formation is followed
by the Gumai (Tobler 1906; Spruyt 1956) and Baturaja
(Musper 1937) formations. The Gumai Formation comprises a
monotonous series of foraminifer-bearing grey shales and siltstones
with thin intercalations of fine grained glauconitic sandstone
and siltstone, and lenses of tuft'. Glauconitic sandstones
and tufts become more important towards the Barisan Mountains.
The Baturaja Formation is a thick and extensive platform
limestone with local carbonate banks situated above basement

highs. The platform limestones are glauconitic packstones and

wackestones and contain thin shales. The carbonate build-ups
are composed of skeletal packstones and coral-algal boundstones.
These limestones extend eastwards into Java and the oilfields of
the Java Sea. Distally the massive limestones pass into limestone
beds intercalated with open marine shales.
Within the Barisan Mountains, in the Ombilin Basin, the
fluvial units are the Sawahlunto and Sawahtambang formations
(Koesoemadinata & Matasak 1981). Breccio-conglomerates are
developed where these units rests directly on the basement. The
Sawahlunto Formation consists mainly of channeled sandstones,
siltstones and shales, with interbedded coal seams up to 16 m
thick. Environments of deposition range from alluvial fans,
to meandering rivers with coal swamps (Koning & Aulia 1985;
lithology /
STAGES comments
PLE1STO : ' ' .';"~, "=;.=z~,.;-=.'~,.'~..-~. . . . . . . . . . ,, , ,,,, , ' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5 I REGRESSIVE 1UJ.LL-'eL~"':~'r~,',-z=-'""='='r f'~r';.~r'~'ie"t~'~aC ~ theBarisanUountains I
a. [ ] STAGE ~ t s ~ / s it -~'.."-Lu:_q t ................ 7, "'''~-" /
Emer ence of Barisan ~ / d U I I l l LI I t ' f f t l
[ m ] M- Jgn~taino t . . . . . . :...-v::-=::...'7::..-v::.-v::7..:.:,:.:,:,:.:.:.~:::~:~:.YC~,tabakli l t i l l I
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shelfalse.q,ences. ]
f' I ""~;'" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ . . . . . . . . . ~ N-" -*,1",'-'.'.,." tJ I I I 1 : [ I [I [ [ cry Oeep manne
enwronmems in some areas_ I
tu ~ ~ " " ~ " ~ " ' - " ~ ' " ' " . ' - ' . ' . ' , ' , ' . ' - ' , W s c o u e n c e s ~.'sequellces ,'1",'.','.'." "4 I I I
o f - I - - - I Transgression [ , . - - . . . - - . . - - t ~ - ~ - ~ : . . - - . - - . , ~ ~ ~ l lltIItllllll I
m ] ~ I - - = & : : . ~ ~ - r, ,v~. ~._.Telisa/Gumai] ] ]
I I ~ ~ . u 2 ~ ~..:::::::':::::::.:...-~. ~ro~ o,~on~e ~a.o~saod ~s
] TRANSGRESS VE , ' : . ~ . ~ . ~ ~ ~ , ~ 1= :.:-:.'.'.'.'*',','.:.:,:.:,1 during transgressive stage
I STAGE =. -.-. ............................. . . . . . "--"" na su 1 ~..,....... . .S. .e.b lat / ' . ' . ' . ' ] ~ , Submergence of Barisan " ' ~ ' : * ' ~ ' / ~ : ' : ' : ' : " B a s a i C]astics":':':':-'~-":~:::::"-:':':" E
uen' -':::-'":::[
I ~ [ Mountains and of Malayan i I t t l l l l t t l l l l l l l l l l l : " : ' : ' : . . : . . . . : . . ' : : ' : ' : ' : ' : t .
" : ' : ' . " : O : ' : ' : ' : barus :':':':':1 I
I ,,', i Sh,eld leads to reduction of ] I I l t l l l l l l l l l l l l l l t r r t 1 r Erosion / non-deposition in
much of the forearc area, I
I I clastic input ' ' ' ',--' " !' ' '," ' I I I I I II I I I ~ . / It111I I I FI ] h l ' ; . ~ . ' . ' . ' . ' . ' - ' - ' . " 4 nf
ux of c astics from proto-Bar san MOL ntains
I Ii v~,sio./ I IIIllllll, Lros~o~, I lllll ~r
I non de- p~itionllllllllll! non-depositio~: It111I ~.Seblat/t.oserXz~'~
[ "/ lit i1[ llil[[ I[[[il "" . . . . . . . . . . . . :t
Start of regional sag ~ , f , , '., ' ' " v ,., ,., ~., ~. [ I and first differentiat,on i It I,~ ~ ". I
betweenBarisan !------~,J... I I I I IlllllrTPr-re_.2.ql "'"r-.'.,'~ "." "." "- ,'1 I Ememenceof }
Z [ [ ]Mountainsandforearc| i ~ - I ['1 | "~" "-'4L2., [ forearc slands9 [
0 ,~ I STAGE , _9 I :::':.;" :":":" [ I ' " ' .ro..,o,,; Metange formation in
'" [ ultrabasic rocks I I ~:'/':':1111 , non-deposition ] l l l forearc islands area
wm PRE RIFT ~ [ t ~ t~ ~ I t: Tampur Lst / i Carbonate platform
tu - r " _9 o ~ ~ .r ~ | ~ : Nummuh. t c s Es,t .':.; deposi t ion, in forearc
" u ~ . , 0 Final stage of stable ~ ~ . J _ ~ ~ ~1 ~ 1-1-r-tq-!3-~ / r -t- basin area / Slm0metl Ssts'

Fig. 7.8. Generalized t e c l o n o - s t r a t i g r a p h y o f the Tertiary in the f o r e a r c a r e a o f

Whateley & Jordan 1989; Situmorang et al. 1991; Howells 1997a,
b). Sections in opencast coal pits show listric growth faults,
indicating that the area was undergoing extension during
deposition of this unit.
The overlying Sawahtambang Formation consists predominantly
of thick sandstone units which are channelled and crossbedded
on a large scale, with interbedded tufts and thin coal
seams. The deposits extend beyond the limits of deposition
of the underlying Sawahlunto Formation to rest directly on
Pre-Tertiary basement. Basal breccio-conglomerates are composed
of clasts of basement lithologies. Howells ( 1997a, b) recognizes
local mismatches between clasts in the basal breccias and
the immediately adjacent basement lithologies for the lower
units of the sequence, indicating that strike-slip movement along
strands of the Sumatran Fault System had occurred between
the deposition of the lower and upper units. These deposits are
interpreted as the products of a braided river system flowing
across the area from the west (Whateley & Jordan 1989). Continued
transgression of the Barisan Mountains led to further reduction
of eroding areas and deposition of the monotonous open marine
shales of the Ombilin Formation. The shales are dark grey,
rich in foraminifers and contain thin intercalations of glauconitic
sandstone. Locally a reef limestone with corals and algae, some
150 m thick, is developed over an area of several kilometres.
The Ombilin Formation is dated as Early Miocene.
In the western foothills of the Barisan Mountains, the area of
the forearc basins and the outer arc islands, the Late Oligocene
to Early Miocene transgressive phase is represented by a variety
of formations composed of conglomerates and sandstones which

rest unconformably either on basement or on older Tertiary

deposits. These include the Loser and equivalent Sibolga formations
(Cameron et al. 1980) in the north, the Seblat Formation
(Kusnama et al. 1993b) in Bengkulu to the south, the Barus
Formation at Sibolga and the Kueh in the north, the 'Basal
Clastic Unit' in offshore boreholes (Rose 1983) and the Pinang
Conglomerate (Situmorang et al. 1987) in the outer arc island of
Simeulue. In the forearc basins and the forearc islands unnamed
turbidites and shelfal sequences, including several carbonate
units were deposited at the time of maximum transgression on
the mainland (Fig. 7.8).
Maximum transgression (Mid-Miocene)
The maximum transgression of Sumatra in the Mid-Miocene is
not distinguished here as a distinct tectono-stratigraphic stage,
but this term is often used to indicate formations of maximum
marine shale deposition and minimum clastic influx. In the
maximum transgressive phase, subsidence outpaced sedimentation
and the sea gained access to almost the whole area.
Source areas in the Malayan shield were much reduced in size
and relief and the Barisans were almost completely drowned,
with the development of coral reefs in the Ombilin Basin. Eventually,
even the reefal build-ups of the Arun, basal Telisa and
Baturaja had been drowned and were sealed by marine shales of
the Peutu, Baong, Telisa and Gumai formations. Many of these
reels have become important reservoirs for oil and gas.
In the North Sumatra Basin the Peutu and Belumai formations
are overlain by the Baong Formation (Cameron et al. 1980;
Caughey & Wahyudi 1993). The Baong Formation, of MidLate Miocene age (N8-16), consists of a great thickness (7002500 m) of grey mudstones with thin muddy limestones, locally
fossiliferous, with sandstone intercalations. Along the western

margin of the basin the sands are derived from the Barisans.
In the central part of the basin the Baong consists almost entirely
of shale with one significant sandstone incursion, from the
Malacca Platform to the east. This sandstone is of N12-14
(Mid-Miocene) age and has been called the 'Middle Baong
Sand' in this area. In seismic sections it is tbllowed by a regional
unconformity. In the southern part of the North Sumatra Basin
sandstone intercalations have also been called the Middle Baong
Sandstones (Cameron et al. 1980). Here the sands fill incised
valleys and are considered to have been derived fi'om the south
(Syafrin 1995). In the subcrop of basinal areas the Baong shales
are frequently overpressured, and locally, in the crests of anticlines,
intrude the overlying Keutapang Formation diapirically,
and erupt at the surface as mud volcanoes. Keats et al. (1981)
estimated that a very rapid rate of deposition, of the order of
0.45 mm a-~, with the retention of fluids, was responsible for
the development of the overpressure. The Baong shales form a seal
to many of the oil and gas reservoirs in the North Sumatra Basin.
In North Sumatra the transition from marine transgression to
regression was originally interpreted to have occurred at a later
time than in other areas of Sumatra. In the account of Cameron
et al. (1980) the open marine Baong Formation was considered
to represent transgression into the Late Miocene. However,
Kirby et al. (1989) showed that the Middle Baong Sandstones
(or Seumpo Sandstones) can seismically be correlated with the
basal part of the Keutapang Formation at a more regional scale.
The Lower Baong of Cameron et al. (1980) is therefore time
equivalent to the upper parts of the Ombilin, Telisa and Gumai
formations of Central and South Sumatra. The Middle Baong
Sandstones and the Upper Baong Shale of Mulhadiono et al.

(1978, 1982), together with the Securai Shale of Kirby et al.

(1989) are all part of the Regressive Stage and for reasons of
regional stratigraphic consistency should be considered part of
the regressive Keutapang Formation. The amended stratigraphy
is shown in Figures 7.2 & 7.6. This interpretation is not universally
accepted, and may be appropriate only for the area studied by
Kirby et al. (1989).
Regressive stage (Mid-Miocene-Present)
in the Mid-Miocene, regional sag in Sumatra slowed down. While
the forearc and backarc basins continued to subside, the Barisan
Mountains emerged and became an important source of sediments.
In the backarc basins from the late Mid-Miocene onwards turbiditic
sandstones become an increasing component in the deep water
formations. These turbiditic formations include the Seumpo, the
Upper Baong and Keutapang of Cameron et al. (1980) in the
North Sumatra Basin, the Binio (De Coster 1974) and Lower
Petani (Mertosono & Nayoan 1974) in the Central Sumatra
Basin, the Airbenakat (Spruyt 1956) in the South Sumatra Basin
and unnamed turbidite sequences in the forearc area.
A provenance study using heavy mineral suites by Morton et al.
(1994) in the North Sumatra Basin shows that there was a major
change in the source of clastic sediments in the Mid-Miocene
from a granitic terrain to the east or SE in the area of the
Asahan Arch and the Malay Peninsula, to the area of the Barisans
to the west or SW, composed of pelitic rocks intruded by granites
and volcanics, which was undergoing tropical lateritic weathering
(diaspore). By the Mid-Miocene the Barisans had been uplifted
and were in a position to act as a sediment source for the North
Sumatra Basin.
By the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene these deposits had
passed upwards into shallow marine, sublittoral and deltaic sediments:

the Seureula Formation (Cameron et al. 1980) in the

North Sumatra Basin, the Korinci (De Coster 1974) and Upper
Petani (Mertosono & Nayoan 1974) in the Central Sumatra
Basin and the Muaraenim Formation (Spruyt 1956) in the South
Sumatra Basin (Fig. 7.6). By Late Pliocene the dominant deposits
are terrestrial sands and clays with abundant volcanic debris:
the Julu Rayeu Formation (Cameron et al. 1980) in the North
Sumatra Basin, the Nilo (De Coster 1974) and the Minas
(Cameron et al. 1980) formations in the Central Sumatra Basin
and the Kasai (Spruyt 1956) in the South Sumatra Basin (Fig. 7.6).
The climax of uplift and erosion of the Barisans occurred in
the Late Pliocene and was accompanied by intense volcanism.
This event coincided with inversion tectonics in the backarc area
leading to the development of many structures which are now
oil-bearing. These vertical movements were associated with
small displacements along strike slip faults, parallel to the main
Sumatran Fault trend and locally transecting anticlinal crests and
displacing oil field structures (e.g. Minas and Petani Fields in
Central Sumatra--Eubank & Makki 1981). Quaternary deposits
rest unconformably on the eroded surfaces of these structures
and consist of coarse conglomerates derived from the Barisan
Mountains with a high proportion of volcanic debris in the neighbourhood
of the Recent volcanoes, passing into fluvial deposits
away from the motmtains and swamp deposits to the east along
the shores of the Malacca Strait and the Java Sea.
Offshore in the forearc basins, subsidence has continued to the
present day, with deep sea clays and turbidites in the central
parts of the basins and prograding shelfal sequences, with abundant
volcanic debris, building out westwards into the basins
from the Sumatran mainland (Beaudry & Moore 1985). In the outer
arc islands deep water turbidite sequences, e.g. the Lelematua

Formation (Djamal et al. 1994) of Nias are followed by shallow

water deposits, often with carbonates, in the Late Miocene to
Early Pliocene, as in the Gomo Formation of the same island
(Djamal et al. 1994; Samuel et al. 1997). Deposition was followed
by deformation, inversion and emergence with erosion in the
Late Pliocene (Samuel et al. 1997). The Tertiary deposits as
well as the uplifted we-Tertiary basement are overlain unconformably
by uplifted Pleistocene coral reefs (e.g. Gunungsitoli
Formation of Nias). Successive reef terraces in some parts of the
outer arc islands contrast with drowned coastlines in other area
(e.g. the east coast of Siberut), indicating that both uplift and
subsidence are affecting the outer arc islands at the present day.
The pre-Tertiary basement of Sundaland extends to the west across
the present forearc as far as the outer arc islands to the west of
Smnatra as indicated by metamorphic rocks in Tanahbala (Nas
& Supandjono 1994). During the Late Cretaceous the whole of
the Sumatran basement was exposed to erosion. In the Eocene at
least parts of this basement was covered by shallow seas in
which platform carbonates were deposited, represented by the
Tampur Limestone in northern Sumatra, Nummulitic limestones
near Benkulu in southern Sumatra, and clasts of these limestones
in found in conglomerates in the outer arc islands.
In the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene the basement, as in much of
Sundaland, was subject to extension, forming a pattern of horst and
graben which controlled stratigraphic development, with
sedimentation in isolated rift basins derived from the erosion of
the intervening horsts. These rifts extended across the area of the
present Barisan Mountains (Ombilin Basin) into the forearc region
(e.g. Bengkulu). This same history is evident throughout much of
Southeast Asia with the development of rift basins in the Sunda

Shelf, Borneo, the Malay and Gulf of Thailand Basins (Longley

1997) and extending into northern Thailand (Polachan et al. 1991).
This regional extension coincided with the collision of India with
the southern margin of the Asian continent and has been attributed
to the extrusion and rotation of continental blocks to the southeast
of the site of collision (Tapponnier et al. 1982).
During the Horst and Graben Stage deposition in Sumatra
was characterised by sediment transport over short distances,
while subsidence in the grabens was faster than sediment input,
leading to the accumulation of thick organic-rich lake deposits
with sedimentologically immature sediments along the lake shorelines.
In Sumatra this localized distribution of the sediments in the
rift stage is reflected in a localized stratigraphic nomenclature.
Although the thick euxinic lake deposits and paralic deposits in
the grabens play an important role in the petroleum geology of
the backarc basins, the grabens themselves preceded the origin
of the basins as a whole.
In the latest Oligocene there was a major change in the regional
geography. Regional sediment source areas and broad depositional
areas replaced the former horst and graben landscape. In
addition to the source area to the north, in the Malayan Shield,
the Barisans provided one of the sediment sources. The conclusion
is supported by the significant amount of volcaniclastic
material in the latest Oligocene sediments and by the occurrence
of sedimentologically immature deposits of this age in the foothills
of the Barisan Mountains. The stratigraphy reflects the
development of wider basins that extended across both grabens
and horsts alike, and interconnected river systems that transported
sediments from larger and more distant source areas. The thick
overburden of younger sediments in the backarc basins induced

maturity in organic material in petroleum source rocks within

the grabens, and provided the sands and limestones which
constitute the main reservoir horizons for oil and gas. Again,
similar environments extended throughout Southeast Asia
(Longley 1997).
The conclusion that the Barisan Mountains commenced their
development as a major structural element in the latest Oligocene
is at variance with much of the literature emanating from the petroleum
industry. It is considered that the Mid-Miocene turbidite
formations represent the first significant influx of sediments
into the backarc basins from the Barisan Mountains, the major
influx occurring during the Pliocene. There is no contradiction,
however, between these two interpretations. In the Late Oligocene
the Barisan Mountains were still restricted in height and extent.
Following the transgression in the Early to Mid-Miocene the
emergent peaks became even more restricted. The major MidMiocene to Pliocene sediment influx from the mountains into
the backarc basins was due to the further growth and re-emergence
of the Barisans during the regressive period, rather than to their
first appearance.
Transgression during the latest Oligocene and Early Miocene
was the consequence of regional sag, not only in the area of
Sumatra but throughout much of Sundaland (e.g. in the Gulf of
Thailand). In Sumatra the forearc and backarc basins deepened
and the early Barisan Mountains were almost submerged.
From the Mid-Miocene onwards uplift of the Barisan Mountains
and the forearc island area was faster than the continuing regional
sag which caused further subsidence along the axes of the backarc
and forearc basins and also in the Gulf of Thailand. These movements
coincide with the inversion of basin sediments during
the Miocene, and continue through the Plio-Pleistocene, with the

re-activation of faults, the folding of basin sediments and the

development of unconformities in the sequence. These movements
may be related to variations in the angle and rate of convergence in
the Sumatran subduction system, leading to extension or compression
in the backarc (Cameron et al. 1980). They also coincide
with activity of the Sumatran Fault System in the Miocene and
continued transtensional and transpressional movements along it
from then until the present day. Similar inversions in other parts
of SE Asia have been attributed to the rotation of Borneo (Hall
2002) or the far field effects of collisions in Eastern Indonesia.
The extent to which sedimentation in the Tertiary Basins of
Sumatra has been influenced by the development of Sumatran
Fault System is not fully understood. The Fault System is
connected to the spreading centre in the Andaman Sea to the
north, across which 460 km of displacement is considered to
have taken place (Curray et al. 1979), and to pull apart structures
in the Sunda Strait in the south, along which only minor displacements
of the order of 10 km have occurred (Malod et al. 1996).
Direct measurement of displacement across the fault in Sumatra
has proved difficult as most stratigraphic units trend parallel to
the fault trace. Possible offsets of 45 km on the basis of the displacement
of Permian granites (Hahn & Weber 1981a) and of
up to 100 km from displacement of Tertiary basins (Beaudry &
Moore 1985) have been postulated for various strands of the
fault. It is probable that movement along the fault system have
been taking place continuously at least since the Mid-Miocene
(14-11 Ma) when spreading in the Andaman Sea is considered
to have commenced (Curray et al. 1979). Presumably, movements
along various parts of the fault system have continued from the
time of initiation of the fault system until the present day.
Recent movements are shown by displacement of Recent

volcanics (Posavec et al. 1973), by the offset of stream courses

(Katili & Hehuwat 1967), by continued seismic activity, by displacement
of recent sediments along the fault trace (Sieh et al. 1994)
and by GPS measurements (McCaffrey 1996; Sieh & Natawidjaja
2000). The difference in relative displacement at either end of
the fault system shows that the forearc area was stretched over
time and not displaced as a rigid block. Displacement increases
progressively northwards and is considered to have occurred by
cumulative strike-slip movements along a fault system oriented
in a SSE-NNW direction throughout the forearc region (Curray
1989; McCaffrey 1996).
In this account it is presumed that the origin of the Sumatran
Fault Zone coincided with the development of Barisan Mountains
and the backarc and forearc basins in the Late Oligocene. All these
regional structures have a NNW-SSE trend and are overprinted
over horst and graben structures that have a more north-south
trend. The Barisan Mountains acted as a sediment source area
from the latest Oligocene onwards and therefore it is presumed
that transcurrent movements along the Sumatran Fault trend
started at about the same time. A latest Oligocene age for first
movements along the fault system does not conflict with a MidMiocene age of spreading in the Andaman Sea as documented
by Curray et al. (1979) because extension with movement along
the fault traces in that area may have occurred long before the first
ocean floor spreading. The reconstruction suggests that the forearc
region has extended some 460 km northwestward, relative to the
rest of Sumatra, over the last 25 Ma and that the rate of extension
has been at a uniform rate of about 1.8 cm aThere is an obvious anomaly in North Sumatra in that during
the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene the Barisans was an area of
eroding terranes and shallow water facies, while deep-water

marine facies prevailed in the central parts of the North Sumatra

Basin. It appears that there was no landmass immediately to the
SW of the North Sumatra Basin which could provide a source
area. Evidently the Barisan area was only moved into its present position
relative to the north Sumatra Basin to provide a sediment source
after the Middle Miocene. On the other hand thick Early Miocene
sandstones in the Central and South Sumatra Basins indicate that
at that time the Barisan source area lay much further south.
In their provenance study of the Keutapang Formation in the
North Sumatra Basin Morton et al. (1994) found that the sediments
were derived from the west or the SW. Evidently the Barisans
were uplifted and in a position to act as a source for the North
Sumatra Basin by Middle Miocene times. They also found that
chrome spinel was abundant in the lower part of the Keutapang
Formation, but rare in the upper Keutapang. This spinel must
have been derived from an ophiolitic terrain, but there is no
such terrain in a suitable position at the present time. The
Pasaman ophiolite is too far south, and the northern Aceh
ophiolites are too far north. Either the ophiolite which supplied
spinel to the lower Keutapang Formation has been removed completely
by erosion, or it has been moved northwards since the
Middle Miocene by dextral movements of the order of 100 km
along the Sumatran Fault System (Morton et al. 1994).
The removal of the displacement on the Sumatran Fault System
gives the southwestern continental margin of Sundaland a much
smoother outline in the Early Oligocene and Eocene. At that
time the North Sumatra Basin and its rifted grabens lay along
continental margin, rather than within the continent. With the
north Sumatra basin in this position it becomes clear why this
is the only backarc basin that contains Eocene shallow marine

continental margin deposits, including platform limestones.

Important conclusions derived from this stratigraphic analysis
are: the Sundaland pre-Tertiary basement extends across the
area of the forearc basins to the Sumatran offshore islands; the
Barisan Mountains first emerge as a structural element providing
a source area for clastic sediment in the latest Oligocene, and
not in the Middle Miocene as many authors have supposed.
Taking into account the dextral movements along the Sumatran
Fault System, replacing the displaced forearc and the southwestern
segment of the Barisans, simplifies the outline of the Sundaland
Margin and accounts for the occurrence of marine sediments in
the early stages of the development of the North Sumatra Basin
in their original positions (see Fig. 14.18a).
Chapter 8
Tertiary volcanicity
The Centenary of the Netherlands Indies Geological Survey was
commemorated by the publication of a synthesis of the geology
of Indonesia by van Bemmelen (1949). In his account of the
geology of Sumatra van Bemmelen (1949) described three
distinct, but continuous, cycles of volcanic activity during the
Tertiary and Quaternary: Old Neogene (Late Oligocene-MidMiocene); Young Neogene (Mid-Miocene-early in the Quaternary);
and Young Quaternary. The first cycle began with the 'Old
Andesites', and ended with the Mid-Miocene uplift of the
Barisan Mountains. The second cycle commenced with the eruption
of basic igneous products and concluded with an acidic
phase which coincided with a second episode of uplift of the
Barisan Mountains.
Subsequently, knowledge of the Tertiary volcanic rocks in
Sumatra has been refined as the result of programmes of geological

mapping in the early 1970s by the Geological Survey of

Indonesia and the United States Geological Survey, and between
1975 and the mid-1990s by the Geological Research and Development
Centre, the Directorate of Mineral Resources and the British
Geological Survey. Exploration by oil and mineral companies has
also provided data concerning the distribution of Tertiary plutonic
rocks in the Pre-Tertiary basement and in the Tertiary sedimentary
basins, of volcanic units interbedded with sediments. Further contributions
to the understanding of Tertiary volcanicity in Sumatra
and its forearc islands have been made by academic researchers
and post-graduate students from the Institute of Technology,
Bandung and the University of London, in collaboration with
the Geological Research and Development Centre, LIPI and
LEMIGAS, and the British Geological Survey.
Most of the Tertiary volcanic and volcaniclastic formations
in Sumatra are identified on the Geological Maps published
by the Geological Research and Development Centre and are
described in tables in the Explanatory Notes which accompany
the maps. A summary of the volcanic units in Northern Sumatra,
with brief descriptions, were given by Cameron et al. (1980),
while Rock et al. (1982) described their petrology and chemistry.
McCourt et al. (1993) and Kusnama et al. (1993a) summarized
the stratigraphy of Southern Sumatra, including the volcanic units.
Rock et al. (1982) distinguished at least four climaxes of volcanism
in the Tertiary of Northern Sumatra: Palaeogene (possibly
Eo-Oligocene); Late Oligocene-Early Miocene; Early MidMiocene; and Mid-Late Miocene. In the present account Tertiary
volcanic episodes and phases recognized in the whole of Sumatra
occurred during the Palaeocene; Late Mid-Eocene; Late EoceneLate Oligocene (Late Eocene-Early Oligocene and Late OligoceneEarly Miocene phases); Late Early Miocene-Mid-Miocene (Late

Early Miocene and Mid-Miocene phases); and Late MiocenePliocene. The relationship between volcanic episodes and phases
and the stratigraphic succession in Sumatra is illustrated in
Figure 8.1, which is based on the stratigraphy and terminology
proposed by De Smet & Barber in Chapter 7.
Radiometric dating of volcanism and plutonism
in Sumatra
Bellon et al. (2004) report nearly 80 4~176 age dates of the
volcanics and associated intrusives, for the period 65-0 Ma.
Their, and earlier, K-Ar age determinations are listed in Table
8.1 and ages dates of plutons, dykes and volcanics are compiled
in Table A.4 (Appendix).
Mineral ages from fresh samples give ages younger than the
time of intrusion, but give useful information on the cooling of
igneous rocks through the c. 500 ~ (hornblende) and the
c. 400 ~'C (biotite) isotherms. These age data are also helpful
in distinguishing the effects of thermal and tectonic alteration.
Macpherson & Hall (1999, 2002) have drawn attention to the
problems of the interpretion of K-Ar isotope data. The limitations
of the K-Ar dating method are due to problems of tectonic and
thermal alteration and to tropical weathering, as these processes
may reset the K-Ar clock to yield misleading younger ages, or
add potassium and 4~ to give spurious older ages (Dickin
1995). In her study of the timing of the alteration of intrusions connected
to movement of the Sumatra Fault Zone in southern
Sumatra, Imtihanah (2000) used the 4~ age dating
method, which can identify K and Ar mobility in altered rocks.
Tertiary volcanic stratigraphy
Palaeocene volcanic episode (Table 8.2 and Fig. 8.2)
The informal term Kikim Volcanics (McCourt et al. 1993) is used
here for the Palaeocene volcanics and volcaniclastics which occur

in southern Sumatra. Previously Gafoer et al. (1992c, 1994), and

the 1"1000 000 geological maps of Southern Sumatra (Gafoer
et al. 1992a, b), used the term 'Kikim Formation' for all volcanic
rocks of Palaeocene to Oligocene age in southern Sumatra.
De Coster (1974) suggested that the Kikim Tuffs were of Upper
Cretaceous to Palaeocene age, but no Cretaceous ages have been
obtained from these rocks. The Kikim Tufts, comprising
tuffaceous sandstones, conglomerates, breccias and clays, were
encountered in boreholes at the base of the Tertiary succession
in the South Sumatra Basin (Lemat-1, Lemat-2 and Tamiang-2
wells), in the Laru wells on the Musi Platform and cropping out
in the Gumai Mountains. The volcanic rocks in the Tamiang-2
well were dated at 55 Ma (Palaeocene) by the K-Ar method,
but details of the analysis are not available. McCourt et al.
(1993) report that in the Gumai Mountains Gafoer et al. (1992c)
found a transition, rather than an unconformity, between
the Kikim Formation and the overlying volcaniclastic Lahat
Formation. This underlying unit is now considered to be part of
the Lahat Formation, confirming the stratigraphic scheme in the
Gumai Mountains originally proposed by Musper (1937).
A K-At age date of 63.3 + 1.9 Ma (Palaeocene) was obtained
from an andesitic lava in the Kikim Volcanic Formation (< 300 m
of andesites, volcanic breccia and tuft) at Gunung Dempu in
the Kotaagung Quadrangle (Amin et al. 1994b). A K-Ar age of
60.3 Ma has been obtained from a basalt (location uncertain,
oral communication by Pulunggono in 1985, reported in Gafoer
et al. 1992c) in the Kikim Volcanics to the east of the Garba
Mountains which are described by Gafoer et al. (1994) as 'often
being highly tectonized'. In the Garba Mountains the Kikim
Volcanics include volcanic breccias, welded tufts and andesitic
to basaltic lavas with sedimentary intercalations (Gafoer et al.

0< ( ! - - - - - - 7- m
~91 -Zo
<2. ~G
0 IU~
_9 " ' I l l / i l l / . ~
Ip~; .. : .- q>~.." ;;. '.JI
~- co
..... W ~
...~.:.~ f~

[;;!1%~II; ~I ro
c- CO
c~ t ................................... ' .................. ~ ~
W I. '. ,I .... #I
~,~ii~ 84
Oii~ 0
, . ~%.0
?' .
. ;>
-:~ .:~ ._ >
> _9 >
N c~
N~ wm N

r~O .,=
cr~ ~
E ><.D
i "oJIN3~
X37ctt/',IOO 3117OIHDO NWV),t~NV8
I LLI _9 I .~q~
ZI ~ W .~-0 ~0 ~ ~ ' ~ ~" ~ 0
~.~- .~. = W._ I J oW.~
0', ~0 ~ ' J~ ~ 0 '~, w ~''~
UJ wZ5 i ~wO
......... , ~ A7WV3 31V7 ~ "3N3003 31V7 ,
0 to 0 LO 0 L<) 0 ~0 0 kO 0
IZ~ ..........................#.. ......~...(.~..]..~ ~ . .~. . . . . . .,.\.7. .U. . .V. .3. . . . . . . ~ I ............
l ................ t .... i ~,~ ~

Table 8.1. Tertiary volcanic episodes and radiometric ages from volcanic rocks in Sumatra
Volcanic Type Dating method Age (Ma) Reference
Basalt tufT, Bentaro Volcanic Formation (LM 116A)
Basalt dyke in Lhoong Formation (LM 124)
Basalt flow, south-west of Banda Aceh (LM 118)
Basalt dyke in Bentaro Volcanic Formation
Basalt dyke, Natal area (SU 49)
Andesite dyke in Woyla Group, Batang Natal (NL 41)
Basalt dyke, Tambak Baru Volcanics (NL 40)
LK 4~176 51.3 1.5 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 55.5 1.5 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 57.9 1.4 Bellon et al, (2004)
4~176 63.1 1.5 Bellon et al. (2004),
Sutanto (1997)
SH 4~176 52.1 1.2 Bellon et al. (2004)
HK 4~176 59.6 _ 1.4 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 62.5 ___ 1.4 Bellon et al. (2004)
Gabbro dyke in Silungkang Formation (RDC 1 l)
Basalt flow, Silungkang Formation (RDC 13A2)
Basalt flow, Silungkang Formation (RDC 13A1)
MK 4~176 62.9 1.5 Bellon et al. (2004)
LK 4~176 63.1 1.5 Bellon et al. (2004)
LK 4~176 63.7 1,5 Bellon et al. (2004)
Andesite, Gunung Dempu
Basalt, Garba Mountains
Tuff, Tamiang 2-well
K-Ar, whole rock? 63.3 1.9 Amin et al. (1994b)
K-Ar, whole rock'? 60.3 Gafoer et al, (1994)

K-Ar, whole rock? 55 De Coster (1974)

Andesite dyke, Langsat Volcanic Formation (NL 36) MK
Basalt dyke, Indarung Calcareous Formation (RDC 20) SH
Shoshonite dyke, Tanjungkarang area (PCE 13) SH
4~176 41.1 0.9 Bellon et al. (2004)
4~176 45.8 _+ 1.1 Bellon et al. (2004)
4~176 43.5 1 Bellon et al. (2004)
Late Eocene-Early Oligocene Volcanic Phase (c.38-30 Ma)
Basaltic andesite dyke, Blang Pidie, Tapaktuan (TT 148) MK
Basalt dyke, Langsat village, Natal area (NL 37) SH
Basalt dyke in Silungkang Formation (RDC 13) LK
4~176 31.6 _+ 0.85 Bellon et al. (2004)
4~176 37.4 0.9 Bellon et al. (2004)
4~176 37.3 [ Bellon et al. (2004)
Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Volcanic Phase (c.30-24 Ma)
Basalt dyke in Woyla Group north of Tapaktuan (TT 144)
Basalt flow, Painan Formation (PN 26)
MK 4~176
SH 4~176
MK 4~176
MK 4~176
Andesite dyke in Painan Formation (TP 34)
Dacite dyke in Painan Formation (TP 33)
Late Early Miocene Volcanic Phase (c.22-14 Ma)
Basalt block in Indrapuri melange, Banda Aceh (IP 113) LK
Basalt dyke in Lhoong Formation (LM 126) LK
4o K _ 4t~A r

Basalt flow, in Calang Volcanic Formation (CL 140)

Andesite dyke, Calang area (CL 135C)
Andes dyke, Calang area (GB 15)
Basalt dyke in Tangla Formation (CL 135B)
Basalt flow in Calang Volcanic Formation (CL 141A)
Andesite dyke in Calang Volcanic Formation (CL 132)
Basalt, Sayeung Volcanic Formation
Andesite dyke in Tangla Formation (CL 136)
Basalt, Sayeung Volcanic Formation
Basalt dyke, Sayeung Volcanic Formation
Basalt, Sayeung Volcanic Formation
Basalt dyke, Sayeung Volcanic Formation
Basaltic andesite dyke in
Calang Volcanic Formation (CL 131 )
Basalt, Sayeung Volcanic Formation.
Andesite dyke in Barus Formation, Sibolga (SB 27B)
Andesite flow in Angkola Volcanic Formation (SB 85)
MK 4~176
MK 4~176
M K 4~176
MK 4~176
MK 4~176
MK 4~176
K-At, whole rock
MK 4"K-4~
K-Ar, whole rock
K-At, whole rock
K-At, whole rock
K-At, whole rock
MK 4~176
K-Ar, whole rock

MK 4~176
MK 4~176
Andesite dyke in Angkola Volcanic Formation (SB 84)
Andesite dyke in Angkola Volcanic Formation (SB 83)
Andesite, P. Musala
MK 4~176
MK 4~176
K-At, whole rock
Basalt meta-tuff, Simpang Gambir, Natal area (NL 42)
Absarokite in Sikarara Volcanic Formation (NL 34)
MK 4~176
SH 4~176
26.9 0.72 Bellon et al. (2004)
23.7 0.55 Bellon et al. (2004)
24.3 0.60 Bellon et al. (2004)
25.5 0.59 Bellon et al. (2004)
18.8 0.49 Bellon et al. (2004)
14.5 1.17 Bellon etal. (2004)
21.4 0.59 Bellon et al. (2004)
21. l _+ 0.60 Beilon et al. (2004)
18.7 0.44 Bellon et al. (2004)
18.8 0.59 Bellon et al. (2004)
[ 8.8 0.45 Bellon et al. (2004)
18.3 + 0.44 Bellon et al. (2004)
17.7 + 0.7 Kallagher (1990)
17.5 _+ 0.42 Bellon et al. (2004)
17.1 + 0.9 Kallagher (1990)
16.4 0.6 Kallagher (1990)
16. I 3.9 Kallagher (1990)
15.9 1.0 Kallagher (1990)
15.0 _+ 0.38 Bellon et al. (2004)

13.7 _+ 2.7 Kallagher (1990)

19.6 0.58 Bellon et al. (2004)
18.2 0.45 Bellon et al. (2004)
16.8 0.47 Belion et al. (2004)
16.8 0.39 Bellon et al. (2004)
17.2 5 Aspden et al. (1982b)
19.7 0.48 Bellon et al. (2004)
18.2 0.44 Bellon et al. (2004)
Table 8.1 Continued
Volcanic Type Dating method Age (Ma) Reference
Andes Sarik Lawas
Andesite flow in Painan Formation (PN 31)
Andesite flow in Painan Formation (PN 22)
Basalt flow in Painan Formation (PN 24)
Basalt lava or tuff?, well N Pekanbaru
Andesite flow in Painan Formation (TP 32)
Andes flow, Bukit Sulap, Bengkulu (BSU 170)
Andesite in Hulusimpang Formation (MN 116)
Rhyolite dyke in Hulusimpang Formation (MN 118)
Basaltic andesite dyke in Hulusimpang Formation (MN 117)
Rhyolite tuff in (?)Tarahan Formation (TR 33)
Basalt dyke in Sulan batholith (WS 5)
Andesite dyke in Hulusimpang Formation (SMK 40)
Basalt dyke in Hulusimpang Formation (SMK 39)
Dacite flow in Sabu Formation (PCE 9A)
Middle Miocene Volcanic Phase (c. 12-8 Ma)
Basalt, Alem Formation
Basalt, Alem Formation.
Basalt dyke, Alem Formation

Basalt dyke in Hulusimpang Formation (SMK 37)

Andesite flow, Lam Teuba Volcanics (UB 110)
Diorite dyke in Bohorok Formation (PR 61)
near Parapat, Lake Toba
Andesite flow in Haranggoal Formation (PR 70)
Andesite flow in Sibayak Complex (BR 104)
Basalt dyke in Sipiso-piso lava dome (PR 101B)
Andesite flow in Angkola Formation, Sibolga (SB 28)
Andesite, Suliki
Basaltic andesite flow, Merapi volcano area (PY 82)
Andesite flow, north border of Lake Maninjau (MNJ 55)
Basaltic andesite flow, south of Padang (PLN 103)
Basalt flow in Bal Formation east of Bengkulu (BN 111)
Basalt dyke, boulder in Gumai mountains (LH 173)
Basaltic andesite flow in Pliocene volcanic
Formation, northwest of Curup (CR 145)
Andesite dyke in Air Benekat Formation (LH 178)
Basaltic andesite dyke in Lemau Formation (BS 129)
Andesite, Gunung Batu
K-Ar, ? 22 _+ 1.5 Koning & Aulia (1985)
MK 4~176 19.2 ___ 0.54 Bellon et al. (2004)
HK 4~176 19.1 + 0.45 Bellon et al. (2004)
HK 4~176 19.0 0.45 Bellon et al. (2004)
?K-Ar 17.5 Eubank & Makki ( 1981 )
MK 4~176 14.3 _+ 0.34 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 16.5 0.38 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 13.2 0.43 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 12.8 0.31 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 12.8 _ 0.38 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 19.7 0.47 Bellon et al. (2004)

MK 4~176 17.1 0.44 Bellon et al. (2004)

MK 4~176 16.9 0.44 Bellon et al. (2004)
LK 4~176 15.1 0.38 Bellon et al. (2004)
HK 4~176 14.4 + 0.35 Bellon et al. (2004)
K-Ar, whole rock 11.2 -+- 0.7 Kallagher (1990)
K-Ar, whole rock 10.3 0.4 Kallagher (1990)
K-At, whole rock 8.74 _+ 0.82 Kallagher (1990)
MK 4~176 10.9 0.43 Bellon et al. (2004)
MK 4~176 1.76 + 0.06
HK 4~176 5.66 _+ 0.14
HK 4~176 2.88 0.07
HK 4~176 2.09 0.29
MK 4~176 1.89 + 0,23
MK 4~176 5.35 +_ 0.23
K-Ar, ? 5.4 0.3
MK 4~176 2.99 0.08
MK 4~176 1.76 + 0.05
HK 4~176 1.35 0.1
LK 4~176 6.45 + 0.2
4~176 5.47 _ 0.14
LK 4~176 5.21 0.5
MK 4~176 4.23 + 0.15
HK 4~176 2.91 0.09
MK 4~176 2.41 + 0.08
K-Ar 4.76 0.32
Bellon et al. 2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. 2004)
Bellon et al. 2004)
Bellon et al. 2004)
Bellon et al. 2004)

Koning & Aulia (1985)

Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Bellon et al. (2004)
Gafoer et al. (1992c)
Andesite flow in ?Lakitan Formation (PC 16) HK 4~176 4.93 -+_ 0.13 Bellon et al. (2004)
Petrographic types: LK, = Iow-K calc-alkaline; MK, = medium-K calc-alkaline; HK, = high-K
calc-alkaline; SH, = shoshonitic (see Bellon et al. 2004 for analytical
Bellon et al. (2004) dated dykes between 62.5 and 52 Ma in
the Natal area, basalt flows and a dykes at c. 63 Ma in the Solok
area and SW of Aceh a basaltic dyke, flow and t u f f between
63 and 51 Ma.
The K-Ar ages of plutons associated with the Palaeocene magmatic
episode are mostly younger than the ages of the volcanic
rocks and much of the data relate to the cooling of plutons.
The Lass batholith in West Sumatra was emplaced c. 56 Ma
(Imtihanah 2000), but the earliest intrusion:, exposed in the
Guguk quarry on the western margin of the batholith, is a foliated
megacrystic metadiorite, too weathered to date. The foliated
megacrystic metadiorite was emplaced in a shear zone (personal
observation) that is a continuation of the Musi basement fault in
the South Sumatra Backarc Basin (Pulunggono et al. 1992). By
reversing the post-Miocene movements along the Sumatra Fault
Zone, the Musi Fault links with the Sipakpahi Fault (Aldiss

et al. 1983) and the Kluet Fault (Cameron et al. 1982b) to the west
of the Sumatran Fault Zone. Several plutons and volcanic outcrops
are associated with the Kluet-Musi Fault (Fig. 8.2) which was
active in the Early Eocene, but the amount and sense of displacement
(probably dextral) is not known.
Late Mid-Late Eocene v o l c a n i c episode
(Table 8.3 and Fig. 8.3)
Volcanic rocks and volcaniclastic sediments have not been recognised
within the Palaeogene units which occur beneath Miocene
sediments in boreholes and imaged on seismic profiles in the
forearc Meulaboh and Singkel basins (Karig et al. 1980).
Nor have they been recognized in the 'Parallel Bedded facies'
which occurs beneath the graben sequence in the Bengkulu
Basin (Hall et al. 1993), or within the newly recognized
Palaeogene Accretionary Wedge (Schluter et al. 2002) in the
Outer Arc High to the SE of Enggano.
Late Mid-Late Eocene volcanic rocks are found along the west
coast of Sumatra, palaeogeographically reconstructed in
Figure 8.3. The Breueh Volcanic Formation on Pulau Breueh to
the NW of Aceh, consists of bedded subaerial pyroclastics
and massive scoriaceous, feldsparphyric and epidotised basaltic
lavas. Volcanic clasts at the base of the Peunasu Formation
(Late Oligocene-Early Miocene), dated as Late Mid-Eocene,
were derived from the Breueh Volcanic Formation (Bennett
et al. 1981a). A NNE-SSW dyke swarm, which appears to
emanate from the Raya Diorite and cuts both the Breueh Volcanic
and the Peunasu Formations, has yielded a K-Ar hornblende
age of 18.9 _+ 1.2 Ma (Early Miocene). According to Rock et al.
(1982), the Raya stock is a sub-volcanic intrusion and these
dykes were intruded into hot plastic lavas. It is therefore probable

that the Breueh Volcanic Formation also includes a Miocene

volcanic unit.
Volcanic rocks occur in the ?late Mid-Eocene-Early Oligocene
Meucampali Formation (Bennett et al. 1981a; Cameron et al.
1983) exposed in the Barisan Mountains to the SE of Aceh.
Local volcanic horizons with amygdaloidal, intermediate to
mafic lavas occur within paralic-fluviatile sediments. Altered
andesites occur within the Kieme and Semelit formations in
the Takengon Quadrangle (Cameron et al. 1983). Cameron et al.
(1980) interpreted the Kieme and Semelit formations as arc and
back-arc basin sequences, associated with faulting. Porphyritic
andesites in the Sitaban Formation off Tapanuli Bay also probably
belong to this phase. A microdiorite within these lavas is thought
to be a subvolcanic intrusion and has provided a zircon fission
track age of 43 -t- 3.2 Ma (Mid-Eocene) (Aspden et al. 1982b).
Bellon et al. (2004) have dated a basalt dyke in the Solok area at
46 + i Ma and an andesite dyke in the Natal area at 41 +_ i Ma.
Table 8.2. Litholo;,ies in the Kikim Volcanic Unit of'the Palaeocene volcanic
Location Lithologies
G. Dempu j
Garba Mrs 2
Lahat, Lemat
1 & 2 and
Tamiang 2 wells 3
Andesite-basalt lava, tuff & volcanic breccia; sulphides
with gold.
>250 m andesitic to basaltic composition lavas,
restricted to the base, welded tuff with flow structure,
volcanic breccia with angular fragments of andesitebasalt
material in a tuffaceous matrix, sandstone and

Tuffaceous sandstones, conglomerates, breccias and
clays. K-Ar age date of 55 Ma reported from
Tamiang-2 well.
References: IAmin et al. (1994b), 2Gafoer et al. (1994), 3De Coster (1974).
In the Natal area the bathyal Si Kumbu Turbidite Formation
(Rock et al. 1983; Wajzer 1986; Wajzer et al. 1991) crops out
between the Simpang Gambit Fault and the younger Langsat
volcanics. The Si Kumbu Turbidite Formation is composed of volcaniclastic
debris flows and proximal and distal turbidites, with
negligible contents of quartz and K-feldspar. The Si Kumbu
Turbidite Formation is weakly deformed by large-scale open
folds and is slightly metamorphosed (prehnite-pumpellyite
facies) with pervasive epidote veining in places. The Si Kumbu
Formation is intruded by andesite dykes, two of which were
dated using the whole-rock K-Ar method, giving minimum
ages of 40.1 ___ 1.6 Ma and 37.6 + 1.3 Ma, which are probably
cooling ages. The andesite dykes are identical in composition
to andesite clasts in the volcaniclastic breccias within the
Si Kumbu Formation and are therefore considered to have been
intruded contemporaneously. If the inferred syn-depositional age
of the dated andesite intrusions is correct, the Si Kumbu turbidites
are mostly of late Mid-Eocene age.
The Si Kumbu Turbidite Formation is interpreted by Wajzer
et al. (1991) to represent a fault-bounded allochthonous, and
possibly rotated, submarine-fan deposit derived from the apron
of an oceanic volcanic arc which lay to the west. There is no
evidence of an oceanic volcanic arc to the west at this time so
that the volcaniclastic debris may have been derived from a
coastal volcanic centre.
Rashid et al. (1998) and Netherwood (2000) consider the volcaniclastic

sequence in the Gumai Mountains as 'about' Middle

Eocene (47-42 Ma) in age. This is a further estimate for the age
of these undated volcaniclastics which, following McCourt et al.
(1993), are here correlated with the Lahat Formation (Oligocene).
A shoshonite dyke in the Tanjungkarang area has been dated by
Bellon et al. (2004) at 43.5 _+ 1 Ma.
At Ciletuh Bay in the western part of the Java, bathyal volcanic
rocks and submarine fan deposits of the Ciletuh Formation
(Late Mid-Eocene-Early Oligocene) (Schiller et al. 1991) rest
unconformable upon the components of an Upper Cretaceous
Oceanic Accretionary Complex (Citirem Formation, the Pasir
Luhur Schist and the Gunung Beas Ultrabasics) that has similar
iithologies and a similar age to the Bangkaru Ophiolite Complex
of the Sumatran forearc islands (Samuel et al. 1997). In the
Ciletuh Formation volcanic debris is mingled with a submarine
fan; turbidite deposits formed when clastic sediments of continental
origin poured over a narrow continental shelf bounded by the
Cimandiri Fault onto a continental slope. The volcaniclastics
were deposited in half grabens and were derived from ashfalls
and massive undersea pyroclastic flows. Schiller et al. (1991)
suggest that some of the volcaniclastics were derived from the
erosion of a nearby undersea volcano or volcanic island. The
description of the Ciletuh Formation is not detailed enough to
demonstrate that a subaquous caldera was present at that time,
although such structures have been shown to occur elsewhere
(White et al. 2004). An alternative source for the volcaniclastics
is the contemporaneous Lower Old Andesites (LOA of Sukarna
et al. 1993) in the Bayah area to the north.
Late Eocene-Early Miocene volcanic episode
Two phases are distinguished in this lengthy episode of volcanism:
1. Late Eocene-mid-Late Oligocene volcanism in Southern

2. Late Oligocene-Early Miocene volcanic arc in western
Sumatra within the present Barisan Mountains.
A complete sequence representing this volcanic episode was
recorded in an offshore oil exploration well in the Bengkulu
Forearc Basin (Hall et al. 1993). Elsewhere in Sumatra different
-\,. )
"N~, b ~. .........O...f fshore boreholes il
N~'6"~, ..... LaKe '~
\ ,<'
V <.N,
Volcanic rocks

}Seukeun '~>' '\'\ f - . ...". . ..........'.x '~'\,,
'-,, '%,, .... /N/
_u 6&Sib u\bu ng .......:.,. -..v2.,, \
ssi "-'I
N. Batang Nata ~ Bungo } ;.,,,,.-.~
x---- ' . . . . " ......... '
~:~ " UL T v Tamian
\ Bukit Raja ,,~, \~"N~>,~_,~ v /
Lemat 1 &2 (
!-"' "\~)N"-, ( Laru N. {
\.. ...... !
"-.% [
Od0~\.. ~"\- V Gunung Dempu
v)~p. ~ ~ Jatibaru
%. o 4 \ " , , . .,....... . ......... , .
% =\.
\-,\.~ f
" . 1 0 200km "~ "- / /"J
"% ' ~ ~ J ' - ~ " " " \ L
Fig. 8.2. Distribution of volcanics and
plutons associated with the Palaeocene
volcanic episode. Palaeogeographic outline
of Sumatra adapted from Figure 14.18a
which compensates for the dextral
displacement along the Sumatra Fault Zone
and extension within the Forearc. Volcanic
units listed in Table 8.2.
components of the episode can be pieced together from the

volcanic formations and units identified and described during

regional mapping and oil exploration.
Late Eocene to mid-Late Oligocene Volcanic Phase (Table 8.4 and
Fig. 8.4). In northern Sumatra, a dyke in the Calang area has
been dated at 32 4-1 Ma (K-Ar method) by Bellon et al.
(2004). Extrusive volcanic rocks are well developed in the Natal
area of the forearc, where Bellon et al. (2004) dated both andesite
and basalt dykes between 41 and 37 Ma.
Tufts, assigned to the Lahat Formation (McCourt et al. 1993),
are exposed in the Tigapuluh and Gumai Mountains, where they
constitute the regional Late Eocene-early Late Oligocene sedimentary
formation in Southern Sumatra. De Coster (1974)
placed equivalent tufts, found in boreholes drilled during exploration
of the South Sumatra Basin, in the Lemat Formation. The ageequivalent
Lemat and Lahat Formations are considered by De
Coster (1974) to be basal Eocene to Upper Oligocene in age,
revised by De Smet & Barber (see Chapter 7) to Late Eocene to
early Late Oligocene. Alternatively Netherwood (2000), following
Rashid et al. (1998) places the Lahat Formation in the Middle
Eocene and the Lemat Formation in the Upper Eocene-Upper
Oligocene. In this account these tufts are described as part of
the Lahat Formation.
The Langsat Volcanic Formation (Wajzer et al. 1991) at the
western end of the Natal River section is composed of poorly
exposed and deeply weathered porphyritic basic lavas and
agglomerates with an elevated alkali content. The estimated age
of the Langsat Volcanic Formation is between Early and Late Oligocene.
The Langsat Volcanic Formation is thought to have been
intruded by the Late Oligocene Air Bangis granite suite (c. 2829 Ma), but due to poor outcrop and a covering of younger
rocks this is not certain. Rock et al. (1983) noted sedimentary

xenoliths in the Banjalarang adamellite at Air Bangis and

mapped undifferentiated sediments on the shore, but no volcanic
xenoliths were seen. The outcrop of the Langsat Volcanic Formation
is fault-bounded, but the rocks are not internally deformed.
The lavas are highly porphyritic, clinopyroxene-rich with minor
plagioclase. Rock et al. (1982, 1983) noted that the Langsat
Volcanic Formation differs from the other Tertiary basic lavas
in Sumatra and Java in the absence of hypersthene, the rarity of
plagioclase, the presence of orthoclase and sometimes of olivine
at low silica percentages, and by high clinopyroxene contents,
leading to elevated values of Mg, Ca, Cr, Ni and to a lesser
extent of Co (Table 8.9). Rock et al. (1982) concluded that the
Langsat Volcanics were abnormal mafic basaltic rocks, with
affinities to basic shoshonite or absarokite (see Fig. 8.8a).
Wajzer (1986) found pumpellyite in amygdales and in the
groundmass of lavas in the Langsat Volcanic Formation. His
chemical analyses confirmed the high K contents and the low
levels of Zr, Nb, Y and depleted P and Ti values, usually high
in alkali-rich basic rocks. Wajzer (1986) suggested that the
initial alkali content was low, and that the high alkali levels
were the result of prehnite-pumpellyite facies metamorphism.
Table 8.3. Lithologies in Late Mid-Eocene-Late Eocene volcanic formations
and units
Volcanic Lithologies
Fm or Unit
Breueh j
Meucampli I - 3
Kieme 3
Semclit 3
Sitaban 4

Sibolga 4
Sikumbu 5
Lower Old
Andesites 6
Ciletuh 7
Bedded pile of subaerial massive to scoriaceous
pyroclastics, feldsparphyric, epidotized, vesicular &
amygaloidal basaltic lavas which were hot and plastic
at the time of intrusion by basalt, andesite and
microdiorite dykes with Breueh VF clasts. Clasts of
the Breueh Volcanic Formation are present in the
base of the Peunasu Formation (Late OligoceneEarly Miocene). The Raya Diorite (18.9 _+ 1.2 Ma)
may be a subvolcanic intrusion.
Local amygdaloidal intermediate to marie volcanics
within the siltstones & mudstones.
Arkoses, carbonaceous & pebbly mudstones, volcanic
wackes & breccio-conglomerates & sandstones;
prophylitised andesites.
Arkoses, carbonaceous & pebbly mudstones, volcanic
wackes & breccio-conglomerates & sandstones;
prophylitised andesites.
Porphyritic andesites and subvolcanic microdiorites.
Microdiorite dated at 43 + 3.2 Ma (fission track
Amygdaloidal andesite interbedded with paralicfluviatile
sediments near Barus.
Volcaniclastic debris flows and proximal and distal
turbidites with negligible contents of quartz and
K-feldspar; represents a submarine fan deposit
derived from the apron of a volcano.

Basalts and andesitic basalts; interfingers with the

Cipageur Member.
Bathyal volcaniclastics banked against fault scarp
derived from ashfalls and massive undersea
pyroclastic flows over a narrow continental shelf. The
volcaniclastics may have originated from the Lower
Old Andesites and the presence of seafloor volcanoes
has been suggested.
References: i Bennett et al. ( 1981 a), 2Keats et al. ( 1982), 3Cameron et a/. (1983),
4Aspden et al. (1982b), 5Wajzer et al. (1991), 6Sukarna et al. (1993),
7Schiller et al. ( 1991 ).
Wajzer et al. (1991) considered that the Langsat Volcanic
Formation represent primitive tholeiitic volcanics of island arc,
or possibly mid-oceanic ridge affinity, although the results given
by tectonic-setting diagrams were ambiguous. It is concluded
here that in spite of the low-grade metamorphism of some
samples, the Langsat Volcanic Formation are primitive submarine
tholeiitic volcanics erupted in a forearc setting, and resemble the
high-Ti variety shoshonites of the Eocene Kamchatka Arc of
Siberia (Kepezhinskas 1995).
To the NE the outcrop of the Langsat Formation is bounded by a
fault parallel to the Simpang Gambir Fault (Wajzer et al. 1991)
which, by reversing the post-Miocene movements of the
Sumatra Fault Zone (Fig. 8.4), links the Langsat area with the
contemporary fault-bounded igneous centre of the Bandan Formation.
The Bandan Formation, composed of ignimbrites and
tufts, is up to 500 m thick and outcrops for a distance of 26 km
along the strike (Rosidi et al. 1976; Kusnama et al. 1993b). The
pyroclastic rocks are intruded by a graphic granite and Rosidi
et al. (1976) suggested that there was evidence of fault-fissure
volcanism. The Bandan volcanic centre appears to represent

the eroded roots of a caldera complex, and is associated with a

fault zone which extends southeastwards into the Lematang
Fault (Pulunggono 1986), an important link between the graben
fault troughs and highs which make up the South Sumatra
Basin (see Chapter 13). Tuffaceous horizons in the Lahat Formation
in the South Sumatra Basin (Table 8.4) are distributed in
a wide arc around the Bandan volcanic centre and it seems
likely that the Bandan caldera structure was a major source for
these tufts.
The most northerly reported volcaniclastic sediments of Middle
Eocene to Upper Oligocene age occur in the lacustrine and basin
margin facies of the Upper Eocene Sangkarewang Formation in
the intramontane Ombilin Basin (Howells 1997b). Koesoemadinta
& Matasak (1981) used the term 'Brani Formation' for the basal
unit of the Sangkarewang Formation in which they described
minor quantities of volcanic debris within polymict conglomerates,
but did not recognize any tuffs.
To the east in the Central Sumatra Basin De Coster (1974)
has described volcaniclastics in the basal Kelesa Formation
(Oligocene-Early Miocene), now termed the Pematang Group
(Upper Eocene-Upper Oligocene, see Chapter 7). The Kelesa
Formation has a localised distribution, forming the initial sedimentary
fill in troughs and grabens and contains tufts in the
northern Tigapuluh Mountains (Simunjuntak et al. 1991). Wain
& Jackson (1995) also recognized ruffs in the Brown Shale
Facies of the Pematang Group in the Kampur Uplift, NW of
the Tigapuluh Mountains, near the southwestern margin of the
Central Basin.
The tufts and volcaniclastic sediments of the Lahat Formation
are the most widely distributed Upper Eocene-Oligocene
volcanic rocks in Southern Sumatra and Northwest Java.

The Lahat Formation includes terrestial and lacustrine sediments

and volcaniclastics (N.B. De Coster 1974 placed these in
the Lemat Formation) deposited initially on an uneven
topographic surface and later in (listric?) half grabens
trending north-south and NE-SW, linked by NW-SE-trending
transfer faults.
The basal Lahat Formation is exposed on the southeastern
slopes of the Tigapuluh Mountains uplift and contains tufts and
volcanic debris (Suwarna et al. 1991). In the type area of the
Lahat formation in the Gumai Mountains (Musper 1937; Gafoer
et al. 1992c, McCourt et al. 1993) finely laminated tufts occur
below the Cawang Member (Lower Kikim Formation of Gafoer
et al. 1992c, pp. 66-67), and andesitic lavas, tufts and tuffaceous
claystones occur above the Cawang Member (the Upper Kikim
Formation of Galber et al. 1994), which also contains volcanic
debris. De Coster (1974) described the Lahat Formation resting
on 'Upper Cretaceous-Palaeogene' volcaniclastics (his Kikim
Tufts) below the mid-Oligocene unconformity to the east of
the Gumai Mountains, in the Kikim, Lemu, Laru, Lahat and
Tamiang wells. The Lahat Formation is not represented in
the Garba Mountains where the volcanic breccias, welded tufts,
andesitic to basaltic lavas with sedimentary intercalations were
assigned to the older Kikim Volcanics by Gafoer et al. (1994).
De Coster (1974) described how, towards the end of the Eocene
in the South Sumatra sub-basins, the uneven topography of
basement ridges and hills was deeply eroded to expose granite
plutons. The granite wash derived from these plutons was buried
beneath fluviatile continental sediments of the Lahat Formation
and included tuff, derived partly from intermittent volcanism,
but also recycled from earlier tuff deposits.
In the South Palembang Sub-basin Pannetier (1994) figures

volcaniclastic sediments of the basal Lahat Formation banked up

against fault scarps. In the South Palembang Sub-basin, towards
the top of the Lahat Formation, the Benekat Member was deposited
in the Benakat Gully graben against the Lematang Fault
(Pulunggono 1986), a NW-trending transfer fault that had been
active during the Mesozoic (Pulunggono et al. 1992). The lacustrine
Benekat Member is composed of grey-brown shales with
some beds of tuffaceous shale, siltstone, sandstone and thin coal
beds. It was dated as late Eocene-Early Oligocene on sporepollen
and K-Ar age dates by De Coster (1974), but is currently
considered to be of Late Oligocene age.
BASIN " ~ ~ ,
,~, Semelit ( ,
BTrs~e aunehd-~ '~~. ~~" ~ ~ . . . . ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ "~\ euc amZX"
\k BASIN X X -- f'-)
", ^ S/NGKELQ \ /~
"C..,Oe," BASIN ~V~..Sibolcla (,.
p ulau~,.~. +~ Sitaban "9~ ~v'~'"
Simeulue \ .""*,o%A \~ \ \
~.~z~ V Sikumt
~-'/" ", ~ Sungei Toboh
Volcanic rocks " \ BASIN ~

Pulau" %
Plutons Enggano ~
Old Andes es V
0~ [ ~ 200km ~ "" "- ~ ~ I Ciletuh V,
Fig. 8.3. Distribution of volcanics and
plutons associated with the Late Middle
Eocene Volcanic Episode. Palaeogeographic
outline of Sumatra adapted from Figure
14.18a. Volcanic units listed in Table 8.4.
Southeast of the Garba Mountains, in the Bandar Jaya Basin,
shales of the Lahat Formation, with a high volcaniclastic
component (220-900m), were deposited in grabens within
cyclic fluvial and lacustrine environments, rich in algae (Williams
et al. 1995).
On the western side of Teluk Lampung the Palaeogene volcanic
outcrop may not be as extensive as shown on the geological map of
Tanjungkarang (Andi Mangga et al. 1994a), as according to
Gasparon & Varne (1995) the volcanic rocks here belong to the
Pliocene-Pleistocene Lampung Formation. West of Teluk
Lampung fluvial breccias and tufts of the Sabu Formation rest
unconformably on the Menanga Formation (Cretaceous). On the
eastern side of Lampung Bay tufts occur in the lower part of
the marine turbiditic Campang Formation. These formations,
distributed around Telukbetung and Tanjungkarang, consist of
tufts and breccias with tuffite intercalations deposited in a continental
environment. The Sabu and Campang formations are correlated
by Andi Mangga et al. (1994a) with the Tarahan Formation,
which consists of tufts and breccias with tuffite intercalations
deposited in a continental environment, and is distributed around
Telukbetung and Tanjungkarang.
On the NW coast of Java oil and gas are produced from

fractured tufts in the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene Jatibarang

Volcanic Formation (Arpandi & Patmosukisma 1975) which
forms a basal infill in half grabens, over an iixegular topography.
The greatest thickness of volcanic rocks occurs in a large offshore
syn-rift graben, with a westerly dipping listric master fault
(Adnan et al. 1991). This occurrence probably represents a distinct
volcanic centre.
In boreholes in the Bengkulu Forearc Basin (South Manna
Sub-basin) an unconformity separates Palaeogene 'Parallel
Bedded facies' from Upper Eocene-Upper Oligocene graben-fill
sediments and volcaniclastics (Hall et al. 1993). At the bottom of
the Arwana- 1 well, at the base of Megasequence I, a 60 m sequence
of (?Upper Eocene-Lower Oligocene) massive volcaniclastic sediments
is interbedded with tuffaceous clays and organic clays. These
volcaniclastic rocks were deposited in a complex mosaic of segmented
half-graben depocentres. Megasequence I is imaged on
seismic profiles as a c. 2 km thick parallel-bedded sequence, deposited
as a syn-rift unit within a system of NE-trending half graben,
which were probably segmented by NW-trending transfer faults.
The mid-Oligocene unconformity at the top of Megasequence I is
Table 8.4. Lithologies in Late Eoce,e-Mid-Oligocene volcanic formations and units
Volcanic Fm or Unit Lithologies
Langsat Volcanic j'2
Sangkarawang 3
Kelesa 4
Bandan ~,9
Megasequence I & 2 ]-~
Campang 14
Sabu H

Tarahan j4
Jatibarang 15
Purple to blue-black highly porphyryritic volcanics with clinopyroxene phenocrysts, minor
plagioclase, and occasional feldspar-phyric redpurple
xenoliths. The groundmass is unusually potassic and consists mainly of orthoclase, but has a
sodic rock composition. Chlorite
pseudomorpbs are probably after olivine, and the quantity and alteration of feldspar phenocrysts
is variable. The basic lavas and
agglomerates show onion-skin weathering and are occasionally net-veined with quartz and/or
epidote, perhaps related to small explosion
vents. Tuffs are present, but are uncommon.
Polymict conglomerates with granitic, metamorphic & minor volcanic clasts.
Continental environment conglomerates, sands, shales, coals, tuffaceous material. 8 Kampar
Uplift 5 Brown Shale facies: Lacustrine
mudstones with clusters of lithic & crystal tufts.
North Tigapuluh Mountains("7: Polymict conglomerates, gravely and pebbly tuffaceous
sandstone and tuffaceous siltstone; with
intercalations of fluvio-lacustrine sediments.
Monotonous sequence 400-500 m thick of acidic ignimbrites & hybrid tufts intruded by graphic
granite body. Outcrop has strike of 26 km
and subcrop is obscured by the Quaternary sediments associated with the D. Kerinci graben.
Compacted tuff, volcanic breccia &
conglomeratic tuff composed of fragments of andesite, basaltic tuff & welded tuff and of
Palaeozoic and Mesozoic rocks. Prophylitised &
chloritized with sulphide mineralization. Inferred fissure eruption along fault zone which is
interpreted as the eroded root of a giant
Gumai Mts formerly Kikim Formation (see main text), m Finely laminated tufts below (Lower
Kikim Formation of Gafoer et al. 1992c), and
andesitic tufts and lavas and tuffaceous ctaystones above the Cawang Member.

Near Baturaja I I: violet, massive tuff with abundant milky plagioclase and sanidine phenocrysts
and rare tiny laths of dark brown altered
South Tigapuluh Mountains: 7 Fluvio-lacustrine sediments with clasts of basalt, andesite, slate,
metasediment, marble and quartz. Somewhat
tuffaceous siltstones and claystones.
South Sumatra Basin: 4 Sandstones, clays, rock fragments, breccias, 'granite wash', occasional
thin coal beds and tuffs.
Bandar Jaya Basin ~-: basal shales have a high volcaniclastic component (220-900 m thick).
Bengkuht Basin, South Manna Sub-Basin: Volcanic litharenites with clasts of ignimbrite,
volcanics & vitriclasts, clay tuff & claystones.
Laml)tmg Basin: 1000-1500 m tuff, breccia, conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, clay & shale.
Fluvial deposits of ruff, clay-tuff, conglomeratic breccia, sandslonc & claystone (c. 750 m).
Relatively massives luffs, poorly sorted breccia with clasts of andesite lava & sediments and
tufliles with pymclaslic and detrital material.
Unfossiliferous, varicoloured & mottled tuff s, porphyritic andesite, basalt and red claystone (01200 m).
References: J Wajzer et al. ( 1991 ), 2Rock et al. ( 1982, 1983), " Koesoemadmata & Matasak
( 1981 ), 4De Coster ( 1974), 5Wain & Jackson (1995), 6Suwarna et al. ( 1991),
7Simandjuntaketal.(1991), 8 Ros"l d"l etal . (1976) , ' ) Kusnamaetal . (1993h) , iotoJ a r o c,r. ( ,
I a/. ( 1992c), i IGasparon&Varne(1995). leWi l l iamsetal . (1995) , ]3Hall
et al. (1993). HAndi Mangga et al. (1994a), 15Arpandi & Patmosukismo (1975).
interpreted as marking a change in the basin-forming mechanism
from extension in the Palaeogene, to pull-apart, associated with
oblique slip, in the Neogene. Volcaniclastic rocks occur in Megasequence
II in the Upper Oligocene in the Arwana-! well and it
appears that volcanicity was continuous into the Late OligoceneEarly Miocene Volcanic Phase.
Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Volcanic Phase (Table 8.5 and
Fig. 8.5). The rise of the proto-Barisan Mountains at c. 28 Ma
marks a major tectonic event in Sumatra, causing the separation

of the Forearc and Backarc Basins. Volcanic and volcaniclastic

rocks formed during the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Volcanic
Phase are found mostly in West Sumatra on the rising protoBarisan land mass and along its western margins, but also in
the Forearc Islands and to a lesser extent in the back arc area
(Fig. 8.5). In Southern Sumatra volcanism started in the Late
Oligocene, based on fossils in limestone intercalations in tuffaceous
sandstones in the lower part of the Seblat Formation which
interfingers with the Hulusimpang Formation (Gafoer et al.
The 'Older Andesites' to the SE of Padang (van Bemmelen
1949), now known as the Painan Formation (Rosidi et al. 1976),
mark the main outcrop of the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene
Volcanic Arc and their continuation to the SE is described as
the Hulusimpang Formation. These volcanic units are composed
predominantly of andesite, basalt, andesitic basalt and rarer
dacile lavas and pyroclastics. The original volcanic centres are
not known, although Early Miocene subw)lcanic dioritic intrusions
may mark the former volcanic centres.
The Painan Formation includes shallow water sediments, and to
the SW of Bengkulu the Seblat Formation represents the remnants
of a marine volcaniclastic apron which intertingers with the lavas
of the Hulusimpang Formation. Propylitic alteration of the lavas is
widespread, and chloritic alteration, sulphides and quartz veinlets
are reported. These volcanics host several important Quaternary
epithermal gold deposits. A basalt flow in the Padang area has
been dated at 24 __+ 0.6 Ma and dykes west of Sungeiperuh
between 26 and 24 Ma by Bellon et al. (2004).
In the intramontane Ombilin Basin volcanic clasts first appear in
the Rasau Member of the Sawahlunto Formation, increasing in
proportion upwards through the Upper Oligocene Sawatambang

Formation (Howells 1997b); a source area in the emergent

Barisan Mountains to the west of the basin is probable.
Further north a linear volcanic outcrop extends southwestwards
from Sibolga, but individual volcanic centres have not been recognized.
Pyroclastic volcanics and tufts are common all along
the western margin of the North Sumatra Basin. The volcanic
materials occur at the base of Upper Oligocene-Miocene sedimentary
units, and are often reported to be banked against
~-~\ ~Bg~ii~XdanV S~ Tigapuluh" ~
X '~ Gu m ~B' ~: r:i!aSUma tr a/
~ V andarJa'y
~ Volcanica nd
-~ Pluton
~~ ".6~~ 'B~B,e. nagskinuV lu ~, ~S_abu~qC' ampang
200km ~ / JatibarangV
I "~' ..~ .~.. - , . .
Fig. 8.4. Distribution of Late
Eocene-Middle Oligocene volcanic
formations and units and dated plutons.
Palaeogcographic outline of Sumatra after
Figure 14.t8a. Volcanic units listed in
Table 8.4.
faults. In the Central Sumatra Basin volcaniclastic sandstones in
the Cubadak Member of the Sihapas Formation were deposited

in a deltaic environment (Rock et al. 1983).

During the late Early Miocene volcanicity continued locally and
reworked volcanic debris is reported in the Kompas Volcanic
Member of the Loser Formation (Cameron et al. 1982a). In the
Tapaktuan Quadrangle (Cameron et al. 1982b) the Rampong
Formation is interbedded with the Akul Volcanic Formation, in
which the eroded peaks of three volcanic centres can still be distinguished.
On the west coast, adjacent to the Sikuleh Batholith,
the paralic to fluviatile Tangla Formation contains localised intermediate
volcanic and amygdaloidal basalts and volcaniclastics
especially in the SE part of the outcrop. Bennett et al. (1981b)
suggest that the volcanic rocks in the Tangla Formation, and
numerous felsic and mafic dykes in the southwestern part of the
Sikuleh Batholith, mark a line of former volcanoes. These
volcanoes may have been the source of distal Lower Miocene
tuffaceous volcaniclastic sediments found in the lbrearc islands,
on Nias (Gawo Formation, N4 foram zone) and possibly also on
Siberut (Samuel et al. 1997).
In the Calang area, a basalt dyke has been date at 32 4- 1 Ma by
Bellon et al. (2004).
In the Backarc areas volcanic rocks of this phase have been
not reported within the Central Sumatra Basin. In the South
Palembang Sub-Basin of the South Sumatra Backarc Basin a
horizon with volcanic fragments is present in the Upper
Oligocene-Lower Miocene Talangakar Formation (Pannetier
1994), presumably representing volcanic debris washed into the
basin from the volcanic arc.
Late Early Miocene-Mid-Miocene volcanic episode
(Table 8.6 and Fig. 8.6)
A late Early Miocene Phase of volcanism is distinguished in the
Meulaboh area of Northern Sumatra where Kallagher (1989,

1990) mapped volcanic rocks forming two age clusters, the first
around the Lower to Middle Miocene boundary and the second
around the Middle to Upper Miocene boundary. Additional age
data from the Calang are for this volcanic episode are provided
by Bellon et al. (2004) and summarized in Table 8.1. Kallagher
(1990) states that the commencement of volcanic activity
coincided with the uplift of the Barisan Mountains and the
cessation of sedimentation along the margin of the Meulaboh
Basin. Lower-Middle Miocene sediments show evidence of
only minor contemporaneous volcanic activity, but are faulted
against volcanic rocks of the same age, indicating subsequent
fault movements, while Middle Miocene and younger sediments
contain abundant volcanic clasts eroded from the volcanic belt.
In northern Sumatra numerous volcanic formations belonging
to the late Early Miocene-Mid-Miocene Volcanic Episode have
been mapped. South of Lake Toba outcrops of volcanic rocks
t 08 CHAPTER 8
Table 8.5. Lithologies of the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene volcanic phase
Volcanic Fm or Unit Lithologies
Gawo i
Tangla 2
Smeten 3,4
Sapi -3,4
Brawan 3,4
Akul 3,4
Kompas Volcanic
Member 5
Sihapas ~
Sawahtambang v
Painan 8
Hulusimpangg- ~5

Seblat 9- ~5
Tuffaceous volcanic member on Nias and ? Siberut.
Volcanic facies of Tangla Formation with volcanic and
conglomeratic sediments and localised intermediate
volcanics & anaygdaloidal basalts. Minor
intermediate volcanics in the Ligan Member.
Felsic, intermediate pyroclastics. Flow banded welded
tuff in Langsa quadrangle.
Felsic, intermediate and marie lavas & pyroclastics;
Massive hornblende andesites, agglomerates & lapilli
aggregates with propylitization and subvolcanic
Andesites, basalts, agglomerates & volcaniclastic
sediments; propylitization. Interbedded with
Rampong Fm.
Andesites & pyroclastics; minor reworked pyroclastics;
thickness 200-500 m. Part of Loser Formation.
Cubadak Member contains volcaniclastic sandstones
interbedded with limestones above mudstones &
pebbly sandstones.
Increase upwards in quantity of volcanic clasts, relative
to clastic& metamorphic clasts in fluviatile
conglomerates & conglomeratic sandstones.
Andesitic-dacitic lavas, tufts, ignimbrites, tuff breccia,
breccia, & minor sediments including arkose,
bituminous shale, shaly coal, andesitic tuff,
tuffaceous shale & sandstone.
Andesite & basalt or andesite-basalt, rarely dacitic lavas,
volcanic breccias & tufts. Often chloritised and
propylitised and with sulphides and quartz veinlets

(c. 700 m).

Lower part lenses of conglomerate and carbonaceous
sandstone. Middle part tuffaceous shale intercalated
with limestone. Upper part tuffaceous siltstone &
calcareous claystone & glauconitic sandstone.
References: JSamuel et al. (t997), 2Bennett et al. (1981b), 3Cameron et al.
(1982a), 4Cameron et al. (1983), 5Cameron et al. (1982b), 6Rock et al.
(1983), 7Howells (1997b), SRosidi et al. (1976), 9Kusnama et al. 1993b),
t~ et al. (1994), IIGafoer et al. (1992c), leAmin et al. (1994a),
13Gafoer et al. (1994), J4Amin et al. (1994b), 15Andi Mangga et al. (1994a).
become more extensive, with lavas and volcaniclastics forming a
discontinuous linear outcrop, mapped as a few aerially extensive
formations (Table 8.6 & Fig. 8.6). Dykes and flows (Table 9.1)
in the Sibologa area have been dated between 20 and 17 Ma; in
the Kengkulu area between 17 and 13 Ma and between 20 and
14 Ma in the Tanjungkarang area (Bellon et al. 2004). Ashes
derived from the volcanic arc occur in the forearc islands of
Nias and Siberut, and probably also on Enggano, where the tuffaceous
Kemiki Formation (Upper Middle Miocene-Pliocene) was
deposited in a terrestrial environment (Amin et al. 1994a).
Acidic volcanic rocks occur in the Calang Volcanic Formation
(rhyodacites) of northern Sumatra and in the extensive Bal
Formation (dacites) of southern Sumatra. Otherwise the volcanic
rocks are reported mostly to be andesites, with some basalts.
Rock et al. (1983) describe volcanic rocks of intermediate composition
from the equatorial sector.
Sub-volcanic and other intrusions are observed to be associated
in the field with several of the Middle Miocene volcanic
fortnations (e.g. Calang and Saliguro Formations), and have
been dated by Bellon et al. (2004) (Table 8.1). The Raya Diorite
with a K-Ar hornblende age of 18.9 _+ 1.2 Ma (average of six analyses)

was emplaced within the Breueh Volcanic Formation (Late

Middle-Late Eocene) on Pulau Breueh NW of Banda Aceh. The
diorite stock is associated with dykes which are described as
having been intruded into hot and plastic lavas (Bennett et al.
1981a). According to Rock et al. (1982) the Raya Stock may be
the subvolcanic equivalent of the lavas, suggesting that late
Early Miocene lavas are present within the Breueh Volcanic
Formation, which may therefore be a composite unit.
High-K Series volcanism in the backarc. Eubank & Makki (1981)
described volcanic rocks encountered in seven oil exploration
wells in the Central Sumatra Basin. These wells penetrated
small sills, dykes, lavas and tufts of Middle Miocene age in the
Coastal Plains Block along the Malacca Strait. Rock types
include gabbro, micro-gabbro, olivine trachyte tuff and basalt.
The extrusive rocks are crystal-lithic, vitric tufts that originated
from the explosive chilling of gas-rich, partially chilled magma,
The extrusives appear to have been deposited on an eroded
surface, and possible pyroclastic cones were identified on
seismic profiles. Uplift and erosion are known to have occurred
in the Coastal Plains area during the Mid-Miocene. Submarine
basalt flows encountered in the Merak-1 well are interbedded
with marine sediments of N8 age (16-17 Ma) and yielded
radiometric ages between 17.5-12 Ma (no analytical details are
available). Some of the shallower intrusions showed contamination
by sediment, but there was no significant assimilation of
wall rock. The chemistry of these rocks indicates that they are
K-rich shoshonites, typical of a high-K alkaline backarc association,
but no chemical analyses were quoted. A seismic profile
across the Buantan Intrusive Centre imaged a laccolith, about
4 km in diameter emplaced along the boundary between the
Telisa and Bekasnap Formations, occupying a faulted arch in the

overlying Telisa and Petani Formations (Heidrick & Aulia

1993). High-K series volcanics are present in the Natal area,
where Bellon et al. (2004) have dated an absarokite flow at
18.2 + 0.4 Ma
Andesitic intrusives and extrusives with radiometric ages
between 18 and 14 Ma (no analytical data given), were penetrated
in the Capang-1 and Abung-1 wells in the Terbanggi and Negara
Batin Grabens of the Bandar Jaya Basin of Southern Sumatra
(Williams et al. 1995).
Late Miocene through P l i o c e n e volcanic episode
(Table 8. 7 and Fig. 8. 7)
Stratigraphic dating of volcanic rocks and volcaniclastic sediments
indicate that the final episode of the Neogene volcanic
activity continued into the Quaternary, represented in southern
Sumatra by the volcaniclastic Kasai Formation. In Northern and
Central Sumatra the distribution of Pliocene volcaniclastics
is obscured by the extensive, younger Toba Tufts; Pliocene
volcaniclastics have been recognized east of Aceh, where a flow
of andesite is dated at 1.76 Ma by Bellon et al. (2004). The
Haranggoal Volcanic Formation (?Middle-Upper Miocene;
Aldiss et al. 1982) at Lake Toba has been dated at 1.2 Ma, and
now is interpreted as an early volcanic phase related to the Toba
Caldera Complex (Chesner & Rose 1991). Older a~176
dates for an andesite flow of 2 _ 0.3 Ma and a basalt dyke of
1.9 + 0.2 are reported by Bellon et al. (2004) from the Toba area.
Pliocene volcanic centres around Lake Toba crop out as inliers
within the Toba Tufts. These centres are set back slightly from the
continuation of the trend of the volcanic arc in southern Sumatra.
Their position and rhyolitic composition suggests a similar origin
to the Toba Caldera system; a relationship to the subduction of the
Investigator Fracture Zone (Fauzi et al. 1996) during the Pliocene

is likely.
Pliocene volcanics are recognized in equatorial Sumatra (Rock
et al. 1983) and an undated linear outcrop of volcanic rocks occurs
in the Painan Quadrangle (Rosidi et al. 1976), which includes volcanics
of the episode (Bellon et al. 2004). In SW Sumatra volcanic
centres with a rhyolite association (Pasumah and Ranau) have
r,.Brawan X
S~ 'T, Smeten
, Lake
v\\ O~. \ Tangla
, sj U,s
"%00~ X ihapa I
\ awatamb
\ "-4
?Gawo ~,,~ ~~ainan /
" - ' ,~. I , Avxi~al f ault of !)
I Tufts and volcaniclastic \ T sediments \ simpan
Volcanic rocks with \ --~
lava flows \ ~ .
Plutons 0 200km %
Fig. 8.5. Distribution of Late
Oligocene-Early Miocene volcanic units.
Palaeogeographic outline of Sumatra after
Figure 14.18b. Volcanic units listed in
Table 8.5.

been recognized and volcanics dated between 5.5 and 2.4 Ma in

the Bengkulu area by Bellon et al. (2004) (see Table 8.1). In the
extreme south of Sumatra (Andi Mangga et al. 1994a) volcanic
centres of andesitic lavas in the Sunda Strait at Pulau Sebuku
and Gunung Durianpajung are early manifestations of the
volcanicity in the Sunda Strait which climaxed during the
Quaternary (see Chapter 9).
Major and trace element geochemistry of the Tertiary
volcanic rocks
There is more chemical data for the Neogene than for the Palaeogene
volcanic rocks of Sumatra, but the majority of analyses are of major
elements only; these have been discussed by Rock et al. (1982).
Analyses of samples for major and minor elements from selected
volcanic occurrences are given by Wajzer (1986), Kallagher
(1989), Gasparon & Varne (1995) and Bellon et al. (2004).
Samples from the Langsat, Lahat and Tarahan formations,
forming the Late Eocene-Late Oligocene Volcanic Episode
(Tables 8.8 & 8.9), are shoshonitic, and other Langsat Formation
analyses fall in the medium and high-K fields (Fig. 8.8a). The bulk
of the major element analyses (Tables 8.9 & 8.10) are of rocks
belonging to the Mid-Late Miocene Volcanic Episode (Fig. 8.8b
and see Bellon et al. 2004, fig. 3) which fall in the medium-K and
high-K fields of Gill (1981).
There is only sparse trace element data for Tertiary volcanic
rocks from Sumatra. In Figure 8.9(a, b) selected analyses are
normalized with respect to MORB, using the values given by
Pearce (1982). The elements are placed in their 'CoryellMatsuda order', as recommended by McCulloch & Gamble
(1991), which takes into account the low mobility of Nb and relatively
high mobility of St. Coryell and Matsuda spider diagrams
give similar patterns for selected analyses for the Late Eocene-

Early Miocene and Mid-Miocene Volcanic Episodes. In volcanic

rocks from both episodes high field strength elements (Nb, Zr,
Ti, Y, Sc and Cr) are depleted relative to the large ion lithophile
elements (Rb, Ba, K, Th and Sr), although in some analyses Nb,
Zr and Cr show a varied behaviour, presumably due to fractionation
and other magmatic effects during their passage through the crust.
There is some evidence from the Sumatra dataset for the incorporation
of subducted sediment in melts. In Figure 8.10, MgO is
plotted against the ratio of Zr/Nb, which Macpherson & Hall
(1999) consider is relatively sensitive to the recognition of
sediment-derived melts that have been added to mantle wedge
melts derived from N-MORB. Some volcanic rocks from the
Late Eocene-Early Miocene and from the Mid-Miocene episodes
have Zr/Nb ratios equal to, or greater than, that of N-MORB,
which suggests that the lavas were derived from the mantle
wedge beneath Sumatra, which was variably depleted with
respect to N-MORB. The chemistry of the the Mid-Miocene volcanics
of the Sayeung, Mirah and Calang formations of Northern
Table 8.6. Lithologies of the Late Early Miocene-Mid-Miocene volcanic episode comprising the
Late Early Miocene and Mid-Miocene volcanic phases
Volcanic Fro/Unit Lithology
Lahomie j
Salibi 2
Kemiki j6
Calang 3,4
Woyla -s
Sayeung 5
Tripa 5
Mirah 5
Alem 5

Muereubo -s
Kotabakti 5
Auran 6
Trumon 7
Pinapan 7
Toru 7
Musala s
Angkola s
Nabirong s
Petani s
Telisa 9
Saligaro I~
Areas ~o
Sikakara l~
Lubuksikaping area Ic~
'Andesite' ~T
Lemau 12
C Sumatra Back-arc Basin Is
Bandar Jaya I~
Nias, Banyak, Pini; Facies Ll. Tuff Marker Horizon 5 m. Outer neritic tufts.
Siberut; tufts, claystone & siltstone.
Enggano: Tuff, sandy tuff, tuffaceous sandstone & tuffaceous siltstone.
Porphyritic, epidotised andesitic lavas with associated feeder dykes & subvolcanic intrusions.
Subordinate basalts, microgabbroids,
breccias & agglomerates. Thin sediment interbeds include coals. Unga Diorite possible
subvolcanic centre, lnterbedded
rhyodacites, pyroxene andesites & basalts. Some prophylitization.
Eastern unit of Calang Fm. named by Kallagher (1989). Rhyolites, andesites & basalts,
volcanogenic conglomerates & lithic tufts.

Basalts, lahars, tufts & dykes; 14-16 Ma.

Basalts, andesites, Jithic tufts, lahars and pyroclastics.
Porphyritic & aphyric basalt & lahars.
Basalts, 12-8 Ma.
Porphyritic basalts.
Base local massive tuffaceous sandstones but predominantly argillaceous and usually calcareous.
Top predominantly arenaceous.
Partly propylitised hornblende andesites & pyroclastics. Clasts of dacite & basalt in
Agglomerates. Cut by subvolcanic intrusion
dated at 12 Ma.
Andesitic volcanics, agglomerates & tufts with associated hypabyssal microdiorite &
microgranite. Wackes, tuffaceous wackes,
mudstones & calcareous sandstones.
Andesite, dacite & basaltic andesite lavas & pyroclastics also 'rhyolite' & 'trachyandesite'.
Associated hypabyssal rocks include
diopside vogesite dykes.
Andesitic agglomerates; analysed andesite has shoshonitic affinity.
Andesites, hornblende andesites, andesitic intrusives, possible subvolcanic diorites with K-Ar
age date: 17.2 _+ 5 Ma.
Hornblende & plagioclase phyric andesites, ?basalts, volcanic breccias & agglomerates.
Volcanics often prophylitized,
Intermediate volcanics, lavas, agglomerates and breccias.
Sajurmatinggi Member Abundant volcanic debris in paralic mudstones, siltstones, sandstones &
Sigama Volcanic Member Basal Telisa Formation volcanic unit composed of 300 m of tufts.
Andesitic lavas and breccias with sediment intercalations of Telisa Formation.
Mostly intermediate volcaniclastics, lavas & minor intrusives & sediments. Hydrothermal
alteration/mineralisation in Mangani
Aphyric, somewhat brecciated andesites and porphyritic andesites.
Lithic crystal tufts, feldspar- & pyroxene phyric andesites & minor sediments.

Various outcrops of varied lavas (dacites, andesites & basalts), agglomerates, breccias & tufts
considered to range between
Mid-Miocene-Plioccne or Pleistocene.
Andesite (basaltic)microbreccia (age from Gafoer et al. 1992a).
Volcaniclastic breccia, dacitic-tuffaceous sandstone, luffs & clays.
Dacitic tufts unconformable on Hulusimpang Formation. T3pe area. Dacitic epiclastic breccia
with sandstone intercalations & tuff.
Subcrop of crystal-lithic, vitric tuff s, olivine trachyte tuff, basalt gabbro & micro-gabbro. Basalt
tlows in the Merak-1 well are
embedded in marine sediments of N8 age (16-17 Ma) and yielded radiometric ages between
17.5-12 Ma.
Andesitic inlrusives and extrusives (14-18 Ma), in Capang-1 and Abung-1 wells.
References: ISamuel et al. (1987), -~Andi Mangga et al. (1994b). ~Bennett et al. (1981a, b),
4Cameron et al. (1983), 5Kallagher (1989), r~Cameron et al. (1982a), :Aldiss
et al. (1983), 8Aspdcn eta/. (1982b), ~Cameron (1983), I~ et al. (1983), J IKastowo & Leo
( 1973), 12Kusnama et al. (1993b), 13Suwarna et al. (1994), HGafoer
et al. (1992c), 15Amin et al. (1994a), I(~Gafoer et al. (1994), 17Amin et al. (1994b), 18Eubank
& Makki (1981), I'~Williams et al. (1995).
Sumatra with Zr/Nb ratios lower than N-MORB, may reflect the
incorporation of subducted sediment. This subducted sediment
could have been pelagic sediments riding on the oceanic slab, sediments
derived from the uplift of the Barisan Mountains and
washed across the forearc into the trench, or distal turbidites
derived from erosion of the Himalayas (Curray & Moore 1974).
Schluter et al. (2002) date the initiation of Accretionary Wedge
II as Mid-Miocene in Southern Sumatra, but the time of arrival
in the Sunda Trench of sediments of the Nicobar Fan, derived
from the uplift and erosion of the Himalayas has been revised to
Late Miocene by Curray (1994).
Bellon et al. (2004) did not identify spatial or temporal geochemical
trends within their Sumatra analytical data, and attributed

this to the complex igneous petrogenesis involving

contributions from the continental crust, mantle wedge and the
subducted slab. 'Normal' calcalkaline magma types predominate,
but Na-rich variants with SiO2 > 56% and very low heavy rare
earth element (HREE) and Y contents, known as adakites, also
are present. Bellon et al. (2004) identified adakites within the
Lassi batholith (intruded at c. 56 Ma, Imtihanah 2000). Examples
of Neogene plutonic adakites in Sumatra include the Lolo batholith
(intruded at c. 15 Ma, Imtihanah 2000), the Way Bangbang
granite near Kotaagung (intruded at c.20 Ma) and in the Anai
pluton, NE of Padang, taken from the analyses in McCourt &
Cobbing (1993). Piutonic and volcanic adakites are understood
to be derived from magmas rich in residual garnet; the melting
of subducted oceanic meta-crust is a potential source (Juteau &
Maury 1999), and Bellon et al. (2004) noted the potential contribution
of garnetiferous metamorphic rocks in the crust beneath
Sumatra, specifically in the Toba area.
Volcanism, plutonism and subduction beneath Sumatra
during the Tertiary: summary of Tertiary volcanism
and tectonic overview
The orientation of Sumatra during the Palaeogene
and rotation history during the Tertiary
Ninkovich (1976) proposed that the long axis of Sumatra rotated
clockwise from an east-west orientation to NW-SE during the
Tertiary, centred on the Sunda Strait. It is now confirmed by
marine geophysical surveys that extension in the Sunda Strait
was facilitated by movements between overstepping strike-slip
faults (Huchon & Le Pichon 1984; Lelgemann et al. 2000) with
) \...

~ K ~ Offshore bore holes ~ '~

Calang- ~V vy.l~yla,^ _ ~'~ "4" + r) (
Sa"y e~- ,-...7'-~^V, '-,M ~eLu,r,e uhb,~o Q~ . \) J
a~Mr~l '~ i ~ :O ~ k ~" uor a n ~ ~ Z ~ ~...~. ~
- , , . , .usa.M:N,: .a0i oo/ .\
L.~a,~rn,e~ ) \ ... \,- ;: ,elisa C,,e ntffl/sSumaatr (~
~o\ ~ Sikakara\~XVSalig arc ~ Q~
N~ ~ '"-V Lubuksikaping uantan~'X_.
~O. ~ ' ""x' xx
b~ / %Air Bangis~ ...~. ,:V:: Ames ~ ~ {'---..
%, \ j~ "Andesite';'"\~ ~ e/~' ~'~
SIBERUThT \ \ ~~ Salibi ~ x ~.~ . ~
[__T___}Z uffs and voicen iclastic~ '- ~ Le;m: au :2IT. ... ..... " L ~
I ' I sediments ~ ~ (~Bal (
Volcaniclavas \ ~.i-~Lemau ~ B~2dgf r
~ Plutons ~ ~~al , [
]" "1" l in outcrop and in boreholes ~ ENGGAN~~ I /
Fig. 8.6. Distributiono f Lower-MiddleM iocene
volcanic units in Sumatra. Volcanic units listed in
Table 8.6. SFZ, Sumatra Fault Zone.
no evidence for the sphenochasm proposed by Ninkovich (1976).
The problem of the rotation of Sumatra during the Tertiary is discussed
in detail in Chapter 14 where it is concluded that palaeomagnetic
data from Borneo (Fuller et el. 1999) and Malaysia
(Richter et el. 1999) demonstrate the anticlockwise rotation of
the whole of the Sunda Microplate, so that Sumatra, together
with Malaysia, has rotated c. 15 ~ anticlockwise since the MidMiocene. If this c. 15 ~ anticlockwise rotation is reversed, the
long axis of Sumatra was oriented approximately north-south

during the Palaeogene, as proposed by Davies (1984) and modelled

by Hall (1996, 1998, 2002) in his reconstrucuons of
Tertiary plate movement and palaeogeography of SE Asia.
Tertiary volcanism in Sumatra, extrusion tectonics and the
collision of India with the Eurasian Plate
In this account, following Davies (1984) and Hall (2002), it is
proposed that Sumatra, forming the western margin of the Sunda
Microplate, was orientated north-south during the Palaeogene,
at the time when Greater India, on the western side of the
Ninety East Transform Fault, passed the latitudes of Sumatra on
its northwards course towards its collision with the southern
margin of Eurasia (Patriat & Achache 1984) (Fig. 8.11). Previously
it has been suggested by Daly et el. (1991), Hutchison
(1992) and Packham (1993, 1996) among others, that the extension
which formed the Sumatran backarc grabens could be
explained in terms of the tectonic extrusion model of Tapponnier
et al. (1986). However, backarc extension, and the associated Late
Eocene-Early Oligocene phase of volcanism, occurred before the
collision of Greater India with Eurasia, rather than after this event.
The extrusion model, like the lithospheric thickening model of
Dewey et el. (1989), assumes that Sumatra was aligned eastwest
prior to the collision of Greater india, and predicts the clockwise
rotation of Sumatra in response to the impact. The subsequent
anticlockwise rotation of Sumatra, together with the rest of the
Sunda Microplate, cannot be due the extrusion of crustal blocks
in response to the collision of India.
Subduction, volcanism and plutonism, continuous or episodic?
Van Bemmelen (1949) suggested that volcanism occurred continuously
in Sumatra during the Neogene. Subsequent study has
established time ranges for distinct Tertiary volcanic episodes
and volcanic phases. It is evident that volcanicity and the accompanying

plutonism waxed and waned several times during the Tertiary.

It is probable that subduction was taking place continuously
beneath Sumatra during the Tertiary, but that subduction did not
always lead to volcanism and plutonism. It has been suggested
that volcanic activity is most intense during subduction roll-back
(cf. Hamilton 1995). This was the situation in Sumatra for most
of the Neogene (Macpherson & Hall 2002). The process of subduction
roll-back ensures that fresh mantle material is continuously
brought into contact with the subducting ocean slab,
facilitating magmatism.
Palaeocene volcanic episode (Kikim Volcanics) (65-50 Me)
The Kikim Volcanics and contemporaneous plutons form a magmatic
arc in Southern Sumatra, the Java Sea (Hamilton 1979)
and in Southern Sulawesi (Langi Volcanics of Wilson &
Bosence 1996) (Fig. 8.11). Evidently a volcanic arc was active
along the southern margin of the Sunda Microplate in the Palaeocene.
In northern Sumatra there is evidence of a second inner arc
Table 8.7. Lithologies in the Late Miocene-Pliocene volcanic episode
Formation/Centre Lithology
Siap ~
Seureula 2
Takur-Takur 3
Simbolon 3,4
Surungan 5
Sihabuhabu 5
Mangani 6
Undifferentiated 7'8
Rhyo_andesites 9 i i
Lakitan io- J4
Kasai]O.~ ~,J3-~5

Pasumah I 1,12
Ranau 12-15
Lampung ~ 4,15
Andesite lava 15
In part volcanic pebble to cobble conglomerates, sandstones & minor mudstones.
Upwards-fining soft andesitic sandstones & conglomerates; also calcareous mudstones.
Variably propylitised andesites, dacites and pyroclastic hb andesites and dykes. Local rhyolite.
Andesitic to dacitic pumaceous pyroclastics
and lahars.
Andesitic lavas and pyroclastics, three possibly four flanking plugs of subvolcanic porphyritic
hornblendic andesites. Subvolcanic intrusions
of Mendem Microdiorite.
Plagioclase and hornblende-phyric andesites, often agglomeritic and propylitised. More acid
types present and hypabyssal equivalents
Acid to basic lavas including basalts and andesites, volcaniclastics and associated minor
Rhyolitic, dacitic and andesitic tuff, breccia and lava; welded, hybrid, lithic and pumiceous tuff
with breccia and lava.
Rhyolitic, dacitic & andesitic lavas, wclded tuff, hybrid tuff, pumiceous lithic tuff & volcanic
Conglomeratic breccia alternating with tuffaceous sandstone & tuffaceous clay.
Tuff & pumiceous tuff with intercalations of tuffaceous claystones & tuffaceous sandstones.
Manna Dacitic lava (20 m) in breccia unit.
Horizontally bedded welded tuffs with columnar jointing.
Rhyolitic-andesitic pumiceous volcanic breccias and tuffs.
Pumiceous tuff, tuffaceous sandstone locally with tuffite intercalations.
Andesite lavas with sheeted jointing.
References: tBennett et al. (1981a), 2Keats et al. (1981), 3Cameron et al. (1982a), 4AIdiss et al.
(1983), 5Clarke et al. (1982a), 6Rock et al. (1983), 7Kastowo & Leo

(1973), SRosidi et al. (1976), 9Kusnama et al. 1993b), I~ et al. (1994), I IGafoer et al. (1992c),
12Amin et al. (1994a), ~3Gafoer et al. (1994), 14Amin
et al. (1994b), 15 Andi Mangga et al. (1994a).
~~~-~o~Ta k~. r'~aku'
~ ~ Simbolon ~ /
i ' La'ke "'~- L ~,.
"~' VSurungah~ ~ ~.
| ,,
". ; ' A
0 , _.9...
~ R~aan a ~ A i ~ t l ~
-~Tuffs and
volcaniclastic rocks
~ Volcanic lavas
R Rhyolite
# Dacite
A Andesite
B Basalt
Fig. 8.7. Distribution of Upper MiocenePliocene volcanic units and dated plutons in
Sumatra. Volcanic units listed in Table 8.7.
Table 8.8. Major and trace element analyses of'Langsat Formation volcanics
No. R6029 R6030 R2785 R2786 R6028" NR125A NR128 NTI98 NT217

Ref. 1 2 2 2 l&2 3 3 3 3
Lithology Pyroxene- Pyroxene Pyroxene- Pyroxene- Average 3 scans Porphyritic
Porphyritic Porphyritic Porphyritic
rich fragment plagioclase plagioclase ground mass clinopyroxene clinopyroxene basalt
basalt in 6029 absarokitic transitional R6028 basalt basalt
basalt Alkali basalt
Location 5287 0630 5287 0630 5276 0626 5263 0634 B. Natal B. Natal B. Natal Batu Gajah
SiO2 47.9 52.16 46.7 49.99 46.6 51.74 52.62 49.8 50.26
TiO2 0.49 0.44 0.84 0.84 0.86 0.71 0.88 0.84 0.65
AI203 10.4 8.6 12.88 14.37 10.9 15.8 16.27 14.31 11.96
Fe203 11.6 9.85 12.34 10.43 11.9 8.93 9.92 10.69 10.69
MnO 0.17 0.29 0.22 0.34 0.17 0.19 0.2 0.19
MgO 13.2 7.44 9.48 6.87 13.8 7.81 6.85 8.77 10.54
CaO 8.24 12.97 11.72 10.2 11.7 8.75 7.32 10.73 8.94
Na20 2.85 3.6 1.9 3.92 0.82 1.15 1.65 2.16 0.78
K20 0.6 0.44 1.68 1.13 2.53 4.91 4.6 3.57 3.67
P205 0.39 0.13 0.2 0.2 0.87 0.35 0.26 0.33 0.37
CO2 0.02
N20 4.73
Total 100.59 98.92 101.36 100.79 99.98 100.11 100.56 100.92 98.05
Rb 25 35 51 14
Sr 312 623 587 260
Zr 78 82 58 57
Y 21 29 18 22
Nb 1 2 1 <1
V 150 150 225 225 150
Cr 400 370 140 80 400
Co 73 15 32 28 73
Ni 175 47 30 23 175

Cu 170 30 125 85 170

Zn 90 50 90 100 90
References: l, Rock et al. (1983); 2, Rock et al. (1982); 3, Wajzer (1984).
beneath what later became the North Sumatra Backarc Basin. In
Sumatra the majority of the plutons associated with the Palaeocene
Volcanic Episode had solidified by c. 50 Ma (Table 8.2) and the
youngest volcanics have been dated at c. 55 Ma (Table 8.1).
The 50-46 Ma non-volcanic interval
This interval coincides in part with the Chron 24 (59-56 Ma) plate
reorganization event, which led to the formation of the combined
Indian-Australian Plate and the commmencement of spreading
along the India-Antarctic Ridge. Volcanism resumed at
c. 46 Ma, but Davies (1984) has questioned whether subduction
was active beneath Sumatra between 55 and 44 Ma, and has
suggested that at this time the continental margin of Sumatra
was a transcurrent fault zone facilitating the northward passage
of Greater India past Sumatra during that period (Patriat &
Achache 1984). Alternatively when subduction was not operating
beneath Sumatra the Ninety-East Ridge transform fault became
temporally the western margin of the Sunda Microplate (A.
J. Barber pers. comm.) and exerted an anticlockwise couple on
the Sunda Microplate.
According to Marshak & Karig (1977) during the Early to MidEocene the Wharton Spreading Axis lay in the latitude of Sumatra,
forming a triple junction with the Sunda Trench (Fig. 8.12). The
difficulty of subducting young, hot, buoyant ocean-ridge crust
(Cloos 1993) provides an alternative explanation for the pause
in volcanism in Sumatra at this time.
The Bangkaru Ophiolite Complex in the Outer Arc Islands
(Samuel et al. 1997) contains igneous components formed at an
ocean-spreading ridge and from oceanic fracture zones containing

shear fabrics, low temperature hydrothermal metamorphism (prehniteactinolite facies) in metagabbros and metadolerites and
later brittle deformation and brecciation. Rare volcanic rocks on
the Banyak Islands and in m61anges were interpreted by Samuel
(1994) as being derived from oceanic islands and seamounts.
The Bangkaru Ophiolite Complex represents components of
Indian Ocean crust accreted into the accretionary complex at the
subduction zone.
It may be that the components of the Bangkaru Ophiolite
Complex are the product of a short-lived 'hot accretion' episode,
in which ridge crust was incorporated into the accretionary
complex, because it was too hot and buoyant to be subducted,
while arc volcanism was suppressed, because the subducted
lithospheric mantle was not sufficiently hydrated to generate
melts in the overlying mantle wedge.
Late Mid-Eocene volcanic episode
Volcanic rocks of late Mid-Eocene age are distributed in an arc
parallel to the west coast of Sumatra, showing that subduction,
with the generation of melts, was quickly re-established along
0 M:) P'-

Cq Gh w
. . . . - - . ~- . . . . ~ O. . r . ~ . n . ~.
~ ~:9 ~ cq ~
O4 ~ ~ ~ . .
-~- .~- , ~ o- , - - o- -, Z ,~- ,~~ eq .o-q,. ~ ,q. ~ eq. - - ~
_9- : . r".-. . .~ . ~ . . . . . t '~l o~ ~ . ~"-,. c,~. cq rm, ~;',, eq
oo oo
~ ~ ~ m. --. ~. ~ ~. ~., --. ~. --. ~. --. -- c!. ~ "
~ , - o ~ ~ , _~ ~ ~o ~,~ ~-~
Ol _:
- - rr~ f l - m o~ o'-, oo
_9 . - . .-. . ~ . . . .

~ ~ Cq o~
6~6, d~o o o
_9 0
_9 Shosho
4- ($
HighiK @
~ [] Hulusimpang Formation
~ (~) .Tah aha FnorF mr~a ~a ~i~
1 ~"- _9 _9 Langsat Volcanic Formation~
(a) 50 60 si02 70 80
_9 Sayeung Formation . . . . . .
_9 Mirah Formation bnosnonl[IC/
/~ Alem Formation
V Calang Formation J Hiah-K
[] Tangla Formation / Hlgn-I~
_9 Brawan Formation J ~--,
* Sikaraka Formation ~ V
+ Sanduduk Formation / /
Q Pinapan Formation / ,__,/
X Toru Formation /~ / /VO
Angkola Formation/.~ X
~ Medium-K

50 60 70 80
Fig. 8.8. Diagrams of SiO 2 (wt%) versus K20 (wt%) for low-K to shoshonitic
Tertiary volcanic rocks from Sumatra. The classification scheme is by Gill (1981)
and the analyses by Rock et al. (1982), Wajzer (1986), Kallagher (1989) and
Gasparon & Varne (1995) are given in Tables 8.9, 8.10 & 8.1 I. (a) Upper
Eocene-Lower Miocene volcanics; (b) Middle-Upper Miocene volcanic
the full length of the subduction zone at this time. Volcanic rocks
in the Aceh area may represent back-arc volcanism (Cameron
et al. 1980). Marshak & Karig (1977) suggest that volcanic
rocks in the Tapanuli area, offshore Sibolga, were due to subduction
of the Wharton Spreading Centre, inactive by this stage and
sufficiently hydrated to induce magmatism in the mantle wedge.
Uplift of the whole of the forearc occurred in the Late Eocene
producing a regional unconformity (Samuel et al. 1997). This
phase of uplift coincides with the age of 40 ___ 3 Ma obtained
from the Bangkuru Ophiolite Complex in Simuelue (Harbury &
Kallagher 1991), which Kallagher (1990) attributes to deformation
of warm oceanic crust during accretion.
Late Eocene-Early Miocene volcanic episode
Late Eocene-Early Oligocene volcanic phase (c. 37-30 Ma). Over a
short period the linear volcanic arc contracted to a few centres of
volcanism, the most important of which were in the Natal area of
the forearc (Fig. 8.12). Contraction in the extent of volcanism was
accompanied by faulting and a regional unconformity throughout
the forearc. In the Natal area K-rich primitive basaltic, tholeiitic
and shoshonitic lavas and agglomerates of the Langsat Volcanic
Formation were extruded and the Air Bangis granites were
intruded (c. 30-27 Ma Wajzer et al. 1991). This magmatism
was anomalously close to the Palaeogene trench.

Reconstruction of the palaeogeography of Sumatra in the Late

Eocene-Early Oligocene, by reversing the movements along the
Sumatran Fault (Fig. 8.4), places the Bandan Formation caldera
complex close to the outcrop of the Langsat Volcanic
Formation. This caldera was an important centre of explosive
acidic volcanism, and appears to be the source of the ashes
which are interbedded with the sediments in the southern part of
the Central Sumatra backarc basin, the Tigahpuluh Mountains
and the South Sumatra Basin, an area of dispersal comparable to
that of the tufts of the Toba Caldera Complex in the Quaternary
(see Chapter 9). The association of uplift, volcanism and plutonism
in the forearc close to the trench, and faulting and explosive
volcanism inland, are features consistent with the concept of
'slab window volcanism' suggested by Thorkelsen (1996). A
'slab window' occurs where an active, or recently inactive, spreading
ridge passes down a subduction zone, the crustal part of the
ridge is removed by accretion at the trench while the underlying
asthenosphere is subducted in direct contact with the base of
the mantle wedge. In Sumatra the slab window was due to the
subduction of the Wharton Spreading Centre.
According to Liu et al. (1983) the Wharton Spreading Ridge
was actively spreading at a rate of 30 mm a-1 shortly before it
expired at c. 45.6 Ma in the late Eocene. The pattern of magnetic
anomalies in the Indian Ocean crust indicate that the Wharton
Spreading Ridge lay offshore Sumatra and was orientated at
about 90 -~ to the Sumatran margin at this time (Fig. 8.12).
Davies (1984) suggested that the Wharton Spreading Centre was
dextrally transcurrently faulted along the continental margin of
Sumatra during the Oligocene, instead of being subducted.
However, Clure (1991) has suggested that a segment of the
Wharton Spreading axis which lay to the east of the Investigator

Fracture Zone was subducted at 50-45 Ma beneath the south of

Sumatra, which he shows orientated east-west during this
period. The concentration of Oligocene igneous activity in the
Sumatran Forearc (c. 38 Ma), anomalously close to the presumed
position of the subduction trench at that time, strongly suggests
that the spreading axis was subducted beneath Sumatra in this
period, as proposed previously by Marshak & Karig (1977).
Other volcanic centres related to a linear volcanic arc are
marked by outcrops of Oligocene lavas in the Gumai Mountains,
possibly in the Garba Mountains and in west Java.
The waning of this volcanic phase in the Early Oligocene
coincided with the change in motion of the Indian-Australian
Plate from northerly to north-northeasterly, which Davies (1984)
suggested was responsible for the anticlockwise rotation of the
Sunda Microplate relative to the Indian-Australian Plate with
the formation of wrench faults parallel to the coast of Sumatra.
Palaeomagnetic evidence for the Palaeogene anticlockwise
rotation of the Sunda Microplate has been documented in
Borneo (Fuller et al. 1999), but not yet in Sumatra, although
wrench faulting has been identified during this period. A transition
from extension to pull-apart and wrench modified-rifts in the
Ombilin Basin was dated as mid-Oligocene by Howells (1997b),
at c. 33 Ma in the Central Sumatra Basin by Packham (1993)
and at 34Ma in the Bengkulu Basin by Hall et al. (1993).
Davies (1984) related the formation of grabens and highs in the
North Sumatra Back-arc Basin to zones of tension and compression
between right and left stepping wrench faults (see
Chapter 14). This phase of transcurrent fault movement most
likely reflects the change in the direction of motion of the
Indian-Australian Plate relative to the continental margin.
Late Oligocene-Early Miocene volcanic phase (30-24 Ma). A late

Oligocene tectonic event caused fault inversions and unconformities

in all the Sumatra backarc basins between c. 28 and 26 Ma
1 " - - ~ : 3 ~ t " ~ : 2 ~ ' ~ t " - O ' ~ - ~ r162 ~
(a)0lRb Ba
100Hulusimpang Formation (2)
, O~ Lahat gormatior~ (2)
I i I i I i i i ' 75246
K Th Sr Nb Zr Ti Y Sc Cr
1 oo
w Woyla Unit, Calang Formation
,_~ Alem Formation
\ / ~ ~ Mirah Formation
O Sayeung Formation

O~: ~ / >CUT45 {
r8r <
1.0 <2z
0.1 I I I I I 'dl t I ',1 '~
(b) Rb Ba K Th Sr Ce Nb Zr Ti Y Sc Cr
Fig. 8.9. MORB-normalized trace elements for selected Sumatra Tertiary
volcanics. Normalising factors by Pearce (1982) and trace elements plotted in the
order recommended by Coryell & Matsuda (Elburg & Foden 1998). (a) Upper
Eocene-Lower Miocene volcanics. Analyses by (1) Wajzer (1986) and (2)
Gasparon & Varne (1995). (b) Middle Miocene volcanics. Analyses by
Kallagher (1989).
X alang Formation
Alem Formation
_9 Mirah Formation
Sayeung Formation
[] Hulusimpang Formation
~ Lahat Formation
kangsat Volcanic Formation
00 2 4 6 8 10
MgO (wt%)

Fig. 8.10. Plot of MgO (wt%) against Zr/Nb for selected analyses of Upper
Eocene-Middle Miocene volcanics from Sumatra. The Zr/Nb ratios higher than
the range for N-MORB infer derivation from the mantle wedge, while Zr/Nb
ratios lower than the range for N-MORB imply dilution of mantle wedge magma,
probably by subducted sediment. The low Zr/Nb ratios coincide with the Middle
Miocene Volcanic Phase but the source of the suspected subducted sediment is
not certain. Range for N-MORB from Sun & McDonagh (1989).
(see Chapter 7). This event has been attributed to the effect of
collision of fragments derived from Australia with the Sunda
Microplate, as marked by the accretion of ophiolite bodies in the
East Arm of Sulawesi (Hall 1996). At the same time, folding of
the Meureudu Group in northern Sumatra was accompanied
by limited plutonism (Cameron et al. 1983). In the Sumatran
Forearc sedimentation continued in the Bengkulu Basin (Hall
et al. 1993), accompanied by volcanism which extended into the
Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Volcanic Phase.
AGj~V~ N~ i~'l~G%N . ~/~ __

v Volcanic rocks
_9 Plutonic rocks
Fig. 8.11. Reconstruction of the Palaeocene
volcanic arc along the margin of the Sunda
Microplate between Sumatra, the Java Sea
(Hamilton 1979) and West Sulawesi (Wilson &
Bosence 1996). Adapted from Hall (1998), Clure
(1991) and Figure 14.18a.
1 18 CHAPTER 8
Trt }'
::."~!': SUMATRACENTRALBAsIN/'.~ "~:':' ' :~:~
io: :,:
~BASIb - -

IMA,\ ~)I~
i va "-(~) Tufts and volcanoclastic rocks '"~7o~ i~, ''' ~ /'
Volcanic rocks ~ '.,.; ) ~.~t,~ / _ ,, ~
(lavas) \ "",,"N \\ - \~..-~' .... '-. ".~
00 Plutons ~ ' " - . . ~ ,,~7/'" - ,i"~.
I I Marine and lacustrine " ~ r " ~--~".~'/q~'%./~.)
I I environments ~ N . ;'~ .&~.~ATIBARANG
Eroding landmass ~ "',,~'.~ / v v
~NNNNi Ridge and ,S lab Window' ~ 200km
Fig. 8.12. The subduction of the Wharton
Ridge, the short-lived Natal Slab Window
and other volcanic centres in southern
Sumatra during the Late Eocene-Early
Oligocene Volcanic Phase. Palaeogeography
adapted from Figure 14.18a.
Following the fault inversion event the rate of oblique subduction
beneath Sumatra accelerated to 5 cm a -1, with the formation
of an uplifted volcanic arc. Lavas and ashes were voluminously
erupted in a linear arc parallel to the west coast of Sumatra,
with tufts and volcaniclastics being deposited to the east in the
backarc basins. Lavas were accompanied by sub-volcanic intrusions
such as the Way Bambang Granite pluton which solidified
at c. 20 Ma, and was intruded co-magmatically into volcanics of
the Hulusimpang Formation (Amin et al. 1994b). This granite
was intruded into into a fault zone parallel to, but predating the
Semangko Segment of the Sumatra Fault Zone. A fault of
similar age and orientation also probably occurs in the southern
part of the outcrop of the Painan Formation where Rosidi et al.

(1976) show several elongated granitoid intrusions. The amount

of displacement along this dextral fault zone is not known. The
Raya diorite and the associated dyke swarm on Pulau Breueh,
off northern Sumatra, are also associated with this intrusion phase.
In the mid-Oligocene uplift and erosion in the Outer Arc Islands
was reversed, subsidence led to the resumption of sedimentation
above an unconformity (Samuel et al. 1997). In the Sumatran
backarc basins the formation of the rift grabens was followed by a
Sag Phase marked by a marine transgression. In the Central
Sumatra Backarc Basin sedimentation was accompanied by
wrench-fault tectonism which continued until c. 21 Ma (Kelsch
et al. 1998).
Late Early-Mid-Miocene volcanic episode
The late Early to Mid-Miocene volcanic episode is composed of
two phases. A linear elevated volcanic arc was formed parallel
to the west coast, and there was magmatism in the Central
Sumatra Backarc Basin, where high-K and shoshonitic igneous
rocks were intruded and extruded. Similar igneous activity
occurred in the South Sumatra Backarc Basin between 17 and
12 Ma.
Several plutons were emplaced into the volcanic arc. 4~
ages obtained by Imtihanah (2000) from the Lolo Batholith show
that the Sumatra Fault Zone was active during the latter part of the
Late Early-Mid-Miocene volcanic phase (Fig. 8.6). The Lolo
Granite was previously thought to be a composite intrusion
(McCourt et al. 1996) within the Sumatra Fault Zone, emplaced
at c. 9Ma (K-Ar on hornblende) and c. 6Ma (K-Ar on
biotite). The new 4~ age data (Table 8.1) shows that the
Lolo Granite was emplaced within the fault zone at c. 15 Ma,
the K-Ar mineral ages are considered to indicate that differential

uplift occurred close to the fault zone (imtihanah 2000). The

15 Ma intrusion date for the Lolo Granite indicates that this
sector of the Sumatra Fault Zone is older than previously estimated,
and provides information on the rate of uplift of the
Barisan Mountains. The K-Ar mineral ages (van Leeuwen et al.
1987) for the Tangse stock (Table 8.2) indicate that uplift in northern
Sumatra preceded that in southern Sumatra, but the time of
intrusion of the Tangse stock is not known sufficiently accurately
to date the fault movement.
Late Miocene through Pliocene volcanic
episode (6-1.6 Ma)
Oblique subduction of the Indian-Australian oceanic plate beneath
the Sumatran arc resulted in extension and the commencement of
sea-floor spreading in the Andaman Sea at c. 13 Ma. The development
of transform faults from the Andaman Spreading Centre, particularly
affecting northern Sumatra and the Forearc (see Chapter
13), and caused displacement along segments of the Sumatra
Fault Zone in the Mid-Miocene. In northern Sumatra volcaniclastic
rocks occur close to the present day coastline and were derived
from buried Pliocene volcanic centres, which probably occupied
a similar position to the Quaternary volcanoes. It has been
suggested that the Quaternary volcanoes adjacent to the north
coast of Sumatra are related to the southward subduction of
Andaman Sea oceanic crust (Rock et al. 1982; Chapter 9).
However, Sieh & Natiwidjaya (2000) have shown that in the northern
part of the volcanic arc, the subducted Indian-Australian ocean
slab has a shallow angle of dip, so that the 100 and 200 km contours
are deflected eastwards beneath the volcanoes of northern Sumatra.
Serpentinite diapirs emplaced in strike-slip fault zones in northern
Sumatra have been considered previously to have been derived
from ophiolite bodies in the Woyla Group, and this may be the

case (Cameron et al. 1980; Cameron et al. 1983--Takengon geological

map). However, it is possible that some of these bodies represent
'push-up blocks' and slivers of serpentinised mantle wedge
intruded into releasing bends in the deep crustal Sumatran strikeslip
fault and thrust complex, due to disturbance of the mantle,
caused by distortion of the oceanic slab (Karig 1979; Mann &
Gordon 1996).
Late Miocene-Pliocene volcanicity was particularly active in
southern Sumatra, and the development of the volcanic arc was
contemporaneous with inversion of the backarc basins c. 5 Ma
which caused 'Sunda-style', NW-SE folds and associated faulting
(Eubank & Makki 198 l). At the same time the Barisan Mountains
reached their maximum elevation due to the combination of
magmatism and tectonics. In the Forearc region the redistribution
of mass in the accretionary wedge (Matson & Moore 1992)
resulted in uplift of the outer arc ridge and a phase of fault inversion
on the outer arc islands (Samuel et al. 1995). Intrusive
m61ange diapirs, carrying blocks of the Bangkaru Ophiolite
Complex, Tertiary sediments and samples of the continental
crust buried beneath the Forearc, were initiated in the Pliocene
and continue to the present day represented by mud volcanoes
on Nias (Samuel et al. 1997).
Page et al. (1979) suggested, and Fauzi et al. (1996) using
seismic data have confirmed, that subduction of the Investigator
Fracture Zone beneath Sumatra was the trigger for the
development of the Quaternary Toba Caldera System (Chesner
& Rose 1991). How far back in time volcanicity in the Toba
area can be attributed to the subduction of the fracture zone
is debatable. The Mid-Late Miocene Pinapan Formation
contains acidic volcanics, the Toru Formation is intruded by alkaline
and High-K hypabyssal bodies (Table 8.6) and the Nabirong

Formation contains intermediate volcanics. These occurrences

suggest that the influence of the subduction of the Investigator
Fracture Zone may extend back into the Mid-Miocene.
In the Backarc the Asahan Arch, which separates the North and
Central Sumatra Backarc basins is parallel to the Investigator
Fracture Zone and may be related to its subduction. De Smet &
Barber (Chapter 7) report that the Asahan Arch formed a topographic
feature from earliest Miocene times.
The Investigator Fracture Zone is not the only transform fault in
the ocean plate subducted beneath Sumatra. Unnamed fracture
zones in the northwestern Wharton Basin to the south of Pulau
Enggano (Liu et al. 1983) impact with a gentle restraining bend
in the subduction trench, and project northwards beneath southern
Sumatra and intersect the Sumatran Fault Zone. Shallow earthquake
epicentres (Nishimura et al. 1986) and the Pliocene
High-K Ranau and Pasumah Tuff fields lie along the northward
projections of these fracture zones. These alignments may be
coincidence; these occurrences of the rhyolitic tufts may have
other explanations, related to the complex tectonics and
Quaternary volcanicity in the Sunda Strait to the southeast, as
discussed by Gasparon in Chapter 9.
Chapter 9
Quaternary volcanicity
The Quaternary volcanoes along the Sunda and Banda arcs of
Indonesia are a well-known example of subduction-related volcanism.
Subduction zones are the major sites of crustal recycling
on the Earth, and it is the recycling of crustal material into the
mantle that contributes to the continuing chemical differentiation
of the planet.
Relatively primitive subduction-related magmas that might be

melts of material beneath the volcanic arc, unmodified by postmelting

processes, are rare, so that much attention has been
dedicated in the last two decades to the study of the isotopic
systematics of the most mafic volcanics as a means of identifying
their source materials. These suggest that sediments--or fluids
derived from the sediments--subducted along the Sunda Trench
might have an effect on the composition of the Sunda-Banda
arc volcanics. Gasparon & Varne (1998), however, argued that
the isotopic signature of mafic volcanics in some sectors of
the arc resembles that of Indian Ocean basalts, and that alongarc
variations in magma types cannot be accounted for by
crustal contamination in the mantle source. Indeed, Gasparon &
Varne (1995, 1998) suggested that late-stage (post-melt generation)
crustal contamination is the main process responsible for
the wide array of volcanics in the Quaternary Sunda arc.
The first detailed and comprehensive synthesis of the geology of
Indonesia was published by van Bemmelen (1949), and an
IAVCEI catalogue of the active volcanoes followed in 1951, compiled
by Neumann van Padang (1951). This was later revised
and updated by Kusumadinata (1979). These two fundamental
publications, rich in information and bibliographic material,
mainly describe the geology (i.e. stratigraphy and palaeontology)
and, as far as the volcanoes are concerned, the morphology and
type of activity of the volcanic structures. Other early works
include a summary and review of the Sumatran volcanism by
Westerveld (1952a), and a discussion of the relationship
between tectonic setting and magmatic activity by Rittman
(1953), which anticipated aspects of the 'K-h' relationship formulated
by Dickinson & Hatherton (1967).
The work of van Bemmelen (1949) is essentially based on preplate
tectonics ideas, and a plate-tectonic synthesis of the geodynamic

evolution of the Sunda-Banda arc did not appear until

the late 1970s, when Hamilton (1979) integrated the previous
knowledge of the geology of Indonesia with a wealth of modern
geophysical and geological data and observations, and interpreted
them within the paradigm of modern plate tectonics, producing
a detailed geo-tectonic map of the Indonesian region and a work
that is a fundamental reference for any study of the Indonesian
Since Hamilton's work, the Quaternary volcanoes of the Banda
arc and of the eastern portion of the Sunda arc (east of Sumatra)
have attracted the attention of many researchers. These include
Whitford et al. (1979, and references therein), Whitford & Jezek
(1979), Morris & Hart (1980), Hutchison (1981), Nishimura
et al. (1981), Whitford et al. (1981), Whitford & Jezek (1982),
Foden & Varne (1981a, b), Foden (1983), Varne (1985), Varne
& Foden (1986), Wheller et al. (1987), van Bergen et al. (1989),
Varekamp et al. (1989). Volcanic centres with 'unusual' composition,
such as Muriah in east Java, have been the subject of a
number of works (e.g. Ferrara et al. 1981; Calanchi et al. 1983;
Nicholls & Whitford 1983; Edwards et al. 1991). More recently,
O, U-Th, He, Be, Sr, Nd and Pb isotope signatures have been
investigated to characterize mantle sources (e.g. Gerbe et al.
1992; Harmon & Gerbe 1992; Poreda & Craig 1989; Hilton
et al. 1992; Gasparon et al. 1994; Poorter et al. 1991; Edwards
et al. 1993; Gasparon & Varne 1998).
With a few notable exceptions, the Quaternary volcanism of
Sumatra has been neglected by the scientific community. Rainfall
and temperature in Sumatra are higher than in the other islands
of the arc, and the rate of weathering is often spectacular, even
in extremely young samples. Most of the active volcanoes in
Sumatra have produced only very small amounts of consolidated

juvenile material in recent times, and fresh basaltic lavas are extremely
rare. The other problem of Sumatra is its accessibility. The
Trans-Sumatra Highway, a relatively good road, running from
south to north parallel to the volcanic arc, was completed only
in 1989, and air, road, and river transport to some of the most
sparsely populated and remote areas, where most of the volcanic
centres are situated, can still be a risky and time-consuming
(albeit exciting and extremely rewarding) activity.
Quaternary volcanic arc and its relationship with main
tectonic features of Sumatra
The island of Sumatra, the sixth largest in the world, runs parallel
to the westernmost section of the Sunda Trench, from which
is separated by a well-developed forearc (Mentawai Islands)
and an outer-arc basin, from about 6~S 105~E to 6~ 95~
(Fig. 9.1). The Australian-Indian Ocean Plate is currently being
subducted under SE Asia at a rate of 6 to 7 cm a -~, in a N3~
direction (McCaffrey 1991). Therefore, the direction of convergence
varies from about 0 ~ off Java (i.e. perpendicular to the
trench), to N25"E off south Sumatra, to N31'>E off north
Sumatra (Newcomb & McCann 1987).
There is evidence for subduction along the SW margin of
Sundaland since at least the Permian (Cameron et al. 1980), and
the age of the subducted Indian Ocean crust (based on palaeomagnetic
anomalies) varies from about 80 Ma in the Sunda Strait to
less than 60 Ma in north Sumatra (Liu et al. 1983). An important
consequence of the different angle of subduction is the difference
in intensity and depth of earthquakes in Sumatra and Java. Large
interplate earthquakes are common off Sumatra, and define a
Benioff zone dipping at low angles. In contrast, foci of earthquakes
in Java reach a maximum depth of about 650 kin, and
define a much steeper Benioff zone (Hamilton 1979; Newcomb

& McCann 1987).

The main tectonic feature of mainland Sumatra is the Sumatra
Fault System (or Semangko Fault), a strike-slip dextral fault
system that extends for the whole length of the island from the
Sunda Strait to the Andaman Sea, where it links with a series of
transform faults which continue further north. In the southern
part of Sumatra the Semangko Fault splays into a complex geometry
of sections (Fig. 9.2) and pull-apart basins (Bellier & Sebrier
1994), and terminates in the Sunda Strait against a north-southtrending
fracture zone (Nishimura et al. 1986) that may mark
the southeastern boundary of the SIBUMASU terrane (Gasparon
& Varne 1995), and the transition from a direction of subduction
perpendicular to the arc in Java to oblique subduction off Sumatra
(Fig. 9.3). There is general agreement in considering this fault
....,., t i~l ' !
-./ ~ - L . MEDAN
('" ~-"x
Volcanic Geology of Sumatra
(Lake Toba)
_9 Quaternary Eruption Site
Sumatra Fault System and other major fault zones

,~1~1~ Pre-Tertiary Formations

Quaternary Tuff
Area occupied by Miocene Sunda Orogen
Miocene Diorites to Granodiorites
10 > ! ':~ ii
<'_% , "" "-~,:; - - _ _ _ .
"--, 111 " 131 " ~
;t '~ '~ _) ....... t ' . . )> W~--, ..... ",, '1
, " " - . , ! ", lZ l ~, ~, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , "- ........... " "~:7" - u.~. - - : .<~-'-\ ~I.c:,; , .L s"b. ~" "
M ENTAWAI ". ............". ..... .....".. ~"."-";
..................". . '.. .... r -.--'z~ 71\ i {,
(Lake Maniniau)
",r \ 'm Ii ii i" t '" ~--" i
....................... !~ " .. ....... "7 ............~. -. ........... i L pALEMBANG ......... '\.~,:~ i , /
, . , / / " J * " x ....... -" 7 i L
~2, '2 2 23 : ;i 7
/ I , \, /
" ~ ./Bukit Mapas
;:E~ (Lake Ranau) 2 6 ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
0 125 250 28 ~ _9
s ' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . kilometres:::..:.. ................................. ' ooo SUNDA
.96 E .98 E ,100 E ,102 E 104 E ,106 E
Fig. 9.1. Simplified geological map of Sumatra (modified from van Bemmelen 1949), showing
the main volcanic and tectonic units, and the location of identified

Quaternary centres. Numbers refer to the centres listed in Table 9.1, e.g. 01 is volcano number
0601-01 (Pulau Weh).
system as a consequence of the oblique subduction, with estimates
of the SE-NW offset ranging from about 100 km (Posavec et al.
1973) to up to 500 km since the Oligocene (Wajzer et al. 1991).
More recently, McCarthy & Elders (1997) established an offset
of 150 kin for the central part of Sumatra. This variability is
related to the complexity of the forearc, as it is not clear how
much of the strain is accommodated by the forearc itself.
The Semangko Fault is a very important tectonic and basement
boundary, as it marks the western margin of the SIBUMASU
terrane (Gasparon & Varne 1995; see Fig. 9.3).
North of Lake Toba the Semangko Fault separates older, mainly
Tertiary, volcanic and plutonic units to the south from Quaternary
volcanoes to the north. Page et al. (1979) suggested that the offset
of the active volcanic arc to the north of the Semangko Fault is
the result of a change of the angle of subduction corresponding
with the point where the Investigator Ridge intersects the trench
(Fig. 9.3). In south and central Sumatra all the Quaternary
volcanic centres are situated within 50 km of the fault. As in
Java (Hamilton 1979), Tertiary volcanics lie slightly closer to
the SW coast, suggesting that the Tertiary volcanic axis was
closer to the Sunda Trench than the Quaternary one (Rock et al.
Curray et al. (1982), however, proposed the existence of a
SSE-dipping subduction zone, active since the Pleistocene,
located 20-25km off the coast of north Sumatra (Aceh
Province), which may be a consequence of the opening of the
Andaman Sea. According to Rock et al. (1982) and Gasparon
(1994), the Quaternary volcanoes situated north of Lake Toba
could actually be related to this younger subduction rather than

to the subduction along the Sunda Trench.

The other main tectonic feature controlling the distribution of
seismic and volcanic activity is the Investigator Ridge, an oceanic
dextral fracture zone parallel to the 90~ Ridge and extending
into the fore-arc and underneath the continental margin
(Newcomb & McCann 1987). The Toba caldera is situated on the
continuation of this ridge, and activity in the Toba area might be
s ~~.. ~. Alluvium
~ Lampung tufts
/ Sumatran Fault System (Semangko Fault)
Q Bouguer anomaly low
Ranau tufts
Sukadana basalts ~1 ~
Quaternary basaltic to dacitic volcanics
Basement and Tertiary volcanics
............. Alluvium
~ Quaternary volcanics
Basement and Tertiary volcanics
104 E I I 105 E I
Mt Rajabasa
Sebesi ~\ ~
Fig. 9.2. Simplified geological map of the Sunda Strait
(modified from Nishimura et al. 1986) showing the
main tectonic and volcanic features and localities in the
Sunda Slrail menlioned in the text.

more closely related to the Investigator Ridge than to the Sumatran

Fault System, which runs west of the caldera. Also, the distribution
of the Quaternary volcanic centres changes dramatically north of
the intersection of the extrapolated ridge crest with the island (see
Fig. 9.3), and the ridge acted as an effective barrier to the sediments
from the Ganges-Brahmaputra fluvial system.
The Sunda Strait marks the transition from a frontal to an
oblique subduction, and is interpreted as an area of extension
resulting from the northwestward motion of the forearc slivers
situated between the trench and the Sumatra Fault System
(Huchon & Le Pichon 1984). The area is tectonicaily and topographically
very complex, and according to Ninkovich (1976) the
opening of the strait is the result of 'a clockwise rotation of
Sumatra of about 20 c' about an axis located in or near the Sunda
Strait' since the Late Miocene. Nishimura et al. (1986) also
proposed a clockwise rotation of Sumatra in relation to Java of
about 5 ~~ to lO Ma-Z since at least 2 Ma. More detailed recent
studies (Harjono et al. 1991) supported the early conclusions
by Huchon & Le Pichon (1984), and confirmed that the Sunda
Strait is an area of extensional regime.
An important consequence of such extensional regime may
have been the eruption in recent times of large volumes of acid
pyroclastic rocks and subordinate andesites and basalts within
and at the margins of the strait. Nishimura et al. (1986) identified
two large low gravity anomalies in south Sumatra, and an even
larger one just off the coast of Java (Fig. 9.2), and suggested
that these may be the sources of the thick Quaternary ignimbrites
that cover large areas in south Sumatra (Lampung and Tarahan
Formations, and pyroclastic deposits of the Semangko Valley)
and west Java (Malingping and Banten Tufts). According to
their calculations, the large low gravity anomaly off west Java

is consistent with the existence of a caldera with a diameter of

about 26 kin, that erupted over 45 km 3 of material in the last
0.1 Ma. Their estimates were based on a calculated (from
gravity anomaly data) crustal density of about 2.4gcm -3
(similar to the density of Tertiary sediments) in west Java, compared
with a higher density of 2.6 g cm --~ (consistent with the
existence of Palaeozoic gneisses and granites) in south Sumatra.
Both Nishimura et al. (1986) and Harjono et al. (1991)
suggested that a N35 E-trending fracture zone runs from Panaitan
Island to Krakatau and on to Sebesi and Sebuku Islands, to Mt
Rajabasa in mainland Sumatra, and to the Sukadana Plateau
(Fig. 9.2). However, there is as yet no evidence that volcanism
evolved in time and composition along this fracture, as suggested
by Nishimura et al. (1986) and Harjono et al. (1991), who based
their interpretation only on the location of these volcanic
centres. The available age (Soeria-Atmadja et al. 1985; Nishimura
et al. 1986; Simkin & Fiske 1983) and geochemical (see further
discussion) data seem to suggest that these structures formed
virtually at the same time, and that there are no systematic
relationships between age and composition, and location along
the fracture zone.
The fracture zone is clearly identified by a cluster of shallow
earthquakes, and is an important tectonic boundary (perhaps the
southernmost margin of the SIBUMASU terrane; see Gasparon &
Varne 1995) between the eastern part of the Sunda Strait
(a relatively flat and shallow area filled with up to more than
3000 m of Quaternary to Upper Pliocene marine sediments and
interpreted as a rapidly subsiding trough (Noujaim 1976)), and
the western part, characterized by a 1800 m deep north-southtrending
graben believed to be the continuation of the Sumatran
Fault System (Nishimura et al. 1986; Harjono et al. 1991).


Andaman Sea
Aceh Trench
Aceh Arc
Toba Area
250 km
Arc Granitoids
Ridge llL
,, Axis
/ , Semangko
, Fault
"ii.,. k,
Bukit Telor
Ocean Sunda
95EI ~ 100El Strait / lo5E

Arc Volcanics
' Plateau
Margin of
Fig. 9.3. Synthesis of the principal Quaternary volcano-tectonic features of Sumatra. Note that
the Investigator Ridge is subducted under Sumatra, and the Toba complex
is situated at the intersection between the Semangko Fault and this ridge. North of the Toba
complex, Quaternary volcanic centres are associated with a south-dipping
subduction in the Andaman Sea rather than to the north-dipping subduction forming the Sunda
arc. According to Gasparon (1994), the North Sumatra volcanics are
compositionally similar to the Sunda arc volcanic (see Fig. 9.4), and it is therefore inferred that
the northeastern part of Sumatra is also part of the SIBUMASU terrane.
Bukit Telor and the Sukadana basalts are situated in a back-arc position along an extensional axis
that probably continues into the compositionally similar Karimunjawa
Islands north of eastern Java. Another structurally complex extensional area (a series of pullapart basins related to the Semangko Fault and to the clockwise rotation of
Sumatra with respect to Java) is found in South Sumatra and in the Sunda Strait. Here, the
Semangko Fault terminates against a north-south-trending fracture zone that
probably marks the southwestern boundary of the SIBUMASU terrane.
The widespread occurrence in Sumatra of granites and other
intrusive bodies, of crystalline schists believed to be part of a
pre-Mesozoic basement, and of sedimentary units as old as Carboniferous,
are the basis for considering Sumatra to be mainly
composed of relatively old continental crust (van Bemmelen
1949; Hamilton 1979; Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens 1987;
Hutchison 1989; Gasparon & Varne 1995). Part of the Sumatran
crust therefore predates the opening of the Indian Ocean, and is
thus Gondwanan in its affinities. Silicic pyroclastic rocks are far

more abundant than andesitic and basaltic volcanics (Westerveld

1952a; Gasparon 1994)_9
Pyroclastic deposits
Compared with the other islands of the Indonesian arc, Sumatra
is rich in young fragmental silicic volcanic rocks associated
with major caldera-forming events, and commonly believed to
have involved the melting of upper crustal material (e.g. Hamilton
1979; Gasparon & Varne 1995).
Four major Pliocene to Quaternary pyroclastic deposits are
known in Sumatra: the Lampung and Ranau tufts in south
Sumatra, the Padang tufts in central Sumatra, and the Toba tufts
in north Sumatra (Fig. 9.1). Three of these deposits are associated
with large eruptions that formed the calderas now occupied by
three of the major lakes of Sumatra (Lake Ranau, Maninjau, and
Toba). The location of the fourth eruption, that produced the
Lampung tufts in south Sumatra, is possibly in the Sunda Strait
(Nishimura et al. 1986) not far from Krakatau. The Toba tufts
have been studied in some detail (see e.g. Wark 2001, and references
therein), but the other major recent pyroclastic deposits
have received little attention (Westerveld 1952a; Leo et al.
1980; Gasparon & Varne 1995)_9
Little is known about the Ranau and Lampung tufts. Westerveld
(1952a) briefly discussed some major element analyses of tufts
from several localities (including the Ranau and Lampung tufts)
in his review of Sumatran volcanism, and pointed out similarities
between the Sumatran Pliocene and Quaternary tufts and the
Taupo ignimbrites in New Zealand.
For the Lampung tufts, Nishimura (1980) and Nishimura et al.
(1984, 1986) obtained a fission track age of 0.09 4-0.01 Ma,
and an older age (1 4- 0.2 Ma) for an ignimbrite sampled close
to Kotaagung at the southern end of the Semangko fault. Based

on major and trace element evidence, they concluded that these

ignimbrites are similar in composition (but not in age, nor in
isotopic composition, as the new data show) to the tufts in the
Lake Toba area and in central and West Java, and considered
them as the result of the remelting of the lower crust. Bellier et al.
(1999) obtained a K-Ar age of 0.55 Ma for feldspars separated
from the Ranau tufts, and concluded that the collapse of the
Ranau caldera occurred between 0.7 and 0.4 Ma.
K-Ar whole-rock age determinations for the andesitic centres
and tufts surrounding the Maninjau caldera range from 0.83 _+
0.42 Ma for the older, pre-caldera andesites, to 0.28 _ 0.12 Ma
for the youngest rhyolitic ash-flows (Leo et al. 1980). For the
87 86 same samples, Sr/ Sr values are in the range 0.7056-0.7066,
and Gasparon & Varne (1995) reported an 87Sr/86Sr value of
0.70473 for a Quaternary granite in the same area. These values
are slightly higher than those of most andesitic centres elsewhere
in the Sunda arc and in Sumatra (Whitford 1975; Gasparon 1994),
and it is suggested that they reflect the involvement of sialic crustal
Gasparon & Varne (1995) noted that the compositions of most
igneous rocks from centres in the volcanic arc and west of the
Semangko fault fall within the calc-alkaline differentiation trend
(Debon & Le Fort 1988), with a complete overlap between
intrusive and generally more differentiated pyroclastic rocks.
Their geochemical and isotopic composition is typical of volcanic
87 86 arcs built on continental crust. Initial Sr/ Sr values range from
0.7045 to 0.7065 for the fragmental deposits of Lake Maninjau,
Lake Ranau and the Lampung Formation. These values are
substantially lower than the lowest values observed in the
granitoid provinces of SE Asia, and lower than those of the

Toba tufts (Fig. 9.4). Gasparon & Varne (1995) further argued
that the remarkably constant initial 87Sr/86Sr values of granitoids,
fragmental deposits, and andesitic lavas along the volcanic arc
suggest derivation from a common source.
Whitford (1975) first suggested, on the basis of a single
87Sr/86Sr value of 0.71392, that the Toba tufts have a crustal
origin. Most of the studies on the Toba caldera have dealt with
the chronology and stratigraphy of the different ignimbrites
(e.g. Ninkovich et aI. 1978a, b; Knight et al. 1986; Chesner
et al. 1991" Chesner & Rose 1991), and relatively little is known
about the geochemical and Pb/Sr/Nd isotopic composition of
the Toba tufts.
Gasparon & Varne (1995) noted that the Toba tufts have low
NazO/K20 and high Rb-Sr and Nb values, typical of the S-type
granites of the Central Granitoid Province of SE Asia. Chesner
(1998) carried out a detailed petrological study of the Toba tuff
units, and concluded that the observed compositional variation
from dacitic to rhyolitic magmas resulted from extensive crystal
fractionation in convecting magma bodies. Wark (2001) identified
two separate magma reservoirs using Sr and Nd isotope criteria:
a northern reservoir with eNd = -10.9 and 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7155
and a southern reservoir with eNd =-10.0 and 87Sr/86Sr
values ranging from 0.7132 to 0.7140.
Unlike the other Quaternary fragmental deposits, the Toba
tufts are isotopically (and possibly compositionally) similar to
the granitoids exposed in east Sumatra (Fig. 9.4) and peninsular
Malaysia, suggesting that little or no juvenile material participated
in their formation, and that they derived essentially from crustal
melting (Whitford 1975; Gasparon & Varne 1995). On the other
hand, the Quaternary volcanoes in the Lake Toba area show a
rather variable isotopic composition, with values ranging from

close to those found in the arc andesites elsewhere in Sumatra,

to rather more radiogenic, suggestive of varying amounts of
interaction between the same juvenile material that forms the
arc andesites and the east Sumatran upper continental crust
(Gasparon & Varne 1995; see Fig. 9.4).
Quaternary a r c volcanoes
Volcanic rocks associated with the active volcanic arc outcrop
extensively in Sumatra, and range in composition from rare
basalts to abundant andesites and dacites. Active and dormant volcanoes
of south and central Sumatra were visited, mapped, and
described by Dutch geologists during the period 1910-1940,
0.716 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I ' " , " ; " " " " _9 "
E 0.708
i ............................
i R _9 .I _9
Central Province
- - : Granitoids ,
_ lb/~Q (SIBUMASU)" i
toba Area ~Q~
....... Volcanics ~"~,-~.,.~

_ D~,
- Sukadana
Aceh Arc
J ~ Arc Granitoids~ [ (basalt to dacite)__L . . . . .
0.1 1 10
Fig. 9.4. Initial mSr/S6Sr v. Rb/Sr diagram for
Sumatran volcanics and basement granitoids. Data
from Gasparon & Varne (1995) and references
therein. Note the overlap between the Toba tufts
and the SIBUMASU granitoids. "Aceh Arc
Volcanics' are the Quaternary centres related to the
south-dipping subduction in the Andaman Sea;
other units as in Figure 9.3. Note the gap in initial
~7Sr/86Sr values that separates crustal melts derived
from the melting of the SIBUMASU te]xane (initial
87Sr/S6Sr higher than 0.710) from predominantly
mantle-derived melts of the Sunda arc, 'Aceh' arc,
and backarc basalts of Sukadana and Bukit Telor
(initial mSr/86Sr lower than 0.708). The Quaternary
andesitic to dacitic volcanics of the Toba area
represent mixing between mantle-derived melts
(Sunda arc endmember) and crustal melts
(SIBUMASU endmember).
and whole-rock major element analyses performed during this
period were collected and published by Neumann van Padang

(1951) and Westerveld (1952a). More recently, Kusumadinata

(1979) reviewed the existing literature on volcanic activity in
the Indonesian arc.
The part of the island north of Lake Toba, the Aceh Special
Province, remained virtually geologically unexplored until the
mid seventies, when the North Sumatran Project was undertaken
by the Indonesian and British Governments. A description of the
geology of north Sumatra can be found in Page et al. (1979),
Bennett et al. (1981a, b), and Cameron et al. (1983). A simplified
geological map of Sumatra, with the location of identified
Quaternary centres, is shown in Figure 9.1.
The exact number of Quaternary volcanic centres in Sumatra
is not known. Kusumadinata (1979) and Simkin (1981) reported
over 180 historic eruptions from 14 different volcanic centres,
with 14 more centres in the solfatara/fumarolic stage. At least
37 eruptive events from nine centres have been reported since
1980. Thirty-six Holocene centres (including Krakatau) are
currently listed by the Smithsonian Institution (2002). These
include centres with documented explosive activity but with no
conclusive evidence of historic eruptions, and fumarole fields
not associated with volcanic structures. Field evidence suggests
that the number of active volcanoes is only a small portion of
the total number of Quaternary centres.
The majority of the historically active volcanoes are stratovolcanoes
(20), with summits standing between 600 m (Pulau
Weh) and 3800 m (Kerinci) above sea level. Most of these
centres are structurally complex, with numerous solfatara fields
and hot springs, summit craters and parasitic cones. Other
structures include calderas (Toba, Ranau, Sekincau, Hulubelu and
Krakatau), complex volcanoes (Peuet Sague, Talakmau, Marapi
and Belirang-Beriti), fumarole fields (Helatoba-Tarutung and

Gayolesten) and pyroclastic cones (Sarik-Gajah). Active maars

and silicic domes have been described in the 8 x 16 km Suoh
depression in south Sumatra. However, according to Bellier &
Sebrier (1994) the Suoh depression is a pull-apart caldera
similar to the Ranau caldera.
All the centres situated north of 4~ (Pulau Weh, Seulawah
Agam, Peuet Sague, Geureudong, Bur Ni Telong, and possibly
the Gayolesten fumarole field) are likely to be related to the
SSE-dipping subduction zone located 20-25 km off the coast of
north Sumatra (Curray et al. 1982; Rock et al. 1982; Gasparon
1994). Therefore these centres are genetically distinct from all
the other centres situated along the Sumatran arc.
Volcanic rocks of the Quaternary Sumatran arc include calcalkaline
basalts, andesites and dacites, typical of a volcanic arc
built on continental crust. In addition to the analyses reported in
Neumann van Padang (1951) and Kusumadinata (1979), geochemical
data, including isotopic data, have been published by
Westerveld (1952a), Whitford (1975), Leo et al. (1980), Bennett
et al. (1981a, b), Rock et al. (1982), Gasparon & Varne (1995)
and Bellon et al. (2004). In addition, detailed petrological
studies have been carried out on Krakatau (see Smithsonian Institution
2002, for a list of references), Bukit Mapas (Della Pasqua
et al. 1995) and the Sukadana basalts (see below). Helium
isotope analyses of olivines and clinopyroxenes separated from
lavas of seven Sumatran centres (Kerinci, Ratai, Bukit Mapas,
Dempo, Bukit Telor, Krakatau and the Sukadana basalts) were
reported in Gasparon et al. (1994).
Relatively primitive rocks are rare, and detailed mineralogical
investigations have shown that even the most primitive lavas
have suffered shallow-level crustal contamination (Gasparon
et al. 1994; Della Pasqua et al. 1995). Based on geochemical

and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic data reported in Gasparon (1994),

Gasparon & Varne (1998) noted that the overall composition of
Sumatran Quaternary arc volcanics is genetically homogeneous,
and concluded that assimilation of crustal material by uprising
mantle-derived magmas accounts for the overall characteristics
of Sumatran arc volcanics, and for their overall stronger crustal
signature compared with the magmas of the other sections of the
west Sunda arc.
Quaternary backarc volcanics
Olivine-phyric basalts in Sumatra were first recognized by Dutch
geologists in the early 1930s (cited by van Bemmelen 1949)
during the geological surveys of the island. In his comprehensive
work, van Bemmelen (1949) discussed the occurrence of olivinebearing
basalts in Sumatra, and considered them to be 'basaltic
effusions in the post-orogenic stage', related to the 'tensional
stresses and major fissures along the edges of the Sunda land'
caused by 'the bending of the consolidated crust due to the downwarp
of marginal troughs' (van Bemmelen 1949, vol. 1, page 253).
These basalts were recognized as petrographically different from
the rare olivine-bearing, relatively primitive basalts found in
other areas along the arc, and they clearly occupy a backarc
position. According to van Bemmelen (1949), the Sukadana and
the Bukit Telor basalts in Sumatra (Fig. 9.1) belong to this
stage, as well as rare basalts found in other small areas in SE
Asia: the Karimunjawa Islands north of central Java, Bukit Nyut
in west Kalimantan and some Quaternary volcanoes in central Kalimantan,
Midai Island in the Natuna Islands group, and the Isle des
Cendres and Cecir de Mer (now Catwick Islands), two small islets
off the southern coast of Vietnam.
More recently, Westerveld (1952a) reported some analyses of
basalts from the Sukadana Plateau and from Bukit Mapas, made

by Dutch analysts in 1929 and 1931. In his geological sketch

map of south Sumatra, the basalts from Sukadana and Bukit
Mapas are described as different from (and contemporaneous
with) the other basalts related with the mainly andesitic centres
forming the volcanic arc, although, based on major element
chemistry, they were interpreted as genetically related to the arc
andesites. Gasparon (1994) and Della Pasqua et al. (1995),
however, demonstrated that Bukit Mapas is genetically similar
to the other magmas of the Quaternary volcanic arc. No
other occurrences of this type of basalt have been confirmed in
Indonesia since van Bemmelen's work.
Soeria-Atmadja et al. (1985) analysed and dated some samples
from the Karimunjawa Islands and the Sukadana plateau, and
compared the Karimunjawa and the Sukadana basalts with the
Sumatran arc andesites, pointing out some of their peculiar
intra-plate and backarc characteristics. Nishimura et al. (1986)
in their study of volcanism in the Sunda Strait, reported a K-Ar
age of 0.8 Ma and some trace element data for a sample from
Sukadana. Dosso et al. (1987) and Romeur et al. (1990) described
the Sukadana basalts as relatively primitive tholeiitic basalts,
with 8-9% MgO, 250-350 ppm Cr, and 150-200 ppm Ni, high
but variable concentrations of hygromagmaphile elements, and
with 87Sr/86Sr values and eNd values in the range 0.70370.7045 and + 1.6 to +6.5 respectively (Dosso et al. 1987), intermediate
between MORB and OIB. With the exception of
the study by Gasparon (1994), the small outcrops of Bukit Telor
(also known as Bukit Ibul) have never been investigated.
The Sukadana basaltic plateau is situated in SE Sumatra
(Lampung Province), about 30-40 km NNE of the capital city of
the province, Tanjungkarang. It covers an area of approximately
1000 km 2, and is made of several basaltic flows up to 2-3 m

thick, erupted along fissures trending NW-SE, parallel to the

Semangko Fault. The average height of the plateau above the
surrounding area is only 30-40 m, but several hills, probably representing
eruptive centres, are more than 200 m (above sea level), and
although the basaltic pile might locally be up to 200 m thick, no outcrops
thicker than about 10 m have been observed. Most of the area
is covered by up to 2 m of lateritic soil, and outcrops are found only
occasionally along river scarps, quarries and on top of the youngest,
Table 9.1. Volcanic activity of Sumatra
Volcano name and number
Type, elevation (m) and location Status, last known eruption Notes
Pulau Weh 0601-01
Seulawah Agam 0601-02
Peuet Sague 0601-03
Geureudong 0601-04 (Bur ni
Geureudong 0601-04 and
Bur ni Telong 0601-05)
Kembar 0601-06
Sibayak 0601-07
Sinabung 0601-08
Toba 0601-09
Helatoba-Tarutung 0601 - 10
Sibualbuali 0601-11
Lubukraya 0601-11 l
Sorikmerapi 0601 - 12
Talakmau 0601 - 13
Sarik-Gajah 0601-131
Marapi 0601-14

Tandikat 0601-15
Stratovolcano, 617, 5.82~ 95.28~E
Stratovolcano, 1810, 5.448"N
Complex volcano, 2801, 4.914~
Stratovolcanoes, 2624, 4.813~'N
Shield volcano, 2245, 3.850 N
Stratovolcano, 2212, 3.20N 98.52 E
Stratovolcano, 2460, 3.17N
98.392 E
Caldera, 2157, 2.58~'N 98.83 E
Fumarole field, 500 to 1100. 2.03N
98.93 E
Stratovolcano, 1819, 1.556 N
Stratovolcano, 1862, 1.478 N
99.209~ E
Stratovolcano, 2145, 0.686 N
Complex volcano, 2919, 0.079 N
Pyroclastic cones, unknown, 0.08N
Complex volcano, 2891, 0.381<S
Stratovolcano, 2438, 0.433'~S
Fumarolic, unknown (Pleistocene?)

Historical, 1839 (possibly only

Historical, 2000 (ashfall)
Historical, 1937 (explosive
Fumarolic, unknown (Pleistocene'?)
Historical, 1881 (explosive
Historical, 1881 ? (explosive
Holocene, unknown (~70 ka)
Fumarolic, unknown (Pleistocene?)
Holocene, unknown
Holocene, unknown
Historical, 1986 (central vent
eruption, explosive eruption,
phreatic explosions)
Holocene, unknown (uncertain
central vent eruption in 1937)
Holocene, unknown
Historical, 2001
Historical, 1924 (explosive eruption
and phreatic activity)
Remnant of partially collapsed older centre.
Active fumaroles and hot springs. No
activity reports
Pleistocene-Holocene volcano built within a
Pleistocene caldera. Summit crater. Flank
crater with active fumarole fields. No
activity reports
Extremely remote volcano. Four summit

peaks. Pyroclastic flows and growth of

lava-dome observed in 1918-1921.
Several unofficial reports prior to 1990,
three activity reports since 1998.
Two adjacent volcanoes. Bur ni Geureudong
has a Pleistocene age and active flank
solfataras and hot springs, Bur ni Telong is
built on its southern flank and is
historically active (explosive eruptions).
No activity reports.
Fumarole field on the flanks of a Pleistocene
andesitic shield volcano capped by a
complex of craters and cones. Numerous
active fumaroles and hot springs. No
activity reports.
Twin-volcano complex (Sibayak and Pinto)
with a compound caldera. No activity
Four overlapping summit craters with
solfataric activity last observed in 1912.
No activity reports.
Earth's largest Qualernary caldera,
35 x 100 kin, lk)rmed during four major
Pleistocene eruptions that produced over
2500 km ~ of ejecta. Post-eruptive activity
includes lava domes and the formation of
minor volcanic structures. No activity
Active field of over 40 sulphurous hot
springs, 40 kin long, located south of Lake
Toba. No activity reports.

Eroded Pleistocene stratovolcano with two

active solfatara fields on its eastern flank.
No activity reports.
Pleistocene-Holocene andcsitic
stratovolcano with prominent lava dome
at its southern toot. No activity reports.
Stratovolcano with a summit crater lake.
Several active solfatara fields and
numerous phreatic eriptions recorded
during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Eruption in 1892 produced lahars that
killed 180 people. Six activity reports
since 1986.
Three summit craters, the highest one filled
by a lava dome. No activity reports.
Two young cones, one with a rubbly lava
flow. No activity reports.
Sumatra's most active volcano. Broad
summit with multiple overlapping summit
craters constructed within a caldera. More
than 50 eruptions (mostly central vent
explosive eruptions) recorded since the
18th century. One fatality in 1992. Twenty
activity reports since 1978.
Twin volcanoes Tandikat-Singgalang, now
extinct. No activity reports.
Table 9.1 Continued
Volcano name and number

Type, elevation (m) and location Status, last known eruption Notes
Talang 0601-16
Kerinci 0601-17
Hutapanjang 0601-171
Sumbing 0601-18
Kunyit 0601 - 19
Belirang-Beriti 0601-20
Bukit Daun 0601-21
Kaba 0601-22
Dempo 0601-23
Patah 0601-231
Bukit Lumut Balai 0601-24
Besar 0601-25 (Marga Bajur)
Ranau 0601-251
Sekincau-Belirang 0601-26
Suoh 0601-27 (Pematang
Hulubelu 0601-28
Rajabasa 0601-29
Krakatau 0602-00
Stratovolcano, 2597, 0.978'S
100.679 E
Stratovolcano, 3800, 1.814S
Stratovolcano, 2021, 2.33"S
Stratovolcano, 2507, 2.414' S
Stratovolcano, 2151, 2.592~ S
Compound volcano, 1958, 2.82S

102.18 E
Stratovolcano, 2467, 3.38'~S
102.37 E
Stratovolcano, 1952, 3.52:S
Stratovolcano, 3173, 4.03~
Unknown, 2817, 4.27~ 103.30~E
Stratovolcano?, 2055, 4.22'~S
Stratovolcano?, 1899, 4.43~
Caldera, 1881, 4.83S 103.92~
Caldera, 1719, 5.12~ 104.3TE
Maars?, 1000, 5.25~'S 104.27~
Caldera, 1040, 5.35S 104.60~E
Stratovolcano, 1281, 5.78r
Caldera, 813, 6.102~ 105.423~'E
Historical, 2001 (phreatic explosion)
Historical, 2002 (explosive eruption)
Holocene, unknown
Historical, 1921 (explosive eruption)
Fumarolic, unknown
Fumarolic, unknown
Fumarolic, unknown
Historical, 2000 (explosive eruption)
Historical, 1994 (explosive eruption)
Uncertain, 1989 (new crater and
Fumarolic, unknown

Historical, 1940 (phreatic eruption)

Holocene?, unknown
Fumarolic, unknown
Historical, 1933, possibly 1994
(phreatic eruption)
Fumarolic, unknown
Fumarolic, unknown
Historical, 2001 (explosive eruption)
Twin volcanoes Talang-Pasar Arbaa, now
extinct. Two crater lakes on its flanks. All
historical eruptions originated from
craters on its upper NE flank. Six activity
reports since 1986.
Indonesia's highest volcano, and one of
Sumatra's most active. Numerous
moderate eruptions recorded since 1838.
Eight activity reports since 1987.
No activity reports.
Several crater remnants and a crater lake.
Active hot springs. No activity reports.
Fumarolic activity at the youngest summit
crater and on the northern flank. No
activity reports.
Active fumaroles in crater walls. No activity
Twin volcanoes Bukit Daun-Gedang. Active
fumaroles in SSW flank crater. No nkown
historical eruptions. No activity reports.
Twin volcanoes Kaba-Hitam. Complex
summit with three large, historically
active craters. Two activity reports since

Large structure with seven remnants of
craters. Numerous hot springs. One
activity report in 1999.
Unconfirmed report of new crater with active
fumaroles. Two activity reports in 1989.
Heavily eroded volcano with three eruptive
centres and active fumarole fields. No
activity reports.
Large solfatara field located along its north
and NW flanks. No activity reports.
Large caldera filled by a lake and with a postcaldera
volcano-G. Seminung. Possible
sub-lacustral eruptions in 19th and 20th
century. No activity reports.
Active fumaroles on two coalescent calderas.
No activity reports.
Tectonic depression with historically active
maars, silicic domes, hot springs, and
fumaroles. Two activity reports in 1994.
Volcano-tectonic depression with postcaldera
central cones and basaltic and
andesitic flank volcanoes. Active
solfataras, mud volcanoes, and hot
springs. No activity reports.
Isolated Volcano. Active fumaroles. No
activity reports.
Caldera with post-collapse cone (Anak
Krakatau). Catastrophic eruption in 1883,
second largest in Indonesia during
historical times (36 000 fatalities).

Frequesnt eruptions since 1927. Thirtyseven

activity reports since 1972.
best-preserved eruptive centres. The exposed flows may show
colun'mar jointing, and where the base of the pile is visible,
it overlays Quaternary tuffaceous deposits of the Lampung
Samples from several localities have been dated by SoeriaAtmadja et al. (1985) and Nishimura et al. (1986), and t h e i r
K-Ar ages range from 1 . 1 5 _ 0.17Ma to 0.44 _+ 0.13Ma
for the oldest samples (first cycle of Soeria-Atmadja et al.
.0 ..........5 .10kin
\ -'-..
""-Ampaluc ~. -.. 0 5 10kin

Fig. 9.5. Preliminary volcanic hazard maps ('Keterangan daerah bahaya sementara') for Sumatran
volcanoes, as published in Kusumadinata (1979). 'Daerah Bahaya',
danger zone; 'Daerah Waspada', alert zone; 'Sungar (s.), river; 'Jalan', road. G 'gunung' (mount),
D., 'danau' (lake). These maps are based on scientific and historical
records, and on local knowledge. According to Kusumadinata (1979), 'they may be useful as a
temporary guide for local civil authorities in taking preliminary steps-including evacuation--in the surroundings of a volcano which is expected to erupt, while waiting
for the arrival of the volcanologist-in-charge'.
I .................................... KRAKATAU
//~.~(~ ~~%, 0602-00
P.SE RTU NG/~SJ ( ,~::~!~g~!~ .
,i ~ , , , . I ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
// ~--'-" ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: R RAKATA KEClL
t f~: ~i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:i:!:!:!:!:!:i:i:i:if~ I ~ " ; ,~ ~ ~:: : ::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::~ ',,. ,j
,.. / ~ ==============================================
5~'0 ~o ===========================================

\~ ~!:!:!:!:!:!:!:!:~:i:i:i:i:i:!iY /
l 813 i
0 5 10km
~i:i:i:i:i:i:i:!:i!::~ "Daerah Bahaya"
,o'~:~;i;~-~,~ Danger Zone
............................ Daerah Waspada"
~,,~,~.,. ..... ) Alert Zone
C -J~'~-'J Rivers
/~"~--" Roads
, " - " - , , 7 \ ~ Topographic Contours (m)
Preliminary volcanic hazard maps for Sumatran volcanoes
as published in Kusumadinata (1979)
Fig. 9.5. Continued.
1985), to less than 0.01 Ma (second cycle) for the youngest ones
from well-preserved flows and spatter cones.
Despite its clearly backarc position, the axis of the Sukadana
Plateau is situated less than 50 km away from two coeval andesitic
centres (Mt Rajabasa and Mt Ratai) that are part of the Quaternary
Sumatran volcanic arc, and it overlays pyroclastic products
(Lampung and Tarahan Formations) emitted by centres within
the volcanic arc.
Bukit Telor (also known as Bukit Ibul) is an isolated hill
made of basaltic material and only 38 m high, situated about
40 km NNE of Jambi (Jambi Province), more than 200 km
behind the axis of the Quaternary Sumatran volcanic arc. The
hill is surrounded by Holocene alluvium and swamp deposits,
Pliocene to Pleistocene tuffaceous sandstones and claystones

(Kasai and Muaraenim Formations), and Miocene sandstones

and claystones (Airbenakat Formation). The area of the Bukit
Telor outcrop is less than 4 km 2. The stratigraphic age of these
basalts is clearly Quaternary, as confirmed by a K-Ar age of
1.25 + 0.19 Ma (Syachrir and Kardana, Indonesian Geological
Research Centre, pers. comm. 1991).
All the samples from the Sukadana Plateau and Bukit Telor
described in Gasparon (l 994) are basaltic lavas, and differ considerably
from the arc andesites in both texture and paragenesis.
Olivine with abundant Cr-spinel inclusions is ubiquitous as a
phenocryst phase, and small lherzolite xenoliths have been
found in the Bukit Telor basalts. These lavas range in composition
from quartz-tholeiites to slightly alkaline basalts, and show a clear
within plate affinity (Westerveld 1952a; Soeria-Atmadja et al.
1985; Gasparon 1994), but with a clear trend towards
compositions typical of the calc-alkaline basalts and andesites of
the Sumatran volcanic arc.
The basalts of Bukit Telor and their mantle xenoliths probably
represent the composition of the unmetasomatized mantle wedge
at some distance from the volcanic arc, and do not bear any
textural nor geochemical evidence for lithospheric contamination.
Their St, Nd, Pb, and He isotope signature (Gasparon 1994;
Gasparon et al. 1994) is similar to that of Indian Ocean basalts
enriched in a EM component (Ninetyeast Ridge), and their
overall geochemical signature suggests that they might represent
small degrees of partial melting of an isotopically slightly enriched
Indian Ocean mantle source.
The Sukadana basalts are compositionally and isotopically more
complex, and their tectonic significance and genetic processes are
yet to be resolved. According to Gasparon (1994) the high-Ti
basalts do not need to be plume-derived, and might simply be

the result of several stages of melt extraction from a depleted

primitive mantle. Relatively high degrees of partial melting of the
same source that produced the high-Ti basalts yielded low-Ti, less
alkaline basalts, which then suffered varying degrees of crustal
contamination. Mineral chemistry and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope
data indicate that contamination occurred at relatively shallow
level in the crust, and not in the source, and that relatively large
degrees of crustal contamination can create melts geochemically
and isotopically similar to arc melts.
Volcanic hazard
Indonesia has the world's largest number of volcanoes that have
erupted in historic times (76), with over 1100 dated eruptions.
Approximately one seventh of the recorded eruptions in the world
have taken place in Indonesia, and four fifths of the historically
active volcanoes have erupted in the last century. Since 1800,
destructive volcanic eruptions have occurred in Indonesia every
three years, causing over 140 000 casualties and destroying a
large number of villages. Two of these eruptions, Tambora 1815
and Krakatau 1883, account for over 126 000 casualties. According
to Kusumadinata (1979) and the Smithsonian Institution (2002)
only two historic eruptions in Sumatra have directly caused loss
of life: Sorik Marapi in 1892 (180 casualties) and Marapi in 1992
(1 casualty). Table 9.1 summarizes the main features of the volcanic
centres listed by the Smithsonian Institution (2002).
The Volcanological Survey Division of Indonesia classified as
A-type volcanoes those with recorded eruptions in historic
times. Primary volcanic hazards common to most Indonesian
volcanoes include lava flows, bombs and nudes ardentes, with
lahars common as a secondary hazard. The definition of
'danger' and 'alert' zones in hazard maps published in Kusumadinata

( ! 979) is based largely on topographic features and on known

distribution of recent nudes ardentes and lahar deposits. Hazard
maps published in Kusumadinata (1979) are given as Figure 9.5.
There are currently 75 A-type volcanoes in Indonesia, and 12
of these are found in Sumatra (including Krakatau). Preliminary
volcanic hazard maps have been prepared for nine Sumatran
volcanoes: Bur Ni Telong, Sorik Marapi, Marapi, Tandikat,
Talang, Kerinci, Kaba, Dempo and Krakatau (Kusumadinata
1979). No hazard maps are available for the other three A-type
Sumatran volcanoes: Peuet Sague, Seulawah Agam and Sumbing.
Peuet Sague is so remote that the total extent of the danger zone
is unknown, and the population living in the danger zone is considered
to be nil. Overall, Sumatran A-type volcanoes have
erupted at least 170 times since AD 1000, and the total number
of people living in the danger and alert zones is 33 000 and
254 000, respectively. In comparison, these numbers are over
250 000 and 1030 000, respectively, for Java, and a total of
over 3 000 000 for Indonesia (Kusumadinata 1979). The total
area of Sumatra exposed to volcanic hazard is just over
1060 km 2, as opposed to over 2800 km 2 for Java and 16 620 for
Indonesia (Kusumadinata 1979).
All the historic eruptions in Sumatra have been classified
as 'moderate' (Class II, up to 0.0001 km 3 of ejecta), and only
Krakatau produced more powerful eruption in 1883 (Class VIII,
18 km 3 of ejecta, second largest historic eruption in Indonesia),
1963 (Class III, 0.0003 km 3 of ejecta), and 1973 (Class V,
0.012 km 3 of ejecta). In comparison, the largest eruption in historic
times (Tambora 1815) produced 150km 3 of ejecta, and
over 2500 km 3 of magma were emitted by the Toba complex
during its life span.
The 1883 eruption of Krakatau is one of the best-documented

eruptions in historic times, and captured the attention of the

public like no earlier eruption. The eruption and its dramatic
build-up were observed by thousands of sailors, traders and villagers,
and news of the eruptions was quickly telegraphed to the
whole world. The giant tsunami caused by the explosion killed
over 36000 people and destroyed 165 coastal villages in
Sumatra and west Java, and the blast of the eruption was heard
over 4500km away. The passage of the air and sea waves
generated by the explosion were recorded over the globe, and
the large amount of volcanic dust had spectacular effects on
the atmosphere and on world's climate. A detailed account of
Krakatau's activity can be found in Simkin & Fiske (1983).
According to the Smithsonian Institution (2002) Krakatau
has erupted at least 48 times during the last 2000 years, and the
devastating eruption of 1883 followed over 200 years of inactivity.
Due to its location in the vicinity of densely populated areas,
high tsunami hazard and historical record of volcanic activity,
Krakatau should be regarded as one of the most dangerous
volcanoes in Indonesia.
Chapter 10
Fuel resources: oil and gas
Petroleum systems are controlled by the evolution of sedimentary
basins and the provenance of their sedimentary fills. As the result
of a favourable combination of these factors Sumatra is rich in
petroleum resources. The discovery and exploitation of commercial
accumulations of oil and gas has so far been restricted to
the backarc region of Sumatra, NE of the Barisan Range and the
active volcanic arc, where three major sedimentary basins, the
North, Central and South Sumatra Basins are distinguished.
Exploration in the Sibolga, Mentawai and Bengkulu basins

along the western margin of Sumatra in the forearc region has,

so far, not been as successful. Commercial success has also
eluded companies which have explored basins or sub-basins,
such as the Ombilin Basin, which occur within the Barisan Range.
Plate-tectonic mechanisms and the resultant crustal thicknesses
control this distribution of the Sumatran petroleum resources. To
the east of the Barisan Range, beneath the backarc basins, the
crust has been stretched and thinned and thus has a high geothermal
gradient, suitable for the generation of hydrocarbons. In the
forearc region, to the west of the Barisan Range, the lithosphere
is thicker due to the subduction of the Indian Ocean Plate
beneath the Sunda Craton in Sumatra. This effective doubling of
lithospheric thicMaess has resulted in lowering of the geothermal
gradient, so that sediments in the forearc basinal setting have a
lower thermal maturity. Also, clastic sediments in forearc
basins, due to their volcanic and metamorphic provenance, tend
to be poor in quartz, and are dominated by shales and clays,
rather than by sandstones.
Little attention has been paid to the Pre-Tertiary sediments in
Sumatra until recently, as they were considered to be economic
basement, despite the oil produced from fractured metaquartzite
in the North Pulai Field as long ago as 1951. However, there are
now numerous developed fields in Sumatra, producing from fractured
Pre-Tertiary reservoirs, within the basement, both from
granitic and from metamorphic rocks. According to Zeliff &
Bastian (2000), Gulf has discovered eight gas fields with the
primary reservoir within the basement, and has had an 80%
success rate in prospects where the basement is the main objective.
Gulf discoveries include the 45 km 2 Dayung Field, which has been
producing since 1998.
Rifting and basin formation commenced in Sumatra during the

Palaeogene, at about the same time as the Indian Subcontinent

collided with the Asian Plate, either due to extension tectonics
resulting from the collision according to the Tapponnier model
(Tapponnier et al. 1982, 1986), or to a change in the rate of convergence
of the Sunda and Indian Plates (Longley 2000), which
resulted in the extension, rifting and opening of the Sumatran
back arc basins. Whatever their cause, the early rift systems, trending
north-south and NE-SW, were critical to petroleum generation
within the Sumatran basins, all major fields being adjacent
to these rifts.
The earliest sediments deposited in the rift valleys are volcaniclastic
and the products of erosion along the margins of the rifts,
forming scree slopes and alluvial fans. Eventually, lakes and
marginal river systems developed within the rift valleys. Lacustrine
sediments in the deeper parts of the sedimentary sequences
are rarely penetrated by the drill bit, but they may well form
important source rocks throughout Sumatra. Fluvio-deltaic sandstones
deposited by the river systems have been widely explored
and form important reservoirs in some areas in Sumatra. Swamp
vegetation, which developed on delta tops, formed coals, which
may also provide an important source of hydrocarbons. Gradually
a marine incursion penetrated these rift valleys resulting in the
deposition of marine shales and beach sands which overlie the
fluvial and lacustrine sediments. As the rifts filled with sediment,
limestone build-ups and reefs were developed on basement highs
in the North and South Sumatra basins, and these now form significant
reservoirs. The laterally equivalent marine shales within the
deeper parts of the rifts form source rocks in some areas. The rift
basins were completely drowned and marine shales were deposited
forming a seal over the whole sequence, thus, in Sumatra, reservoirs
are found in coastal deposits, fluvial sandstones, deltaic and paralic

sandstones, and limestone build-ups, all sealed by overlying marine

shales. The flooding event was followed by a gradual regression
with the deposition of further fluvial sequences, resulting in the formation
of sandstone reservoirs. Deposition of these regressive
sequences continues to present day.
There are many regional variations, but this is the overall pattern
of development seen in all the Sumatran back arc basins.
North Sumatra Basin
Exploration in the North Sumatra Basin commenced in the 1880s.
Oil seeps had been known in this area since ancient times, but in
1880 Aeilko Jans Zijlker, a tobacco farmer, exchanged lands for
a plantation containing oil seeps which were being used by
locals to caulk boats. Zijlker promoted the drilling of Telaga
Tunggal-1 in June, 1885, which flowed oil from the MidMiocene Baong Sandstone and became the discovery well of the
Telaga Said Field. The Telaga Said Field produced 8.4 million
barrels of oil over the next 70 years, and very small volumes of
oil are still being produced by the local people today. The
company formed in 1890 to drill this well became the Royal
Dutch Company. In 1907 this company merged with Shell Transport
and Trading Company to form Royal Dutch Shell. It was this
company, in conjunction with the colonial government, which
dominated the petroleum industry in the North Sumatra Basin
until the Second World War. During this period discoveries
were located in anticlines, faulted anticlines or anticlines with permeability
pinch outs, producing either from the Mid-Miocene
Baong Sandstone or the upper Miocene-Pliocene Keutapang
and Seurula Sandstones. After WWII, in the 1960s and 1970s, Pertamina
and Asamera discovered further fields in the BaongKeutapang play, plus the Wampu and Batu Mandi Fields, which
produce from the Early Miocene Belumai Sandstone.

The most significant discovery in the North Sumatra Basin was

made in 1971 in a completely different play, when Mobil tested
gas from the giant reefal buildup at Arun. According to
Situmorang et al. (1994), Arun has ultimate recoverable reserves
of 14.1 TCF of gas plus 700 mmbbls of condensate, from the
Arun Limestone, which lies within the lower to Mid-Miocene
Peutu Shales. Since then numerous discoveries have been made
in the same formation, including Lhok Sukon South A & B
fields, Paseh, Alur Siwah and NSO-A offshore. Other hydrocarbon
discoveries in the Arun Limestone, for example Kuala Langsa,
Peusangan and Peutouw, were found to contain large percentages
of carbon dioxide and have remained undeveloped. Today the
132 CHAPTER 10
main plays in this area include the reef developments in the Arun
Limestone and clastics in the fold belt parallel to the coast of the
Malacca Strait. A parallel fold belt, further inland, has not been as
productive, due to breached reservoirs. Reservoirs have been
found in the lower Miocene Arun Limestone, the lower Miocene
Belumai sandstones, the Mid-Miocene Baong Sandstones, the
upper Miocene Keutapang Sandstones and the Pliocene Seurula
Sandstones. Most of the evidence indicates that the source rocks
were marine shales in the Bampo, Peutu and Baong
formations, although there have been suggestions of a possible
lacustrine source. The various arguments in favour of the possible
source rocks are discussed in the 'Source rocks and hydrocarbon
type' section below.
The most significant structural feature in the North Sumatra
Basin is the Lhok Sukon Trough, a prominent graben system
which runs north-south and acts as the main kitchen. This is the
source area for gas in the region, with the traps adjacent to the

trough being the essential feature of the play. Oil found within
the coastal fold-belt is probably due to the remigration of the
oil associated with this gas into more recently formed
Plio-Quaternary structures. Any oil that has migrated beyond
this first fold-belt into the westernmost fold belt is likely to have
been lost, due to the breaching of reservoirs.
Tectonic elements
The North Sumatra Basin has an area of about 60 000 km 2 and the
Tertiary sediments are up to 5 km thick (Fig. 10.1). The Pliocene
to Holocene uplift of the Barisan Mountains has masked the actual
southwestern boundary of the basin. To the NE the sediments thin
onto the Malacca Shelf and onto the Asahan Arch to the south,
which separates the North Sumatra Basin from the Central
Sumatra Basin. To the NW the North Sumatra Basin merges
into the Mergui Basin in the deep waters off the north coast of
Aceh. The Mergui Ridge forms the western limit of both the
Mergui and North Sumatra basins.
The North Sumatra Basin can be divided into two distinct parts
which have different subsidence histories. Subsidence occurred
faster to the west of the Rayeu Hinge, and this area also forms
the southern limit of the Mergui Basin which merges into the
western part of the North Sumatra Basin. This region extends
northward into present deep waters of the Andaman Sea, and
still lies in deep water today, with its western margin formed by
the Sigli High and the Mergui Ridge. Within this subsiding
trough are two horsts, which were formed during the late stages
of rifting, the easternmost horst is the Arun High with the associated
Arun Field. To the east of the Arun High and west of the
Gas Field
Oil Field

94 ~
Mergui Sub:Basin
913 ~ 100 ~
Fig. 10.1. The structure of the North Sumatra Basin and its northward extension into the Mergui
Sub-basin, showing the positions of horst and graben structures and the
location of oil (grey) and gas fields (black).
OIL & GAS 133
Rayeu Hinge is the Lhok Sukon Deep, which is the location of part
of the kitchen for the Arun Field.
To the east of the Rayeu Hinge lies the Central Trough, a basinal
area broken into a series of north-south-trending horsts and
grabens, that include the Lhok Sukon High and the Kuala
Langsa High, before the basin floor rises eastward towards the
Malacca Shelf.
The North Sumatran Basin was initially subject to Late Eocene
rifting that formed the north-south horsts and grabens. A quiescent
phase of basin sag, with widespread carbonate deposition
and reef growth during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene, followed
the rifting. NW-SE wrench tectonics in the Mid-Miocene
was associated with the uplift of the proto-Barisan range, and
finally, SW-NE compression during the Plio-Pleistocene to
Recent created the NW-SE coastal fold belts of Sumatran trend
which occur throughout the basin.

The petroleum significance of the various stratigraphic units in
Sumatra is described below, in terms of the tectono-stratigraphic
classification used in the Tertiary section of this volume
(Chapter 4) as the Cratonic Stage, the Rifting Stage, the Transgressive
Stage and the Regressive Stage.
In North Sumatra the Tampur and Meucampli Formations were
deposited during the Cratonic Stage (Fig. 10.2). These units have
generally been regarded as economic basement, although if they
occur adjacent to a source kitchen and have an adequate seal, it is
possible for them to act as fractured and/or vuggy reservoirs.
According to Collins et al. (1995), the Tampur Formation comprises
brecciated and fractured limestones and dolomites. This formation
has produced gas shows from vuggy limestones in some wells and
tested 6.8 MMSCF per day in Alur Siwah-8 (Barliana et al. 2000).
The Rifting (horst-and-graben) Stage is the period for the development
of ideal source-rock conditions. Rifting in the North
Sumatra Basin was probably initiated in the Late Eocene, creating
a series of rift valleys that persisted for the next 8 or 9 million
years. The initial phase of rift development involves a certain
amount of volcanism, due to adiabatic melting of the mantle
during thinning of the lithosphere. The margins of the rift
valleys were subject to sub-aerial erosion, with the development
of scree slopes and alluvial fans of the Bruksah Formation; these
coarse clastic lithologies do not form good reservoirs. A thick
overburden in the deeper parts of the rifts has caused the loss of
porosity, which is still apparent in areas that were later inverted.
As elsewhere in the world the rift valley system most probably
developed river systems and lakes, which provided both sourcerocks
and potential reservoirs. However, these suspected lacustrine
source-rocks have yet to be penetrated by the drill bit. The

upper part of the Bruksah Formation basinally interfingers with

and is overlain by claystones and mudstones of the Bampo Formation.
Black shales of this formation form one of the potential
source-rocks for the North Sumatra Basin.
System Epoch North Sumatra Basin Source Reservoir Seal
0 - . . .Q.u. .a.t.e.r.n. .a.r.y. . Pl e i s t o c e n e ... -,t . . .- ... . . : . "
P liocene
5 - - ~ ~. . . . . ' . . .(.1. .). . . . I ~ ~'~
.U : , , :
104 ~ _9 -~
i_ - - __
1 5 - f l O . . . . . . . . - _ _ - - - - - : := - " - - - - - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - }~!:~i~
E ~176
UJ . . . . . . _9 . . . . . . . . . . . ": " 7 .......................... ...............................
t=== 22
1.- (D
3o- . c"
3,%- i
48-45- Q..
O >,
O "~

Fig. 10.2. The stratigraphy of the North Sumatra Basin, showing the positions of source beds,
reservoirs and seals.
134 CHAPTER 10
The Transgressive Stage began about 26 or 27 Ma ago
(1'21-P22) due to an overall regional basinal sag and a gradual
world-wide rise in sea level, which caused the rift valleys to be
submerged. The deep marine black shales of the Bampo Formation
were deposited as the result of this rise in sea level, and may have
been oxygen deficient. The area of the Southern Mergui Basin has
a different history; it subsided earlier and therefore has been dominated
by marine sedimentation from very early in its history. The
deep marine event was followed by reactivation of faults and a
period of erosion forming an unconformity.
A further marine transgression resulted in the deposition of the
Peutu Shales, the Belumai Formation and the Arun Limestone.
The marine 1,eutu shales represent the maximum transgression
stage, although a condensed sequence in the overlying Baong Formation
is a possible candidate for the maximum flooding surface.
A basal 1,eutu sandstone was recognized by Cameron et al. (1980)
in the Barisan Mountains. The Belumai interfingers with the Peutu
in low-stand submarine fans, which could also have been charged
with hydrocarbons during fault movements. During this time limestones
were developed on the basement horsts. This formed the
Arun Limestone, which is the main reservoir of the area (including
the giant Arun gas/condensate field). Many similar, but smaller,
Arun Limestone prospects have been tested; some of which
have been found to contain high quantities of CO2. The reefs
were eventually drowned and sealed by the Peutu or the Lower
Baong shales, topped in some areas by the Baong Sandstone
deposited as a lowstand fan, which forms a second reservoir formation
in this area.

The Regressive Stage deposited a series of interbedded sandstones

and shales forming the Upper Baong and Keutapang Formations.
Reservoir sands in these formations are locally sealed
by the interbedded shales. Within this sequence the sediment
first includes material eroded from the uplifted Barisan Mountains.
Many structures involving these shallower/younger sandstones
were locally breached during the Pliocene to present compressional
phase, but the sandstones form reservoirs in onshore
fields, such as 1,erlak (50 MMBO) (Courteney et al. 1989),
Tualang (24 MMBO) and Rantau (231 MMBO) (Caughey et al.
1994). These sandstones could also have significant stratigraphic
Reservoirs of the North Sumatra Basin range in age from
Oligocene to 1,1iocene, and include both carbonate and clastic
reservoirs. The Arun Limestone has an average porosity of 16%
and according to Collins et al. (1995) the pore types are variable,
being dependent on the history of sub-aerial exposure and diagenesis.
Microporosity is developed in the southern parts of the
basin, where leaching seems to have had a lesser effect. Clastic
reservoirs include the Miocene Keutapang, Baong and Belumai
sandstones the Mio-1,1iocene Seurula sandstones. Percentage
porosity in these reservoirs varies from the lower teens to the
low thirties.
Source rock and hydrocarbon type
All geochemical data so far indicates that the source rocks of the
North Sumatra Basin are mainly marine, although Kirby et al.
(1993) suggested that there was the possibility of lacustrine
source rocks occurring within the rifts. According to Buck &
McCulloh (1994) hydrocarbons in the basin originated from multiple
source rocks, including shales in the Bampo, marls in the

Peutu and shales within the Baong, all of which are marine.
Buck & McCulloh (1994) reported that the Bampo was the main
source of the oil in the the 1,eutu carbonate reservoirs, such as
the Arun field, and stated that the Baong shales surrounding the
Arun Field have little or no generative capacity. This is due to
the low organic content, and because the organic matter which
is present is hydrogen poor. They report, however, that the
Baong becomes richer in oil generative potential in the east and
southeast of the basin, and forms part of the Baong-KeutapangSeurula petroleum system in that region. The two systems are
separated by the Alur Siwah High.
Buck & McCulloh (1994) state that most of the organic matter in
the Bampo Formation is derived from land plants, with minor
amounts of algal and amorphous kerogen. Their work indicates
that the Bampo and Peutu formations have poor to moderate
hydrocarbon generative capacity. They claim that the exceptionally
lean organic composition of the Bampo and Peutu source
rocks is partially offset by the substantial thickness of this
section in the deeper part of the basin. Their maturation modeling,
using in-house software, showed the deeps to be over mature at the
present day, with peak generation having occurred during late
Tertiary times (c. 12-4 Ma). Rapid conversion of the kerogen
was brought about by substantial late Tertiary sedimentation and
unusually high geothermal gradients (46.8~ km -j average for
113 wells). Hydrocarbons matured and migrated into pre-existing
structures in a short period of time and thus presenting very little
chance of loss.
According to Courteney et al. (1989), the overpressured Baong
Shale is the primary source rock of the basin with average total
organic carbon (TOC) of 1.5% in the lower part of the formation.
Kjellgren & Sugiharto (1989) working on the southeastern

section of the North Sumatra Basin, suggested that there were

three phases of oil generation. The first phase affected the
Bampo, which is now over mature in the deep areas and was
responsible for the oils, now biodegraded, seen in the Kemiri-I
and Kambuna-I oils and the Polonia-1 condensate (it is,
however, not possible to use biomarkers in biodegraded oils).
These oils migrated near to the palaeo-surface and were subject
to biodegradation. Structural features containing these biodegraded
oils would have been present at the time when the oil
was expelled from the Bampo in Lower Baong times. However,
most structures have formed more recently and were formed
after the migration of this oil. The second phase of oil generation
oil came from the Lower Baong/Belumai Formation. The Baong
is deltaic and progrades westerly to southwesterly, from proximal
near shore to distal wholly marine. Light oils and condensates at
Kambuna-l, Polonia-I and Glagah-1 were more proximal while
black oil at Batumandi-1 was very distal. The third phase of oil
generation was from a carbonate source, seen in Tonjol-1.
Situmeang & Davies (1986) confirmed the Mid- Lower Baong
Formation as the source rock for the light, waxy, paraffinic
crudes in Gulf Resources' 'A' Block. Moreover, the Baong was
found to contain a mixture of both terrestrial and marine organic
matter, the predominance of one over the other being related to
proximity to the source area of the sediments.
Kirby et al. (1993) studied Pertamina Unit 1 area in the central
part of the North Sumatra Basin and found the Baong Formation to
have TOC values averaging 0.5% with an oil window between
2900 and 3300 m, only the deepest samples being within the
window. They concluded that the Baong could not be a viable
source rock in that area. They found that the Belumai Member
had TOCs in the range of 0.2-4.8% (typically 1%) and that the

organic matter was terrestrially derived. TOC analyses in the

Bampo Formation ranged from 0.27% to 3.84%. The higher
values came from core samples, but outcrop samples showed a
great lateral variation. The hydrogen index values were low to
very low, with only inert organic matter. The Bampo mudstones
were classified as having only limited potential for gas generation.
Since none of these units could be the source rock for the oil in the
area, they analysed all the oils. Combined GCMS and isotopic analyses
on a number of reservoired light oils and condensates indicated
that terrestrial kerogen was the principal source for the
trapped hydrocarbon. Kirby et al. (1993) therefore concluded
OIL & GAS 135
that the most likely source rocks in the Pertamina Unit 1 area is the
lacustrinal sequence of the Bruksah Formation, anticipated to
occur in the basinal areas, but which has not yet been drilled.
Modelling suggested that oil migration from the deepest parts of
the Palaeogene sequence commenced at 11 Ma. The oil would
have migrated into porous zones in existing structures in the
Belumai and Bruksah formations, sealed by the Baong and
Bampo shales respectively. The major phase of structuring
occurred during the Plio-Pleistocene. The oil then migrated from
the pre-existing structures up faults formed during this tectonic
phase, through the otherwise impermeable Baong shales, into
structural and stratigraphic traps in the Keutapang Formation.
The deepest part of the Baong Formation would now have
entered the oil window and have supplied additional oil.
Petroleum systems
According to Buck & McCulloh (1994), the petroleum system in
the northern part of the North Sumatra Basin is the BampoPeutu system. Gas and condensate generated in the Bampo
Shales is reservoired in the Arun Limestone, which is part of the

Peutu Formation. The overlying, overpressured shales of the

Baong Formation provides the seal. Buck et al. (1994) also state
that overpressured shales of the Peutu Formation form a lateral
According to Kjellgren & Suguharto (1989), the petroleum
system in the SE part of the basin is the Baong-BelumaiKeutapang system, with the Lower Baong-Belumai Formations
being the source rocks for light oils and condensates. They also
suggest that oil generated from the Bampo Formation, prior to
the time it entered the gas window, is the source of the biodegraded
oil found in Kemiri-1 and Kambuna-1 wells.
Most of the Bampo is now buried deeply enough to be in the gas
window. The kerogen type tends to be Type III (gas prone) or Type
II/III (gas and oil prone). Fields in the basin are close to the Lhok
Sukon Rift, in the region of the source kitchen. There is a good
regional seal provided by the Peutu and Baong shales, with the
addition of interbedded shales in the Keutapang Formation.
Thus, productive petroleum systems in this basin require structural
features which include the Arun Limestone, the Baong or Keutapang
sandstones and proximity to the Lhok Sukon Rift to
produce potential oil fields. Shallower reservoirs also require faulting
to provide conduits for the migrating oil. The systems also
require that subsequent inversion has not been sufficient to
breach the trap.
Potential drilling hazards
Overpressure occurs in the Baong Shale overlying the Peutu and
Belumai formations throughout the basin; this can usually be
recognised on the seismic profiles by acoustic transparency. Corrosive
CO2 occurs in concentrations varying from 15% at Arun to
82% at Kuala Langsa in the Peutu/Arun Limestone (Caughey &
Wahyudi 1993, p. 204). The limestones also contain varying

amounts of H2S. Alur Siwah, for example, contains about 1.6%

H2S (Barliana et al. 2000, p. 164).
Central Sumatra Basin
The lack of oil seeps discouraged exploration in the Central
Sumatra Basin during the early days of Sumatran petroleum
exploration. However, it has since become Indonesia's largest producing
basin, with the establishment of the giant oilfields of Duri
and Minas. The structural features in these oilfields are shallow,
but have excellent seals. According to the IPA Oil Field Atlas,
the first geological survey in the basin was carried out in 1864
along the Siak, Siak Kecil and Mandau Rivers. Over half a
century later two seeps were described near the village of Lubuk
Bendahara. Despite this early interest, it was not until 1933 that
the first exploration well was drilled by Nederlands Koloniale
Petroleum Maatschappi (NKPM), and this well encountered
shallow basement. The first discovery was made in 1938 with
Sebang-I drilled by NKPM. This yielded gas with heavy oil. In
1939 the Lirik Field was discovered with Lirik-3 by NKPM.
The giant Duri field was discovered by SOCAL in 1941.
Minas-1 was about to spud when the Japanese invasion occurred
and the invading forces completed the well. The wellsite geologist
was Toru Oki, who many years later was to play an important role
in Inpex (Indonesia's largest non-operating producer). After the
war Nederlands Pacific Petroleum Maatschappij (NPPM) returned
with its new Caltex Pacific name and went on to discover Pungut
( 1951 ), Kotabatak (1952) and Bekasap (1955), which have in combination,
produced over half a billion barrels of oil, according to
Courteney et al. (1991). Caltex put Minas on stream in 1952 and
Duri, with a more viscous crude, in 1958. Caltex also
established the Palaeogene oil play with their discovery at
Pematang- lin 1959.

NKPM returned to Sumatra as Standard Vacuum, developed the

Lirik field and went on to make further discoveries in the Lirik
trend, which produce from Neogene and Palaeogene sands. The
North Pulai Field, which is also part of this trend, produced
from fractured metaquartzite basement. The reservoirs in the
Lirik trend range in age from Palaeogene Sihapas to Pleistocene
Minas formation sandstones. Shales within the Minas Formation
form the main regional seal, while the source rocks have traditionally
been regarded as the brown shales of the Pematang Group. As
in the North Sumatra Basin, the kitchens are located in the deep
main grabens, the Kiri, Mandau, Bengkalis and the Central
Deep. The major oil fields are all situated close to these northsouth
Tectonic elements
To the NW the Asahan Arch separates the Central Sumatra Basin
from the North Sumatra Basin (Fig. 10.3), and to the SE the
Tigapuluh High separates it from the South Sumatra Basin. The
sediments thin to the NE onto the Malacca Shelf and the Tertiary
sediments disappear beneath the Barisan Range to the SW.
Rift basins were formed in the Eocene, following a north-south
structural grain. The rifts include the Bengkalis Graben, the
Balam, the Kiri and the Aman (Central Deep) sub-basins. The
Balam Trough-Central Deep contains over 3000 in of Tertiary
fill (Yarmanto et al. 1995). To the east, a region of structural
highs separates the Central Graben from the Bengkalis Graben.
These rift basins were later subject to compression 30 Ma ago,
associated with the mid-Oligocene world-wide drop in sea-level.
According to Courteney et al. (1991) this compression was
caused by the commencement of subduction to the west of
Sumatra. The compression also coincides with the first emergence
of the Barisans as a sediment source. A second phase of compression

occurred 21 Ma ago (Courteney et al. 1991), marked by

an unconformity in the sequence. Reactivation of the proto-Barisans
created a major unconformity 15.5 Ma ago (Courteney
et al. 1991) restricting the basin even further. This period of
Barisan uplift still continues. Further significant compressional
periods occurred 2.8 and 1.65 Ma ago (Courteney et al. 1991),
resulting in major inversions, creating the classic Sunda Folds of
Eubank & Makki (1981) which formed many large traps.
However, according to Courteney et al. (1991) the traps which
form the giant fields of the basin, have either a long history of
structural growth or were formed by drape over basement highs.
136 CHAPTER 10
100 200k
Gas Field
e Oil Field
100 102 104
Fig. 10.3. The structure of the Central Sumatra
Basin showing the positions of horst and graben
structures and the localion of oil (grey) and gas
(black) fields.
No sediments representing the Cratonic Stage were deposited in
the Central Sumatra Basin. Rifting Stage sediments were deposited
directly onto the pre-Tertiary basement, which consists of
greywacke in the west and quartzite in the east. According to

Caughey et al. (1994), the basement provides a good seismic

reflector over the structural highs, but becomes more difficult to
distinguish in the troughs. The earliest Rifting Stage sediments
comprise the Eocene through Early Oligocene Pematang
Formation, and were deposited in the troughs (Fig. 10.4). The
Pematang Formation comprises the Lower Red Beds, the Brown
Shale and the Upper Red Beds. The Lower Red Beds represent
an immature basin fill, of sandstones, shales and conglomerates
deposited in an alluvial/fluvial environment. The Brown Shale
was associated with basinal subsidence, and with the formation
of permanent fresh to brackish water lakes in the Palaeogene
troughs in which anoxic, saline, lacustrinal facies were deposited.
These are algal-rich, dark brown to black shales, which form the
main source-rock for the Central Sumatra Basin. According to
Yarmanto et al. (1995), due to its high amplitude, continuous,
low frequency response the Brown Shale can frequently be
picked on seismic profiles. The Brown Shale and the Lower Red
Beds are observed only within the troughs. The onset of a regressive
phase, with the deposition of the Upper Red Beds, composed
of fine to coarse sandstones, siltstones and claystones, resulted in
in-filling of the lakes and a return to a fluvial/alluvial depositional
environment. Palaeosols in the upper part of the red beds act as a
effective seals. Seismically, the top of the Pematang is truncated
by an unconformity, which provides a good seismic reflector.
This unconformity was followed by the Transgressive Stage
with its reservoir sandstones. These sandstones, known generally
as the Sihapas Group, are the main reservoirs in the basin. The
various sandstones are called the Menggala, Bangko, Bekasap,
Duri, Langkat and Tualang formations, with environments of
deposition ranging from inner neritic to braided and meandering
streams. The producing horizons of the Minas and Duri Fields

are the Bekasap and Duri Sandstones, which are deltaic to tidal
in origin. Overall, there was a gradual marine transgression, culminating
in the deposition of the Telisa Shale. The Sihapas intercalates
basinally with, and is overlain by the Telisa, which
provides the main regional seal.
A compressional phase resulted in a renewed development of the
proto-Barisan 15.5 Ma ago, marked by the influx of sediment from
the west and creating a major unconformity. This tectonic event is
associated with the initiation of the Regressive Stage. The Petani
Formation, the earliest formation of this stage, comprises claystones,
siltstones, thin sandstones and limestones. On seismic sections this
formation can be observed forming prograding wedges, derived
from the west. The Plio-Pleistocene Minas Formation represents
the final phase of deposition. The last major compressional phase,
from 2.8 to 1.65 Ma ago brought about an inversion of the structures.
Most of the major fields were formed at this time, although they are
usually also associated with older pre-existing features.
The Sihapas Group forms the main reservoir for this basin. It is
composed of Menggala, Bangko, Bekasap, Duri, Lakat and
Tualang Sandstones, varying environmentally from fluvial to
inner neritic. The Upper Red Beds of the Pematang Formation
can also form reservoirs, especially in the troughs; these reservoirs
were formed in fluvial or alluvial sediments.
OIL & GAS 137
O- Quaternary
Epoch Central Sumatra Basin
Pleistocene I
I Pliocene

(~ ~ i.. ,. , . , . - . , . - : . : ~ , , . . . . . : ,iUpr Petani/Korinci J - , . : :, : . , , , . , . , : .- ... : . . , :. :. :.

~ ~ ~ !...: :..:,!,-::~~Lr.petant/Bin!~
8 s __
-=,- .uprS!aPas/Durll !..:,
Source Fbservoir Seal
Fig. 10.4. The stratigraphy of the Central Sumatra Basin showing the position of source beds,
reservoirs and seals.
Source rocks and hydrocarbon type
The Middle Oligocene Brown Shale, within the Pematang Formation,
forms the main source-rock for the basin, with TOC
(total organic carbon) averaging 5%. It is an excellent, dark brown
to black, algal rich, source rock, restricted to the Palaeogene deeps
and was deposited in restricted, fresh to brackish water lakes.
Hydrocarbons found in the Central Sumatra Basin are predominantly
oil, due to the presence of these oil-prone lacustrine
Petroleum systems
The Pematang Sihapas System is the most prolific petroleum
system, according to Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995), with an

EUR (estimated untapped reserve) of 12.8 BBOE (billion barrels

of oil equivalent). The low gas (about 5% of the EUR) is presumably
due to oil-prone nature of the lacustrine Pematang Brown
Shale source-rocks. The Menggala, Bekasap and Duri marine
sandstones of the Sihapas Group comprise the reservoirs. Shale
of the Telisa Formation forms the seal.
The Pematang Pematang System comprises the Pematang
Upper Red Beds forming the reservoir with the same Brown
Shale forming the source. Palaeosol at the top of the Upper Red
Beds creates the seal.
South Sumatra Basin
The South Sumatra Basin received a great deal of attention in the
early days of petroleum exploration because of the numerous oil
seeps in the area. According to Courteney et al. (1990), oil was
first reported in the South Sumatra Basin near Muara Enim, to
the east of Karangradja by Granberg in 1866. He observed three
seeps from which oil was being collected and traded by the
local people and suggested that this indicated the potential for
larger production. Strief later described two of these seeps in
1877, but it was not until 1896 that the first discovery was
made by Muara Enim Petroleum on the Kampong Minyak Anticlinorium
with Kampong Minyak-1. The Kampong Minyak field is
still producing over a hundred years later, having produced
about 15 million barrels of oil. In the same year, according to
Zeliff et al. (1985), the Royal Dutch Company, discovered the 4
million barrel Sumpal Field. However, it was a quarter of a
century later before the first significant discovery was made in
1922, when 370 mmbls were discovered at Talang Akar by
NKPM (later Stanvac); this is still the largest oil field discovered
in the basin. The last discoveries, of greater than 100 mmbls of oil,
were the Talang Jamar, which according to the IPA Oil and Gas

Field Atlas had produced over 170 mmbo by 1992, and KajiSemoga, which according to Hutapea et al. (2000) contains
150 mmbo of recoverable reserves. Nearly two billion barrels have
so far been discovered in the South Sumatra Basin, the largest
fields being on the Pendopo-Limau Anticlinorium (Fig. 10.5).
138 CHAPTER 10
102 104
0 1 O0 20,
102 104 106
_9 Gas Field
0 Oil Field
108 Fig. 10.5. The structure of the South Sumatra
Basin showing the positions of depressions and
highs and the location of oil (grey) and gas
(black) lields.
The leaky nature of the seals results in hydrocarbons
migrating into reservoirs throughout the Oligo-Miocene
sequence. The reservoirs include Lemat and Talang Akar Sandstones,
Batu Raja Limestones, sandstones within the Gumai Formation,
and sandstones throughout the Air Benakat and the
Muara Enim formations (Fig. 10.6). The Late Oligocene to

Early Miocene Talang Akar Sandstones are fluvial at the base

and marine at the top, indicating a rise in relative sea level.
The Miocene Batu Raja Limestones formed as carbonate
build-ups on basement highs. Source-rocks include coals and
high gamma ray shales within the Talang Akar Formation,
whilst the lacustrine sediments of the Lahat contribute a distinct,
high wax oil (Caughey pers. comm.). Frequently the Talang
Akar Sandstones form stratigraphic traps where sandstones
wedge out against basement highs. The Gumai marine shales
provide the main regional seal in the basin, however, hydrocarbons
do get through it, so that, as mentioned previously, the Air
Benakat and Muara Enim Sandstones higher in the sequence are
also significant hydrocarbon reservoirs.
In the past the prime exploration target was oil, but now the
emphasis has changed to gas, with recent large discoveries in
deeply buried Talang Akar and fractured we-Tertiary reservoirs.
Starting with discovery of Dayung in 1991, fractured
basement has become a significant objective reservoir for
gas. Gas is piped from the South Sumatra Basin to the
Central Sumatra Basin 536 km to the north, where it is used
in the Duri tertiary recovery steam flood project. Agreements
were signed early in 2001 for a pipeline from South
Sumatra to Singapore, and the gas will also be used locally
to run small electricity generators for power generation and
industrial use.
Tectonic elements
The Lampung High separates the South Sumatra Basin fi'om the
Sunda Basin to the east and the Tigapuluh High separates it
from the Central Sumatra Basin to the NW. In the NE, the basin
thins towards the Bangka part of the Sunda Craton and towards
the SW, like the basins to the north, it wedges beneath the

Barisan Mountains (Fig. [0.5).

The South Sumatra Basin formed initially during Late Eocene
rifting. The basin can be divided into two distinct parts, the Palembang
sub-basin to the south and the Jambi sub-basin to the north.
The two sub-basins are slightly off-set from each other, and the
rifts are orientated north-south in the Palembang sub-basin and
NE-SW in the Jambi sub-basin. The rift valleys so formed were
to become the source kitchens around which oil accumulations
would later be found. Basement highs formed eroding areas providing
a sediment source and were eventually submerged to
form the substrate on which carbonate build-ups would form. A
sag phase in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene promoted
growth of carbonate banks tbrmed on structural highs.
In the Mid-Miocene wrenching occurred, and this was followed
by a period of subsidence prior to a compressional phase in the
Plio-Pleistocene. The end result is a pattern of north-south or
NE-SW horsts and grabens with superimposed NW-SE-parallel
fold trends, with associated high-angle compressional faults.
Sediments representing the Cratonic Stage are absent in the South
Sumatra Basin. Tertiary sediments overlie Mesozoic limestones,
OIL & GAS 139
System Epoch South Sumatra Basin Source Ft~servo,, Seal
O-- Quate(na ry Pleistocene
Pliocene 5- ~
) GumaiF- :: : - : i : i l
LU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2s- .i ~

1,,. a>
(11 g 3~ _C}')
o i :: ::: :: : : : : : :: : . : : : ! ::::
O LU - / I l
Late " * . . . . . " ~ ~ ~
Fig. 10.6. The stratigraphy of the South Sumatra Basin showing the positions of source rocks,
reservoirs and seals.
various metasediments and igneous rocks of the basement directly.
The Lahat Formation represents the earliest Rifting Stage. This
formation has been penetrated in the Palembang Sub-basin, but
has not so far been encountered in the Jambi Sub-Basin, probably
due to its greater depth in that area. The Lahat Formation is absent
on basement highs, and some grabens have not been drilled below
the 'overlying' Talang Akar Formation. The Lahat Formation represents
the initial rift valley sediments, which overlie the Kikim
Tufts, erupted as the rifts opened. Thus, the Lahat consists of alluvial
fans, basal conglomerates, lacustrine and fluvial sediments. It
is likely that these late Eocene lacustrine facies provide one of the
sources of oil for the basin.
The depositional environments of sediments of the Talang Akar
Formation range from fluvio-deltaic at the base to marine at
the top, and represent a transition from the last component of
the Rifting Stage into the earliest component of the Transgressive
Stage. The fluvio-deltaic deposits include source rocks, either as
coals or high-gamma shales, between fluvial sandstones. As the
sea transgressed across the basement highs, carbonate build-ups
developed around them (Batu Raja Formation). These build-ups
formed along a coastal shelf adjacent to the Sunda Shelf and on
basement highs that protruded into the basin. The coastal shelf

was widest in the Palembang Sub-Basin to the south, becoming

narrower towards the north and was absent in the northern part
of the Jambi Sub-basin. Shales of the Gumai Formation eventually
engulfed the carbonate buildups, forming a regional seal. This seal
is more effective in the Palembang Sub-basin than in the Jambi
Sub-basin, as the shales are thicker. The Gumai Formation represents
the height of the transgression and is followed by the
Regressive Stage Air Benakat Formation, and by the Muara
Enim Formation.
Pre-Tertiary basement is becoming a significant reservoir in the
South Sumatra Basin, as with the development of the infrastructure,
gas is becoming more significant in the economics of the
area. Dayung is an example of a basement field producing gas
from fractured pre-Tertiary granite wash and granite (Zeliff &
Bastian 2000). Fractured metasedimentary lithologies are also
The Talang Akar Formation contains two types of reservoir, in
fluvial sandstones in the lower part of the formation and in marine
sandstones in the upper part. The fluvial sandstones form thick but
relatively poor quality reservoirs, being created by the coalescence
of channels, while the marine sandstones tend to be thin but
more porous and permeable. The basal part of the Talang Akar
is sometimes conglomeratic and merges into weathered basement.
The Batu Raja carbonates vary from very porous to tight. The
porosity is generally secondary, with many stages of diagenesis
being involved. Sometimes a dual porosity system occurs
with fractures connecting the vugs. Predicting the porosity
140 CHAPTER l0
development is tricky, as with all carbonates, but there is a tendency
for the limestones to have a better porosity at the top of

buildups. In some areas, such as part of the Air Sedang field, the
top of the limestone cannot be distinguished from the overlying
shale on seismic data. This is due to the high porosity of the limestone,
which brings the velocity down to that of the shale.
However, the Batu Raja is usually a very clear seismic marker.
Shales equivalent to the Batu Raja commonly show a velocity contrast
with the overlying shales, due to their high carbonate content.
The Gumai Formation frequently contains marine glauconitic
sandstones which are occasionally very fine grained and tight,
but may also form good reservoirs. The sandstones may also act
as thief beds, downlapping onto the underlying reservoirs and
allowing hydrocarbons to escape.
The Air Benakat Formation contains many sandstones which
may form stacked reservoirs. As this is a regressive sequence individual
sandstone reservoirs vary considerably in quality and areal
extent. Within the Jambi Sub-basin there are usually shows of
some degree in every sand, but these sands crop out and
sub-crop along the edge of the Sunda landmass where they are frequently
exposed to meteoric waters. The areal extent of the sands
varies and the water salinity of each sand interval varies also, this
in turn has affected the extent of biodegradation of the hydrocarbons.
Finally, sandstones within the Muara Enim Formation
also form reservoirs in this basin.
Source rocks and hydrocarbon type
Hydrocarbons in the South Sumatra Basin are both gas and oil, this
is probably due to the early migration of oil from the source rocks
followed by later gas migration. Source rocks are lacustrinal facies
of the Lahat Formation, which may be the source of high pour
point waxy oils, and the shales and coals of the Talang Akar Formation.
The Talang Akar Shales have a high gamma-ray response,
which is frequently associated with a high total organic carbon

content. The Gumai could provide a marine source rock, but generally
has low organic levels and is thermally immature in most
parts of the basin.
Petroleum systems
As mentioned earlier, there are several possible source rocks. Oil
type analysis indicates that more than one type of oil is present, but
all are derived from the Talang Akar Formation or older units. The
primary system, therefore, is associated with the Talang Akar
Sandstones and/or the underlying fractured basement, which
form the reservoir part of the system and are usually in direct
contact with the source-rock. Gas is also significant, as according
to Zeliff & Bastian (2000) 14.8 TCF gas reserves have been discovered
in basement reservoirs. The graben areas are the kitchens
and thus plays tend to be adjacent to them. The Talang Akar sandstones
are also the main conduit for hydrocarbon migration to
other reservoirs, either directly or via faulting. Faulting occurred
in the Mid-Miocene as well as in the Plio-Pleistocene, developing
numerous pathways. Since the Talang Akar Formation wedges out
on basement highs, and the Batu Raja carbonates were formed on
the highs, a connection is provided between the source and the
Batu Raja reservoir. The downlapping Intra-Gumai Sandstones
provide a connection with either the Talang Akar Sandstones or
the Batu Raja for further upward migration, while sandier parts
of the Gumai and faulting produce the final contact with the Air
Benakat sandstones.
Potential drilling hazards
Coals in the Muara Enim Formation occasionally slough into the
hole, pipe-sticking is experienced in the Gumai Formation and
circulation has been lost in both the Batu Raja Limestone and in
fractured basement. In some areas the lower part of the Gumai
is geo-pressured, this in combination with possible loss of circulation

in the Batu Raja can lead to blow-outs. CO2 is present in

varying amounts in the Batu Raja Limestone, with higher percentages
in the basement and H=S has been encountered in the Batu
Raja and Talang Akar formations. Zeliff & Bastian (2000)
report gas columns of up to 1 km in recent highly permeable
fractured basement discoveries. The well control problems that
this causes have been tackled with underbalanced drilling with
rotary BOPs (blow-out-preventers).
Other Sumatran basins
The search for hydrocarbons in the remainder of the sedimentary
basins in Sumatra has not been successful. Exploration has been
limited by the perceived high risk. The remaining basins can be
divided into two groups: outer-arc basins and the intramontane
or intra-arc basins.
Outer-arc basins
Outer-arc basins occur to the west of the Barisan Mountains and
underlie the coastal region and the offshore areas between mainland
Sumatra and the outer-arc islands. From north to south these
basins are the Sibolga, Mentawai and Bengkulu basins. The outerarc
basins, as mentioned earlier, have low geothermal gradients
due to the double thickness of the plate in subduction zones,
and thus a greater depth of burial is required for maturation.
This may have not always been true throughout the history of
the basins as there is an extinct spreading centre that intersects
the outer- arc system at the Pini Arch, which separates the
Sibolga Basin from the Mentawai Basin. This spreading centre,
which now forms the Wharton Ridge, became inactive in the
Eocene, probably due to jamming in the trench. If Sumatra was
subjected to clockwise rotation caused by the collision of the
Indian Plate with the Asian plate, then according to Clure
(1991) the spreading centre would have been subducted beneath

the Bengkulu and Mentawai Basins. The passage of the spreading

centre would have resulted in a period of higher heat flow and
possible oil generation in the outer arc basins. Oil shows to the
west of the Barisan Mountains are found only in the Bengkulu
Basin to the south of the Pini Arch, whilst to the north of the
arch only gas, probably of biogenic origin, has been found.
Another factor in this scenario is that volcanic and metamorphic
rocks in the Barisan Mountains provided a provenance only for
clays, shales and poor quality lithic sandstones, due to the
limited availability of quartz. Various granite plutons provide
local sources of quartz sandstone, but this type of provenance is
characterized by the deficiency of coarse clastics. Prior to the
uplift of the Barisan, sediments in the outer- arc basins came all
the way from the Sunda Craton to the east, and the outer- arc
basins formed part of the basins that became backarc basins
after Barisan uplift. For example, the Bengkulu Basin is
thought to have originally formed part of the South Sumatra
Basin. Various attempts have been made to trace the grabens
from the backarc basins into the outer-arc areas and thus
explore for the rift sequences, but the success of this exercise is
dependent on the estimated amount of displacement along the
Sumatran Fault. If these rifts continue into the outer-arc area
they are still very far from the presumed source of sediment in
the exposed Sunda Craton, and therefore the clastics are likely
to be finer, the coarse sediments having dropped out of the
system nearer the source area of the sediments.
Satellite images of Sumatra show a significant number of rivers
radiating out from a point in the central part of the Barisans. Prior
OIL & GAS 141
to Barisan uplift, Sumatra had a regional slope from the Sunda
Craton in the east, towards the sea to the SW and the drainage

was in the reverse direction to the drainage at the present day.

At that time the drainage pattern converged on the Mentawai
Basin, thus providing the basin with a coarse clastic source.
However, if reservoir quality clastic sediments are deficient,
then hope lies in the carbonates; sub-commercial quantities of
gas have been discovered in carbonate buildups in the Sibolga
Basin. Unfortunately, these scenarios are just theoretical, and
can only be proved or disproved by the drill bit. Testing in this
area is greatly hampered in both the Mentawai and Bengkulu
Basins by water depth, as the shelf in these areas is very narrow,
and the slope quickly plunges off to many thousands of metres,
stretching offshore drilling technology to its limit. This highcost,
high-risk scenario has limited exploration in these basins.
Exploration in the Sibolga Basin has involved a few early wells
to test the carbonate play, and there has been some recent exploration
by Caltex in the offshore Nias area, but like Union before
them they encountered only non-commercial quantities of biogenic
gas. The Mentawai Basin has not as yet attracted any drilling
activity, due to the depth of the water, and it therefore remains
very much a frontier zone. The Bengkulu Basin, with onshore
oil seeps has, however, attracted exploration offshore, although
the results to date have not been encouraging. A few companies
over the years have searched for the western limits of the
Talang Akar Formation of South Sumatra, or possible Baturaja
carbonate build-ups. Sources of oil would lie in sediments deposited
in undetected lakes within rift grabens.
Intermontane basins
The Intramontane or Intra-arc Basins are extensions of the Central
and South Sumatra Basins and were initially part of those basins
prior to the uplift of the Barisans, which isolated them from the
main basin area. The earlier history in these basins is very

similar to the backarc basins from which they have become disconnected.
Such basins include the Mandian, Kampar Kanan,
Ombilin and the Bandar Jaya basins.
The Banda Jaya Basin has a reasonably complete, although thin,
younger section, whilst the Ombilin Basin, due to subsequent
uplift, is missing the younger section, either as the result of nondeposition,
due to isolation from the main sediment source, or to
erosion. Oil shows were observed in the Sinimar-1 well drilled
by Caltex in the Ombilin Basin, demonstrating that generation
of hydrocarbons had occurred in this area; however this is the
only well to have been drilled in this basin.
The Bandar Jaya Basin, which is made up of a series of smaller
half grabens, has been tested by a few wells, which encountered
Lahat through Air Benakat formations, but these wells were
unsuccessful in finding hydrocarbons, probably due to the low
maturity of sediments in this area.
Chapter 11
Fuel resources: coal
The coal resources of Sumatra were developed rapidly during the
1980s and 1990s following the oil shocks of the 1970s. This encouraged
the Indonesian Government to develop the abundant coal
resources of the nation as a major source of energy, as it was
appreciated that it was not sensible to rely upon any single energy
source. Coal resources are now of vital importance to the indonesian
economy, being used as fuel in preference to that of oil for thermoelectric
generating stations, and cement works, throughout Indonesia.
Coal has also been developed as one of Indonesia's major
export commodities, being shipped to ASEAN countries and
other countries in the Far East, such as Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines,
Taiwan, Korea and Japan, which are deficient in fuel

resources, as well as further afield to Europe.

Coal was first discovered under the Dutch colonial administration
in the Ombilin Basin, within the Barisan Mountains, near
Sawahlunto in West Sumatra in 1891 (Fig. 11.1). The area has a
rugged mountainous topography and mining operations could
not commence until a railway line had been constructed to transport
the coal from Sawahlunto to the port of Teluk Bayur south of
Padang on the west coast of Sumatra. The Ombilin area continues
as a major producer of coal, mostly through open-cast mining, but
much of the coal is now transported to the coast by road. in 1919,
the Bukit Asam Mine in South Sumatra began production, the coal
being exported again by rail transport through the ports of Kertapati
near Palembang and Tarahan near Kotaagung (Fig. 11.1).
Underground mining operations ceased in 1938, but mining in
this area has continued through opencast mining to the present
day. The Ombilin and Bukit Asam mines produced virtually all
of the Indonesian coal before World War II, reaching a peak production
of 2 million tonnes (Mt) in 1941. Post-war production fell
to less than 0.15 Mt in 1973, due in part to the preference for oil as
a cheap fuel. However in 1976, when oil prices rose dramatically
coal reappeared as a major source of fuel. Currently annual coal
production in Sumatra is around 12 Mt from both state and privately
owned mines.
Geology and coal deposits in Sumatra
Coal deposits in Sumatra, as elsewhere throughout the Indonesian
Archipelago, occur almost entirely within Tertiary sequences.
Traces of coal occur in the Pre-Tertiary basement in the Barisan
Mountains, in rocks of Permo-Carboniferous age, but not in sufficient
quantity to be of any economic importance. On the other
hand, economic coal deposits of Tertiary age are abundant and
distributed throughout Sumatra, ranging from the Eocene to the

Pliocene (van Bemmelen 1949; Robertson Research 1974).

North Sumatra
Coal deposits in north Sumatra are largely confined to rocks of
Palaeogene age. The coals are black, bituminous or sub-bituminous
in rank. Coal seams are only locally developed and show rapid variations
in thickness. The overlying Neogene deposits contain numerous
thin seams of brown coal rank.
Tertiary sedimentation in the North Sumatra Basin (Fig. 11.1)
commenced with a marine transgression from the NW, across an
eroded surface of folded Palaeozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary
and igneous rocks. Following this transgression, a continental
and paralic sequence of coarse clastic sediments, with interbedded
coal seams and subordinate limestones, was deposited over a wide
area, extending from Nias Island in the west, to the Malacca Straits
in the east. This basal sequence ranges in age from Eocene and
Oligocene in the north, to Lower Miocene in the SE. The continental
and paralic sequence was followed by a second marine transgression
with the deposition of a thick sequence of marine
shales, with subordinate sandstones and limestones of Oligocene
to Miocene age, represented by the Bampo Formation in
the central and northern parts of the basin. The North Sumatra
Basin is separated from the Central and South Sumatra Basins to
the south, by the Asahan Basement High (Fig. 11.1).
Coals have been described from Palaeogene sediments in the
northeastern part of Nias Island to the west of Sumatra,
where one or two coal seams, less than 0.5 m in thickness, dip at
20-40 ~ to the west. There are also Neogene coals of Miocene
age on Nias (Robertson Research 1974).
On the west coast of Sumatra coal occurrences are known from
the Palaeogene Sibolga and Loser Formations in the Tapaktuan
and Tapanuli Bay areas (Cameron et al. 1983). At Tapaktuan,

the sequence dips steeply at 25-45 ~ and contains at least two

coal seams 0.20-0.60 m thick. The coal is black, vitreous, often
pyritic with a high clay content. Coals have been recorded from
the rivers which flow into the northern part of Tapanuli Bay.
The dips for these seams range from 8 ~ to 20' and are relatively
thin, 0.2-0.5 m in thickness.
A number of coals and carbonaceous horizons have also been
recorded in the Neogene sequence in the Meulaboh area, in the foothills
to the west of the Barisan Range. Here up to 5 coal seams have
been observed, ranging from 0.4 to 3.0 m in thickness. The coals are
brown and are interbedded with clay and bituminous shale.
To the east of the Barisan Mountains, in the northern part of
Aceh, the Palaeogene basal sequence contains a number of coal
seams, usually less than 1 m in thickness. In the Bohorok district
to the west of Medan, seams of 0.4-0.5 m dip at 45 ~ The coal
is black, vitreous and pyritic. The thickest development of coals
occurs in the Kualu River, where seams of up to 6 m have been
recorded (van Bemmelen, p. 49 1949; Robertson Research 1974),
but the seams decrease southwards to less than 1 m in thickness.
Again the coal is black and resinous with associated pyrite.
In the central area of the North Sumatra Basin, a large number of
thin carbonaceous horizons occur in a late Miocene sequence,
several hundreds of metres in thickness. These seams are
low-rank coals, classified as brown coals.
Central and South Sumatra
At the close of the Cretaceous period, Central and South Sumatra
formed part of an extensive landmass with considerable topographic
relief. At the beginning of the Tertiary, fault-bounded
troughs formed within this landmass. The earliest Tertiary
sediments were deposited in the troughs, but subsequently
extended across the margins to form the Central and South

Sumatra Basins. Throughout Tertiary times these basins were separated

from the North Sumatra Basin by the Asahan Basement
High (Fig. 11.1). These basins are asymmetric in character being
COAL 143
Banda Aceh 10~~
~ - " ' . Sumatra I
4I~ Meula boh ~~ "~ . Kual Medan
"~ Basement ~ ~J.
NI ,, Basin
""tKorinci " ~
" Basin " ":,' .
~,~ t-.",l lc arorn.q,:o:::~ ::, :W,T.A:: : ~ T.A/h_e9d Indo ~,9o~I% -e~~ v ' "
/4oeysa~,pvT::..,~,i,iAAO,: mii .b..t. hn~,~,~r4..t r d.~S .v
I-'aaangM ! ~e~l~id~i& e" ,~o~ "~ ".
' " ~ : : ! ! i i : " : : - . Qf5~ _ ~, ....
L X Toluk'k~ "zO-r~. blT'n ," ~n.~n,,I
"~ Bayu~ s
I, ': ~
_ _ _ _ I ~ . "l,'..x. ' ..... ....:..: ~~' '~~
~7 . . . . . Sumatra " ~ '
LEGEND "~ / ., ," "-.s. . .~. m. ~~ =~~ aP!ate 'e,
_9 Producing Coal Mines n(
_O9 TownSMajoPr or ts Pu l a iBa a i~~{ !~r~Ut ama i
,iq::i~i:~i!:'.:i!C~)o al Basins ~_~i~".:, "..
t~ ~ "~-. . . ~ " Tara.

, _., Large Sedimentary Basins " L ~ ~ , 4

! 250 Km , !
Fig, 11.1. The major sedimentary basins, the coal-bearing basins, production areas and coalexporting ports in Sumatra.
144 CHAPTER 11
bounded to the SW by faults and horsts of pre-Tertiary rocks along
the Barisan Range, and to the NE by pre-Tertiary rocks in the
Tigapuluh Hills close to the original Tertiary depositional boundary.
There is evidence that the basins extended further west than
the present limits of outcrop, as Tertiary sediments occur along
the SW coast of Sumatra near Bengkulu, to the west of the
Barisan Range (Fig. l 1.1).
Both Palaeogene and Neogene sediments are present in the
Central and South Sumatra basins. The Palaeogene consists of
paralic and tuffaceous non-marine clastic sediments preserved in
restricted grabens (the Lemat, Pematang and Kelesa Formations).
Neogene sediments, consisting of marine shales, limestones and
shallow water sandstones, represent a marine transgressive
phase, passing upwards into non-marine shales of Middle Palembang
(Muaraenim) and Korinci formations of late Miocene and
Pliocene age, with widespread coal formation (de Coster 1974).
Numerous records of coal exposures in Central Sumatra are
listed by van Bemmelen (1949, p. 49). There are rarely more
than two seams at any locality. Most coal seams are less than
1 m in thickness and many coals are of poor quality containing
clay or carbonaceous shale.
Significant Palaeogene coal deposits occur in the Painan District

on the west coast of Sumatra south of Padang, where up to six

coals are present, one reaching 2 m in thickness. The coals are
interbedded with shales and the total sequence, which is 1015 m thick, dips from 45 c' to vertical. These coals have been
affected by volcanic intrusions of basalt and dolerite.
The Sungei-Sapuh/Sungei-Keruh District contains several
coals, one of which is 2-4 m thick. Other occurrences of coal
are in the Batang Tui area and numerous localities on the west
and east coasts, all of minor importance.
The most important coal development in Central Sumatra and
the principal coal producer is the Ombilin Coalfield which
occurs within the Eocene to ?Miocene, Sawahlunto Formation.
This coalfield is situated within the Barisan Mountains 90 km
inland from Padang (Fig. 11.1). The coal deposit occurs in
the intermontane Ombilin Basin, the axis of which is oriented
NW-SE, in line with the main structural trend of the Barisan
Range. The basin is severely block-faulted in WNW-ESE, and
NNE-SSW directions. The coal-bearing sediments are locally
strongly folded and faulted, with both normal and reverse faults,
making the correlation of individual coal seams difficult.
The Ombilin Coalfield lies within the northwestern limb of the
Ombilin Basin. The coalfield is subdivided geographically into the
Sungai-Durian, Tanah Hitam, Sugar, Sigalut and Parambahan
Within the Ombilin Basin the Sawahlunto Formation is made up
of conglomerates, sandstones and shales. In the Tanah Hitam and
Sungai Durian fields, the lower part of the sequence contains a
thin coal or coaly shale layer, designated the D seam. The upper
part of the formation contains three principal coal seams designated
the A (average thickness 2 m), B (0.6-1.0 m) and C seams (average
thickness 6 m). These seams occur in a sequence of 40-80 m in

thickness and dip at 12 ~ towards the east (Robertson Research 1974).

To the east of Ombilin, Neogene coals have been identified in
the Cerenti area near Rengat in Riau where exploration was
carried out in 1988. Here the coal-bearing Mio-Pliocene Korinci
Formation contains six seams ranging from 1.6 to 14.0 m in thickness.
In the Sinamar coal basin, situated further south, at the border
between Jambi and West Sumatra provinces, the coals are of
Oligocene age, and have a thickness of 2-9 m. Adjoining the
Sinamar area, at Mampun Pandan, coal seams 5-11 m thick are
present. All of these coals are of high volatile sub-bituminous
The other principal economic coal deposits in central and
southern Sumatra are of Neogene age. Neogene coals occur in
the Korinci Basin within the Central Sumatra Basin (Fig. 11.1).
These coals occur in the Muaraenim Formation of Pliocene
age, are usually two or three in number and are interbedded with
tuffaceous horizons, the most significant coal developments
being along the Piladang River, where the total thickness of
three coal seams is around 9 m.
Significant coal-bearing deposits of Miocene age are found in
the area of Bukit Sunur in the Bengkulu District (Fig. 11.1). The
coal is being worked in three areas. The Bukit Sunur Coalfield
itself is the most important of these occurrences and contains
three seams, 1.6-3.5 m in thickness, with a maximum of 10 m.
The coal has been affected by the intrusion of the Sunur andesite
and at several localities has been altered to coke. At Susup Leman,
two coals are present, with thicknesses of more than 2-3 m. At
Bukit Puding, five or six coals are present of which one or two
reach thicknesses of over 1.4 m. At Pilubang, two thick coals
show evidences of alteration by the andesite resulting in a loss
of volatiles. Owing to the effects of contact metamorphism, the

quality of the coal in these occurrences varies considerably. In

all these areas the deposits are strongly faulted.
In southern Sumatra virtually all the Palaeogene coal occurrences
are found within the Lahat Formation in Jambi Province.
The coals are thought to be of similar age to those at Ombilin,
but are generally thinner, seams not being more than 1.5 m and
usually less than 0.5 m thick. The coals are present in a sequence
of conglomerates, sandstones and shales similar to that at Ombilin.
To date the Palaeogene coals of South Sumatra have not proved to
be of economic importance. On the other hand the Neogene of
Jambi Province yields numerous lignite outcrops with two or
three seams, as much as 5-7 m thick, with low angles of dip.
At Bukit Asam in South Sumatra Province, Neogene coals from
the Miocene, Middle Pelambang Beds, have been exploited since
1919. Three groups of coals are present, the lower group contains
the Merapi Seam (8-10 m thick), together with a number of
thinner seams. The middle group contains the Mangus
Bed which consists of coals 14-22 m thick including a 4 m
clay-tuff band. This bed is separated from the overlying Suban
Bed by 15 m with no coal. The Suban Bed consists of 7-10 m
of coal, containing a clay layer of 1.5 m. Some 30 m above, is
the Petai Bed containing 5-8 m of coal. The third and uppermost
group contains six or seven coal seams, the youngest of which may
be as much as 30 m thick. In various parts of the Bukit Asam area,
Table 11.1. General coal qualities r and pro,spective Sumatran coals "air dried basis)
(Soehandojo 1989)
Area or coal mine Total Inherent Ash % Volatile Calorific
moisture % moisture % matter % value Kcal/kg
sulphur %
PTBA Ombilin 12 6 8 36

PTBA Bukit Asam (Steam) 18-28 7-15 5-8 32-38

PTBA Bukit Asam (Anthracite) 7-8 1-4 6-10 9-15
PT Allied Indo -- 4 10 37
PT Bukit Sunur 12-16 4-9 5-14 34-40
PT Danau Mas Hitam 14 7-10 8-10 37-40
Cerenti area -- 18 7-9 38
Sinamar area -- 17 10 35
0.5 -0.6
1.0 max
1.0 max
COAL 145
Table 11.2. Ash analysis for Air Laya Coal (yon
Schwartzenberg 1989)
Element Average (%) Range (%)
siQ 64.0 50-85
A1203 25.4 7-35
Fe203 4.4 1-9
TiO2 0.5 0.2 -4.0

CaO 1.6 0.2-3.5

MgO 1.1 0.3 - 3.5
K20 0.6 0.2-2.5
NazO 0.9 0.2 -4.0
SO3 1.3 0.2-3.5
P 0.3 0.1-1.0
the coals have been ameliorated by the younger andesites of
the Serelo Mountains to produce locally altered coals of subbituminous,
bituminous and anthracite rank.
Coal-bearing sediments are found at Sukamarinda occurring
immediately adjacent to Bukit Asam, where two layers of
lignite, 2 and 5 m thick, have been locally altered by an igneous
intrusion. In the Ajer Serillo area, a thick lignite is present,
whilst in the Bunian area a lignite has been thermally altered. In
the Kendin-Ringin area there are over 12 coals 5-15 m thick.
All these areas have coals similar to those found at Bukit Asam.
All the coals are autochthonous in nature.
Coal quality
The very large tonnages of low rank lignite found throughout
Sumatra are not currently mined in any significant amounts.
Consequently very little quality data has been collected for these
lignites. Investigations of coal quality have centred on the coal
seams of sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite rank.
Quality determines the value and marketability of coals. Quality
is primarily dependent on the rank of the coal, i.e. higher rank
coals will have lower moisture content and volatile matter
levels, and higher calorific values (CV) than lower rank coals.
Importantly, Indonesian coals generally have low ash and
sulphur levels, making them particularly attractive for use in the
electricity generating industry. Table 11.1 summarizes the chief
quality parameters of the principal Sumatran coal deposits.

Bituminous coals from the Ombilin Basin have <7% inherent

moisture, <10% ash, and <1% sulphur, with a calorific value
(CV) of 6900 kcal kg -1. These coals are therefore good-quality
steam coals, accounting for the long history of mining at
Ombilin. Higher-rank coals are present in small amounts, due to
the alteration caused by the intrusion of igneous rocks into the
coal-bearing sequences. At Bukit Asam, anthracite is open-cast
mined for domestic use. The surrounding unaltered coal is lower
in rank, with higher moisture and lower CV levels (see
Table 11.1) and is chiefly used for domestic power generation.
The nature of the ash content in the coals is important, particularly
in influencing the burning performance and efficiency
in power station boilers. An example of ash analysis is given
in Table 11.2 for the Air Laya deposit at Bukit Asam (von
Schwarzenberg 1986) in which it can be seen that the chief constituents
in the ash are silica and alumina. High contents of iron
and/or calcium can affect the performance of the coal, by lowering
the ash fusion temperature, which can cause slagging in the
boiler. Similarly high amounts of reactives (K20 and Na20) are
also undesirable, because they can cause fouling in the boiler.
Coal resources and production
The total coal and lignite resources in Indonesia are estimated at
38 billion tonnes (Symon 1997, p.88). Sumatra contains 64% of
the total, some 24 billion tonnes, of which 3.1 billion tonnes are
reserves, defined within measured status (see Table 11.3). The
bulk of these resources are in the Ombilin Basin, Central
Sumatra, and in the Bukit Asam area of South Sumatra.
From these figures it is clear that significant resources of coal
and lignite exist in Sumatra and have yet to be exploited. The
reasons for the relative lack of development of these resources is
a combination of geographical inaccessibility, remoteness from

markets and the general low rank and quality of the larger part
of the resource.
Coal production in Indonesia has risen from around 0.5 million
tonnes per annum (Mtpa) in 1983, to 73 Mtpa in 1999 and to 92 Mt
in 2001. Significantly, 66 Mt is exported (i.e. 72% of production).
indonesia is rapidly heading to being the third largest exporter of
thermal coal in the world after Australia and China (US Embassy,
Jakarta statistics 2003).
Coal has been mined in Indonesia since the late nineteenth
century, but subsequent oil development and low oil prices saw
the coal market diminish and production virtually cease. The oil
crises of the 1970s radically changed this situation, reviving the
interest in coal. Currently Indonesian coal is performing well in
a very competitive energy industry.
The growth of the Indonesian coal industry has been accelerated
by the mining operations of foreign companies, which in the late
1970s and early 1980s were encouraged to invest in and to operate
coal mines. The development of mining by foreign companies has
been accompanied by the massive expansion of the state-owned
coal mining company, PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (PTBA).
The Indonesian Government has authorised the state coal company
PTBA to act as the main agent for coal mining, and PTBA has
been able to attract private sector companies to carry out mining
under product-sharing agreements. Future mining contracts will be
managed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in order to
improve the regulatory framework and to allow PTBA to concentrate
on its mining operations (Indonesian Mining Association 1997).
The Indonesian coal industry is concentrated on mining
sub-bituminous and bituminous steam coal, no coking coal is
produced. Currently some 96% of coal production comes from
opencast mines. In Sumatra, PTBA have underground and

opencast mines at Ombilin in central Sumatra, and the Bukit

Asam complex of opencast mines in South Sumatra. Private
open pit mines are established in the Ombilin area (PT Allied
Indo, PT Karbindo Abeysapradhi) and in West Sumatra in the
Table 11.3. Coal and lignite resources of Sumatra (Symon 1997)
Region Measured (Mt) Indicated (Mt) Inferred (Mt) Hypothetical (Mt) Total (Mt) % of
total Indonesia
North -- 1272.0 2.0
Central 717.8 2322.0 105.9
South 2438.8 7505.5 2204.0
Bengkulu 30.9 17.0 15.9
Total 3187.5 10 920.7 2355.9
433.0 1707.0 4.4
1022.4 4169.0 10.8
6891.0 18 743.5 48.6
-- 60.0 0.2
8296.5 24 759.7 64.0
146 CHAPTER 11
Table 11.4. Coal production from Sumatran mines (Directorate of Coal 1997)
Company Production (Mt) Exports (Mt)
PTBA Ombilin 1. l 0 0.77
PTBA Bukit Asam (Steam) 8.06 1.24
PTBA Bukit Asam (Anthracite) 0.06 -PT Allied lndo 0.85 0.53
PT Bukit Sunur 0.36 0.35
PT Danau Mas Hitam 0.07 0.07
PT Bukit Bara Utama 0.15 0.15
PT Karbindo Abesyapradhi 0.60 0.42
Total 11.25 3.53
Bengkulu area (PT Bukit Sunur, PT Danau Mas Hitam and PT

Bukit Bara Utama) (see Fig. 11.1 ). Production from the individual
Sumatran mines is shown in Table 11.4. A total of 11.25 Mt was
produced in 1997 which has since increased to 12 Mt, of which
3.8 Mt is exported.
Of critical importance to the mining operations in Sumatra is the
proximity of suitable port facilities to enable shipment of coal both
for domestic use, chiefly in Java, and for export into Far Eastern
and European markets. The principal ports all lie on the western
and southwestern coast of Sumatra (see Fig. 11.1). The port of
Tarahan is operated by PTBA with a capacity for 5.5 Mtpa,
accepting vessels of up to 65 000 t dwt, Teluk Bayur ships
2.0 Mtpa, in vessels up to 30 000 t dwt and Pulai Baai, with a
capacity for 1.0 Mtpa in vessels up to 20 000 t dwt. The ports of
Tarahan and Teluk Bayur are further supported by rail links
from the mines. In the case of PTBA's Tanjung Enim mine, the
rail link is 450 km to Tarahan. However, a small amount of coal
from Tanjung Enim is sent 200 km by rail to the small port of
Kertapati on the Musi River near Palembang. Coal is loaded
onto barges for shipment from the eastern side of Sumatra to domestic
markets and to nearby Malaysia. It is proposed to construct a
larger terminal near Palembang to accommodate larger vessels and
It is envisaged that the current production will increase in the
next ten years, providing market conditions (domestic and
export) that justify investment. An example of this is the expected
increase in Indonesia's domestic steam coal market to satisfy the
increased demand for electricity, with the proviso that there will
continue to be investment in the electricity-generating sector.
Chapter 12
Metallic mineral deposits

This account concentrates on the the primary metallic mineral

deposits and occurrences in Sumatra, in particular the recent discoveries
of gold, tin and base metals. The residual and placer
deposits are given less emphasis, as no significant discoveries
have been made in recent years.
The history of mineral exploration and discovery in Indonesia
has been reviewed recently by van Leeuwen (1993, 1994), documenting
the change in emphasis of mineral-based activities from
western to eastern Indonesia since the World War II. These
studies bring up-to-date the classic account by van Bemmelen
(1949), written when the mineral deposits in western Indonesia,
particularly those in Sumatra, were among the better known and
prior to 1942, important contributors to the Indonesian economy.
The larger mineral deposits in southern Sumatra have been
described briefly by Gafoer & Purbo-Hadiwidjoyo (1986), and
are referred to in the regional descriptions of the mineral deposits
of SE Asia by Hutchison & Taylor (1978) and Hutchison (1996).
In wider-ranging reviews the geological setting of gold and base
metal deposits in indonesia have been discussed by Carlile &
Mitchell (1994), while those of tin deposits in SE Asia are catalogued
by Schwartz et al. (1995).
Sumatra has long been known as a source of gold, the name of
the island being derived from the Sanscrit word Svarnadvipa,
meaning 'Golden Island', dating from the importance of gold
deposits to the rulers of the Hindu kingdoms that flourished in
Sumatra from the seventh until the eleventh century. The estimated
total production of precious metals from Sumatra to 1994
was 91 t gold and 937 t of silver (van Leeuwen 1994).
Tin deposits in the Riau Archipelago, Bangka and Billiton
islands ('Tin Islands') are positioned at the convergence of
ancient maritime trade routes between the Middle East and India

and China, and Bernal (1991) has suggested that they have been
known and exploited from the earliest times, but there is no
archaeological evidence for this; current exploitation of tin dates
from the early eighteenth century. Between 1710 and 1942 a
total of 1.5 Mt of tin was produced (van Leeuwen 1994), but currently
the demand for tin is limited and the bulk of tin production
in Indonesia comes from alluvial and off-shore placer deposits.
Sources of data
For the purposes of this review mineral localities in Sumatra and
the Tin Islands are catalogued in Tables 12.1-12.6 in terms of
'mineral clusters', the locations of which are shown in Figures
12.1 and 12.6-12.10. Mineral clusters represent concentrations
of mineral occurrences, or a group of deposits formed at similar
times, although a few include mineral deposits which were
formed in the same area but at different times. Summaries are
given of the geological setting and the history of exploitation of
these deposits. Original sources should be consulted for further
details. Recently discovered/investigated deposits that have not
(yet) been described in the published literature are discussed in
some detail in the text.
Van Bemmelen (1949), Young & Johari (1980), Djaswadi
(1993), Indonesian Mining Association (1995) and Crow (1995)
have compiled lists and details of mineral localities in Sumatra.
Summaries of this data are given in the Explanatory Notes
which accompany the 1:250 000 Geological Maps of Sumatra
published by the Geological Research and Development Centre,
Bandung. Additional data for southern Sumatra can be found in
the Quadrangle Regional Geochemistry Atlas Series published
by the Directorate of Mineral Resources and for Sumatra as a
whole in the geochemical atlases of Northern Sumatra (Stephenson
et al. 1982) and Southern Sumatra (Machali Muchsin et al.

1995, 1997). Historic (pre-1941) data on several precious metal

deposits in North Sumatra appear in Bowles et al. (1985).
Details of other mineral occurrences are given in reports of the
North Sumatra Mineral Exploration Project (Directorate of
Mineral Resources/British Geological Survey) and in reports
and published accounts of the mineralogical and analytical
studies which followed this project (e.g. Bowles et al. 1984).
The Regional Physical Planning Programme for Transmigration
(RePPProT Land Resources Department/Bina Programme)
include a review of the mineral resources of Sumatra by Clarke
(1990) in a summary of the land and natural resources of Indonesia
to assist the planning of the Transmigration Programme.
Government-sponsored mineral exploration activities concentrated
on geological mapping and long-term regional geochemical
surveys, with an emphasis on documentation but with limited
follow-up. The objective of these surveys was to encourage
exploration activity by the private sector. Private sector interest
in investment in mineral exploration in Sumatra was stimulated
by these programmes and peaked between 1985 and 1992
(Fig. 12.2). The latest cycle in exploration activity started
between 1995-1997 (Fig. 12.3).
Much data concerning mineralization in Sumatra has been accumulated
by mineral exploration companies in their Contracts of
Work (COW) areas. Relinquishment reports of COW companies
are not easily found on open file, and often important information,
for example on analyses and drill cores, was never reported, or was
misplaced when the COW ended (van Leeuwen 1994).
The most significant prospect located by the governmentsponsored
regional geochemical surveys of Sumatra was the
porphyry deposit at Tangse where Cu-Mo mineralization was outlined
by preliminary geochemical surveys (Page et al. 1978)

during the North Sumatra Project. This prospect was investigated

by Rio Tinto Indonesia (van Leeuwen et al. 1987). Recently published
descriptions of mined Sumatran mineral deposits include
Lebong Tandai (Jobson et al. 1994), Mangani (Kavalieris et al.
1987) and Muara Sipongi (Beddoe-Stephens et al. 1987), and
the recent discoveries include: Nam Salu (Schwartz & Surjono
1990b), Sungei Isahan in the Tigapuluh Mountains (Schwartz &
Surjono 1990a), Hatapang (Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens 1987),
Way Linggo (Andrews et al. 1991) and Miwah (Williamson &
Fleming 1995). Descriptions of Dairi (Middleton 2003) and
Martabe (Levet et al. 2003; Sutopo et al. 2003), both new discoveries,
have been presented at recent conferences.
Timing of metallic mineralization events in Sumatra
No comprehensive dating of mineralization events in Sumatra has
been carried out. The available data are summarized in
Figure 12.4, with mini-maps illustrating the trends of zones of
148 CHAPTER 12
BR,E0U6EHO 9o6, 0 E 98, 0 10, 0~ 0 4 o101 , i ANGs ,
IGEUNT~T~ ~M,~ ~ X X
BABHAROT~ . A --- ~ k ,
DIARI [~" ~---"~ Lake "~ /.~
_ 2ON ~ J PINAPAN~ AHATAP'AN jG ~ ~ \ 2 ~ SIBOLGA~ xJ ~k.~( ~

~l~l MARTABE ~ ~ ~ ~
"~ / SIHAu ~-k.._~,t~K uK-~-'6'Rj
~J NATAL~I~,V ~ROKAN j~/--~
PASA MA N~I~ r ~ l ~ BALU N G ~ X~
- 0~ LU~BUK SIKAPI N.G. v . ^IJIF~. v.,, / / _~ 0~
(" \ ~x~'l'~ "- LUBUKGADANG
\ \ ~ ~L~ [ IDRKELAYANG k ~-.c-~
LOLO~ V " " \ ~{ L~A\D=,n^~', I
_ _ SIULUKr 1 ~ BANGKO . . . . . . . . c., A ~ . . . . . . . . 2~
- 2~ % DERAS_ _V q~IILRAWAS /r_lVlr~lL L/~~l~ll~ j~ k~ KELAPA BATU[
r~. ~ A ~ S.TUBOH ~ "~-'~..~..-~AK7 AMPIL-~BESI I
O GOLD } -~ - 4 ~ TANJUNGSAKTI I~ ) 4 ~
TIN ~ ~ ~1~ SEPUTI
0 500km ~ LAMPUNG
96 ~ 98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~ 104 ~ _ /" 106 ~
Fig. 12.1. Metallic mineral clusters in Sumatra and the Tin islands.
Palaeozoic sedimentary basins (Pb-Zn Table 12.1)
Lead-zinc mineralization in metasediments and metavolcanics of
the Bentong-Billiton Accretion Complex (Barber & Crow 2003)

was found in Billiton in the 1980s in the Nam Salu open pit at the
Kelapa Kampit mine, during the exploration for tin, and this
deposit has been investigated by several companies during the
past 30 years. It occurs as sub-parallel veins and lenses within
and adjacent to the Nam Salu horizon over a strike of more than
5 km. The Nam Salu horizon consists of interbedded, iron-rich,
chemically precipitated sediments and basaltic tuff, altered by
metasomatic processes (Schwartz & Surjono 1990b). The total
resource outlined to date is of the order of 25 Mt @ 6.5% Zn,
4.0% Pb and 60 g t -~ Ag. The style, thickness and grades of
mineralization intersected in drillholes vary considerable along
the strike of the mineralized zones. Three styles of mineralization
have been recognized: (1) massive, fine-grained sphalerite,
galena and pyrite, in places showing streaky lamination and
commonly containing fragments of quartz and mudstone;
(2) brecciated quartz veins and mudstones with selvages of sulphides;
(3) disseminated sphalerite and galena in sandstone
(Large 1991).
Several origins have been proposed for the lead-zinc mineralization:
(1) sediment-hosted exhalative (first proposed in 1977
by BHP geologists); (2) possibly syngenetic/diagenetic related
to volcanic exhalations with later faulting, folding and granite
intrusions having variably remobilized the mineralization (van
Leeuwen & Poole 1978); (3) syntectonic (?Triassic) formed
from hydrothermal solutions derived from tectonically induced
dewatering of the host sediments, with mineral deposition taking
place in structurally dilated zones (Large 1991); and (4) veintype
related to hydrothermal fluids exsolved from a crystallizing
acid magma (Schwartz & Surjono 1990b).
Important zinc-lead deposits, the Dairi cluster, were recently
identified in northern Sumatra, in the Kluet Formation to the

NW of Lake Toba by Herald Resources. The deposits include

massive Pb-Zn veins that were mined on a limited scale in
the early 1900s (van Bemmelen 1949). In addition to the veins,
-4 ~
-0 o
- 2os
-4 ~
i 9~ ~
/~ TIN
~t GOLD (primary)
O GOLD (alluvial)
0 500km
1969-]972 ~


0o~!~:i~ !~? ~!~ 8!4~1?84: : ~i i:i]
96OE 98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~ 104 ~
4~6o '
~__~ 6 ~ 108 ~
Fig. 12.2. Contract of Work (COW) licence
areas signed in Sumatra and the Tin islands
between 1967 and 1992 showing deposits that
have been drill-tested.
several other styles of mineralization have been identified: sedimentaryexhalative (sedex) deposits of Mississippi Valley Type
(MVT), believed to be formed by the reaction of volcanic fluids
with sediments; and supergene mineralization, the latter presumably
deposited recently from descending metal-rich solutions
derived from the weathering of the sedex mineralisation (Middleton
2003). The sedex mineralization occurs in a dome-like structure
and is traceable over a strike distance of about 5 km along
the NE flank of the dome. It is hosted by carbonaceous shales
and dolosiltstones and forms a single thick horizon in the SE
and multiple, mostly thinner horizons in the NE. The MVT and

vein -type mineralization are confined to a sequence of shelf carbonates

which are in sharp contact with overlying sedex-bearing
argillites (Middleton 2003). The project has reached the bankable
feasibility stage. Measured and indicated resources amount to
7.1 Mt @ 16.6% Zn, 10.2% Pb and 13 g t -~ Ag. An additional
10 Mt of c. 8% Zn, 4.2% Pb and 6 g t -~ Ag has been inferred.
Two extensive skarn zones at the Sarkea prospect (Hendrawan
et al. 2001) located to the south of the Dairi prospect were drilltested
by Rio Tinto in 2001. The skarns are related to the intrusion
of a granite of the Sibolga Complex into (?calcareous) beds of the
Kluet Formation. Magnetite is the dominant mineral, followed by
pyrrhotite and minor sphalerite-molybdenite in a magnetitesilicachlorite-garnet + actinolite-epidote assemblage. The
skarn is locally cut by late quartz veins containing significant
amounts of Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn.
During a regional stream sediment sampling programme carried
out in South Aceh by Rio Tinto, Zn dominant banded and
laminated pyrite-pyrrhotite-sphalerite-galena mineralization,
and Pb-dominant galena-sphalerite mineralization, both of
apparent limited extent, were found near Beukah in an area of
meta-argillites and subordinate meta-psammites and marbles.
These are interpreted as sedex and remobilised cavity-fill deposits,
respectively (Dalimunthe et al. 1996).
Late Triassic-Early Jurassic magmatic arc and the Tin
Granites (Sn, Wo; Tables 12.2 and 12.3, Figs 12.5 and
12.6a, b)
Mineral deposits and mineral occurrences, predominantly of tin,
are associated with granitoids emplaced in the period between
220 and 195 Ma, and associated hydrothermal activity. In this
period Sumatra was a part of the western margin of the SE Asia
Tin Belt which extends from Myamar to Billiton Island. The

majority of significant tin deposits are associated with peraluminous

granites of collision origin (Mitchell 1977, 1979, 1986)
that were emplaced during the Indosinian Orogeny (Hutchison
1989) (Fig. 12.5). These peraluminous granites are classified as
being within the Main Range Granite Province by Cobbing
et al. (1986, 1992), Cobbing (2000; see also Chapter 5) and
Schwartz et al. (1995), the type area being the western part of
the Malay Peninsula. Granitoids in the Eastern Granite Province
in the eastern part of the Malay Peninsula are predominantly
metaluminous, but some of these granitoids are also associated
with tin mineralization (Fig. 12.5). Cobbing (et al. 1992 and
Chapter 5) describes the occurrence of granitoids of both I- and
S-types with similar age ranges, representing the two separate
provinces in the north of the Riau Archipelago, overlapping
south of Singkep Island and on Bangka and Billiton Islands to
form a single belt. The textures, chemistry and geochronology
150 CHAPTER 12
_0 o
98 ~
i\ L_., I I
100o / \ 104o 106o
SIGNI~ 995-1997

0 ~ __
0 500km
96OE 98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~
~,1~ NAPAL
104 ~
I I%,
Fig. 12.3. Contract of Work (COW) licence
areas signed in Sumatra and the Tin Islands
between 1995 and 1997 showing deposits
that have been drill-tested.
of these granitoids has been described by Cobbing et al. (1992 and
Chapter 5), and Schwartz et al. (1995).
The foreland of the Indosinian Orogenic Belt extended from the
central Malay Peninsula deep into eastern Sumatra (Sibumasu).
The West Sumatra Block, when sited approximately between
present day Borneo (Cathaysia) and New Guinea (Gondwana)
(see also Fig. 14.11) also appears to have participated distally in
this collision. In Chapter 5 Cobbing refers to the presence of Stype
granites in northern Sumatra, dating from 200Ma
(McCourt et al. 1996), including a suite of tin-bearing granites
associated with the Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone, and also the
West Sumatra magmatic arc which is composed mainly of Volcanic
Arc-type granites (as classified by Pearce et al. 1984).

West Sumatra
McCourt et al. (1996) identified a magmatic arc in western
Sumatra (219 _ 4 to 183 13 Ma) that overlaps the post-collision
phase of the Indosinian Orogeny. Alluvial cassiterite is associated
with the locally porphyritic Tantan Biotite Granite (210 + 10 Ma
K-Ar age, Suwarna et al. 1994). In Chapter 5 Cobbing has noted
the similarity of the Sijunjung biotite granite (247 12 Ma K-Ar
age, quoted by Sato (1991) and 206 + 3 Ma by Silitonga &
Kastowo 1975), with the granites of the Main Range Province,
but tin is not recorded. Cobbing & Mallick (1984) include the
unmineralized Payumbah Granite near Muarasipongi in the
Main Range Province, but found parts of the Sibolga Complex
reminiscent of Eastern Province granites of Peninsular Malaysia.
Minor alluvial tin is associated with the Sibolga Complex but
the age and source of this tin mineralisation is uncertain
(Aspden et al. 1982b).
Westerveld (1937) mentions clasts of vein quartz with cassiterite
in a Tertiary conglomerate 18 km to the west of Palembang in
SE Sumatra. This tin appears to have been derived from the concealed
Palembang Batholith, known from oil exploration (De
Coster 1974). The only surface exposure of the batholith is the
Bukit Batu quartz syenite pluton southeast of Palembang (van
Tongeren 1936; Gasparon & Varne 1995), which is associated
with quartz-cassiterite veins (Katili 1974a). The Bukit Batu
syenite has geographic and chemical affinity with, and a similar
SVSr/S6Sr ratio to the Main Range Province (see Chapter 5),
though the end value of +5.3 (Gasparon & Varne 1995) is very
different from Main Range Province ~Nd values of --8 to --10
(Cobbing et al. 1992).
Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone (MSTZ)
The Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone (MSTZ) (Hutchison 1994;

Barber & Crow 2003) is associated with granitic plutons carrying

strongly to intensely pleochroic cassiterite, similar to cassiterite
associated with the Main Range Granite Province in Malaysia
Ma ~ ~
01 1" o~.~ _9 LEBONG DONOK "~MARTABE
a) ~ ~ "~,~.
10t 1" ~ "~ ~O T TANGSE Co-Mo . "~.-.TANGSE ~ - " ~
/ ,l, o~ 2 _c * "...r ~.,SALIDA "~
20 ~ ~ E BEUEH VEINS i~tX-- L x t o
30| ~,~ ~ LEBON~ EMPAH )
~~ ,,h PORPHYRY-TYPE"-~\ "~) ~ ~. #4,~
601r "" MINERALISATION \~, ~ ~>..x~
- 13-9Ma ~ ~. ~, %~j.~'+"~
ulr ~ ~ GARBATIN ~ k , , ~
90 ~ <~ ,~_,, MANUNGGALS KARNS~ (~_'~x
~O s,~u,~. S~A~NS " , '%
00 ~ E HATAPANG/~/-e,,'~x
N N \ ~' 10 .~ _9 MUAR"A~Ook-er
2o TcoHisiono f Bentaro-Saling ~" " - DAN~,UR ANTAU MAGMATIC ARCS
30 ~ O . . . . ic Island Arcs "~ " ,,O KI~LAYANG _ ~x X " "".
|~ " "- "'" Mid-Jurassic
40 ' ~ o ~ " ~ ( " Early Cretaceous
.o o~ ' ~ "A n~,Rn~ UagmaticArc
50 ~ {~ ~ DANAU RANAU ~ Z"4~k"g~'P ' 'Zl

60 ~[~E ~ ~Z~ MKjLAIAINpGNOG I ~ i e / e

70 o,,g.oor
GREISEN Deformationo f
A~/ A, "~v vBR E~L ITUGNraGnG iteR EISENSTMinaM inin Peeraril~is a~t ion ~ ~ ~ s ~ C
I ,~ o~
Fig. 12.4. The timing of the main
mineralization events and their distribution
in Sumatra and the Tin Islands.
(Hosking 1977). Van Bemmelen (1949) suggested that the Medial
Sumatra tin granite suite occurred within an allochthonous thrust
slice sourced in the Tin Islands Archipelago. The Medial
Sumatra tin zone is now considered to be related to a suite of
peraluminous granitoids belonging to the Main Range Granite
Province of Peninsular Malaysia (see Chapter 5).
Primary and alluvial tin in the Tigahpuluh tin cluster (Table 12.2)
is derived from granites emplaced in Tapanuli Group metasediments
to the east of the MSTZ. Schwartz & Surjono (1990a)
report K-Ar ages of 197 __ 2 and 193 4- 2 Ma from muscovite in
a cassiterite-bearing greisen in the cupola of the Sungei Isahan
muscovite granite. The granitoids from the Tigapuluh Mountains

analysed by Schwartz & Surjono (1990a) and Suwarna et al.

(1991) have 'high' and 'moderate' peraluminous compositions in
the scheme of Villaseca et al. (1998), suggesting reactions with
peraluminous pelitic and greywacke lithologies. Upright folds
with sub-horizontal plunges indicate deformational thickening of
the sediment pile, facilitating hydrous fluxing and anatexis.
Crustal melts were emplaced in shears within the MSTZ. The Tigapuluh
Mountains have the potential for the exploitation of small
deposits of alluvial cassiterite, which may be accompanied by
small amounts of gold.
To the NW of the Tigahpuluh cluster, sporadic elevated geochemical
tin values in stream sediments (Machali et al. 1997)
were probably derived from the cupolas of granites from which
the tin has been weathered out, eroded and redistributed in Tertiary
and Quaternary sediments. Alluvial tin has been won for over 50
years from the Siabu-Sungai Lipai mining area in the Rokan
cluster, from which about 100 t of tin concentrate was produced
up to 1982. Occasionally diamonds are found in the concentrates,
which are believed to be of multi-cycle alluvial origin, originally
sourced in the Tapanuli Group (Clarke et al. 1982b). The source
of the tin is the Rokan-Siabu granitoid suite intruded into the
Tapanuli Group on the margin of the MSTZ. Fifteen greisen,
quartz vein and alluvial tin occurrences are associated with these
granitoids (Clarke et al. 1982b; Rock et al. 1983). The Rokan
Granite is variably cataclastically deformed and cooled to
c. 400 ~ between 186 4- 2 and 189 4- 2 Ma (determinations on
biotites using the K-Ar method quoted by Rock et al. 1983). The
roof zones of the mineralized granites were exposed to erosion by
block faulting during the Neogene.
The Penno-Triassic granite plutons in the Alas Valley section of
the MSTZ, west of the Sumatran Fault Zone have metasomatic

cupolas and, according to Cameron et al. (1982a), were emplaced

during a transcurrent fault episode. The foliated muscovite-biotite
granitoid plutons (Ketambe and Upper Sempali) and the Kais Intrusive
Complex, which is believed to be the source of the alluvial tin in
the Kais cluster (Johari 1988), from their field descriptions are similar
to the anatectic granitoids which occur elsewhere in the MSTZ, but
there are no chemical or isotopic data to confirm this affinity.
152 CHAPTER 12
~ .~
~.~o- ~_~ ~s~~ ,
~.- a ~ - - - , - . ~ ~ ~_ o~ s
-~ ~ ~.~
x ~ ~ ~--~ ~
~'e -~
~ ~.~
.~- ~ ~ ~ ~

-,-.~ ~ .--o .~ ~: _,9- ._ _ ~.~ ~ ~.~

_9~ ~ ~ .~ .~ ~ ~ ~ ~
c,o --~
,~ --~~ ~ 0
_9 ~ , ~ "~
= ~ .=
r~ ~
r '~
~ ~ ~~ "i "~~
r.~ ,.

_9~ ~ ~ o ,~ = o+
"~ -- "6
. ,...~
154 CHAPTER 12
The Indosinian foreland
In Northern Sumatra, a belt of remote and poorly exposed granitoids
(Fig. 12.5) north of the Medial Sumatra Tectonic Zone
(MSTZ), were dated as Permo-Triassic by Cameron et al.
(1980). In Chapter 5 Cobbing correlates these granitoids with
the Main Range Province of the Malay Peninsula, based on the
field descriptions of biotite and muscovite granites with tourmaline,
reported in the Keteren, Serbajadi and Biden intrusions.
The Dusun biotite granite is excluded here, as it has an early
dioritic phase (Cameron et al. 1983), Mo-Cu mineralisation and
is most likely associated with a Miocene intrusion (Dalimunthe
et al. 1997a, b). The Serbajadi Batholith is elongated NW-SE,
has a massive marginal carapace of lineated schists and gneisses
(Cameron et al. 1983) and according to Bennett et al. (1981c),
was emplaced during the regional slate-grade metamorphism

and deformation of the Tapanuli Group. This granitoid belt

coincides with a 'mid level geochemical enrichment zone' of tin
identified during the North Sumatra Project stream-sediment
survey (Stephenson et al. 1982), but no in situ tin mineralization
has been reported.
There are several islands in the Malacca Straits to the east of
Sumatra composed of granite and/or greisen, with tin mineralization.
The Berhala cluster occurs in the three Berhala Islands offshore
Tebingtinggi. Here tin and rare-earth minerals in beach
sands have been weathered from gneissic biotite granite, greisens
and cordierite-sillimanite aureole hornfels (van Tongeren 1935 in
Cameron et al. 1981). Van Bemmelen (1949) considered the
Berhala granites to be the same age as those in the Malaysian
Tin Belt. Katili (1973) reported a K-Ar age of 167 Ma from an
altered basalt cored during oil exploration in the area of the
Berhala Islands. Pulau Perak north of the Berhala islands and
SW of Langkawi Island is composed of quartz-tourmaline hornfels
(Jones 1981), which is related to a concealed pluton.
Several granite plutons buried beneath the Tertiary sediments of
the Central Sumatra Basin were cored in the Foreland Zone during
the exploration for oil. A hydrothermally altered muscovite granite
pluton at the bottom of the Idris No.1 well in the Coastal Plains
Block gave a K-Ar muscovite age of 208 __ 7 Ma (Koning &
Darmono 1982). Nearby detrital tin in the Petani Formation
(Stephenson et al. 1982) appears to have been derived from
another (undated) buried pluton to the north of Rengat.
The main SE Asian Tin Belt
The bulk of the economic tin mineralisation in the Indonesian
section of the Southeast Asia Tin Belt occurs in the Riau Archipelago,
Bangka and Billiton, within the Indosinian Collision Zone
(Fig. 12.5 and Table 12.3). An irregular 'tin front' separates

the mineralized peraluminous tin-bearing granitoids from the

unmineralized metaluminous granitoids. On Bangka Island
(Fig. 12.6a), the granitoids were emplaced in foreland basin
sediments (Tempilang Sandstone), which unconformably overlie
an accretionary complex composed of imbricated sediments
and metavolcanics of the Carboniferous-Permian Pemali Group
(Ko 1986; Barber & Crow 2003). On Billiton Island,
(Fig. 12.6b) the accretionary complex is exposed beneath folded
Triassic sediments in (former) underground mines for primary
tin. Lower Palaeozoic stratigraphic units are not exposed in the
Indonesian islands, unless they occur on Singkep Island among
the unfossiliferous slates and graphitic schists of the Persing
Complex (Sutisna et al. 1995).
According to Cobbing et al. (1992 and in Chapter 5) Sn-bearing
granitoids were emplaced during a post-collision peak between
220 and 200 Ma. Tin (and wolfram) mineralization is associated
with late two-phase granitoid textural variants within the predominantly
peraluminous megacrystic K-feldspar granitoids. The
process of textural evolution from megacrystic granitoid through
heterogeneous granite porphyry to microgranite has been
described by Pitfield et al. (1990). The textural changes leading
to the heterogenous microgranites were attributed to sudden
losses in pressure, which resulted in the quenching, fluidization
and disruptive emplacement of residual melt into a partially or
wholly crystalline host granitoid. The emplacement of residual
melts was often accompanied by alkali metasomatism, volatilefluxing
and hydrothermal alteration, culminating in replacement
greisen deposits, veins and stockwork systems containing tin,
wolfram and sulphides.
Tin and wolfram ores (Table 12.3) occur either as massive replacement
deposits with greisen, as non-massive replacements of

low-grade ore, as at the Pemali Mine on Bangka, or as stockworks

and simple veins. The cooling period for the granite in the Pemali
Mine was between 159 and 95 Ma (Schwartz et al. 1995) based on
the K-Ar ages of biotites from this granite that was emplaced
around 211 __ 3 Ma (Rb-Sr errorchron quoted by Schwartz &
Surjono 1991). The lengthy hydrothermal regime during the
cooling of intrusions generated by the collision orogeny provided
favourable conditions for tin mineralization on a regional scale
(Lehmann 1990).
Tin, and sometimes wolfram, are invariably accompanied by
later sulphides, and mineralization is accompanied by tourmaline,
fluorite and topaz. These replacement bodies, stockworks and vein
systems, which are characterized by the absence of magnetite and
paucity of basemetal and iron sulphides, formed in the cupolas of
the granitoids. For example the Tikus mine of NE Billiton
(Suryono & Clarke 1981" Schwartz & Surjono 1990c) was excavated
in a greisen topaz-quartz pipe within the Tanjung
Pandang batholith. In contrast to the other Main Range tin granites,
tin was not identified in geochemical analyses of the
Tanjung Pandang batholith; Lehmann & Harmanto (1990)
suggested that the tin remained in solution until it was removed
during the hydrothermal stage. In the southern part of Billiton,
several tin deposits (e.g. Tebrong and the Senyubuk cluster)
occur as stockworks and sheeted veins in metasediments, but
erosion has not yet exposed the granite source.
A rather unusual style of mineralization is found at the disused
Kelapa Kampit mine, where complex tin-sulphide mineralization
is present in both stratabound 'bedding-parallel veins' and crosscutting
veins: on a mine-scale the distribution of the mineralization
is stratabound. Bedding-parallel veins also are found in
several other localities, including Batu Besi and Selumar. The

veins are generally up to 2 km long and 3 m thick. They contain

varying amounts of magnetite, sulphides, amphibole, biotite/
chlorite aggregates and quartz. Some veins are magnetite-rich,
some are sulphide-rich, while others comprise both magnetiterich
and sulphide-rich portions. The veins are hosted by metasediments,
with the exception of the rich and thick (35 m) Nam Salu
Lode (now largely mined out), which occurs in the Nam Salu
horizon (mafic volcanics-ironstone). Certain characteristics of
the Nam Salu Lode and bedding-parallel veins (stratabound/stratiform,
sharp contacts, fine grain size and other textural features,
abundance of iron minerals, and the presence of bedded barite)
led several workers, including Hosking (1977), Hutchinson
(1986) and van Wees & de Vente (1989) to conclude that the
mineralization is of syngenetic origin. Other workers, e.g. Meyer
(1979) and Schwartz & Surjono (1990b), favour an epigenetic
(hydrothermal and/or pyrometasomatic) replacement origin
related to granitic intrusions based on replacement textures displayed
by the mineralization, chemical characteristics (of the
Nam Salu horizon), and the presence of skarn-like assemblages
that include amphibole, pyroxene and garnet.
Recent work at Batu Besi has shown that the latter interpretation
is the most likely. In this area several 'iron formations' with strike
lengths of up to 6 km and up to 50 m thick, occur close to granitoids
that are extensively greisenized and veined by quartz along their
margins, together with felsic quartz porphyry and microgranite
dykes with associated tin mineralization (Middleton 2002). They
..,--. O0

~ ~o
m~- ~v
+1 +1
+1+1~ >,+1 ~ ~ a +1
_~9 , .~ .~ ~ ~o ~~
,,-.! ~ ~ ~
r.~ ~ r~ r~
~.~ ~,~ ~ > ~ ~
_~9o .~ ~ .~ ~
~ ~+~
~.,~ ~ .
_~9 , ~; ~ _~

-t-I~ o
_~9 ~ ~
+~ ~2
8-~ ~ ~ 8
+1 J
+~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~+1 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
p. ~.
156 CHAPTER 12
0 r-~ a. ~ ,-.
> ~ - ~ ..~
C, N

- ~ ~ - , ~ . ~ "~=
= ~'=~ =-~
~=~, _, . _= ~ .==" F= ~ ~ ~ ~ ~#~ ~_~ ~. ~ ("4
[+1 >, +
"~ 4-1
~ r ~ o= .~-~ +s +~..- ~ +~-~ =.=~=
" "= '~ 5 ~ 5 '= ~ = +1 +1 - +l .-~
,-, r 4-1
,_, =Eo=o.s
i rO
= = ~=
o ,..o ~
~,t,..) =

I 84 I _9 ~:
96~ 98 ~ ..
_9 (GONDWANA) eerake ,
~,; O Berhala
--~ Keteren~
_9 \
, , 't
Granite Provinces and Granite Types
MAIN RANGE (Peraluminous
\ ~ EASTERN BELT (Metaluminousl_Type) I
_o o
~ " ~'~ ~' ......' RokanMuarasipongi~Siabu
' Sungei~@~
x~lsahan : J
- 2os
--4 ~

_6 ~
0 300km
96~ 98 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~ 104 ~ 106 ~ ~-108 c
Fig. 12.5. Distribution of Late Triassic and Early Jurassic granites in Sumatra, Malaysia and the
Tin Islands in the Indosinian Orogen. Granite Provinces and typology
from Chapter 5.
are deeply weathered into a mixture of maghemite, goethite, hematite
plus remnant magnetite. Deep drilling has revealed the primary
mineralized rocks to comprise skarns of varied assemblages, which
show a complex paragenesis. Early phase 'proto-skarn' is a zebrapatterned,
contorted, banded lithology, with dark bands predominantly
of magnetite and light bands of calcsilicate (probably
mainly versuvianite) and fluorite. It resembles the so-called
'wrigglite' skarn at Moina, Tasmania (Kwak & Askins 1981).
In places this early skarn phase is altered to a garnet-rich lithology,
which in turn is retrogressed to carbonate-silica and clay, but
the most important mineralization stage is a chlorite-biotitesulphidefluorite assemblage, still with preserved magnetite
wrigglite banding. This style commonly has >1% Sn grade
while the 'proto-skarn' has Sn grades in the order of 0.2-0.1%.
The later stage retrograde mineralization is interpreted as associated
with a late stage, volatile-rich hydrothermal fluid that also
caused the greisenization of the granitoids. It is likely that the
skarn was formed after a carbonate-rich protolith.
Tin mineralization on Bintan Island is associated with metaluminous
to peraluminous Volcanic Arc Granites of the East Belt (Schwartz

et al. 1995) of the Eastern Province, intruded c. 230 Ma. Cobbing

et al. (1992) attributed these granitoids and their mineralization to
melting of the lithospheric mantle as a result of the subduction of
158 CHAPTER 12
Old T.KK
~..& 106~
Thrust /
Triassic ~ Tem~i~ L.
Early-Mid Permian t
and older Pemai GrOup /
'Pebbly Mudstone'
Carboniferous- ~ Tapanuli Group ~-_ Early Permian
0 50km
i iiii ' , i 106~
(] 1, . 0 30kml
Sye n l t ~ ~'-'X"J -.. ~- L ._.a I
Gabbro~,Munti (, S-~"~ I
.... I
I I I II IRL ......i." I l I i ~ . . . . ~ i ~ . . . . . . giN~GUNON G ]
:;I~,::: .'lanjau ..... ExaEll2Jl . . . . . ~MANG I
t.t.t.t.-.t-.t.~ , ~-',-~ ~ , . , . . . . e d a n - I

!1111111 qEll. , ~".ll_L~Cl./Ulll ~ I

. . . . . . . . . ,']l~VA-ntulDti;1Man g kuban g I
G e" Batu n";-~Beb u ng I
_9 "~'~aunung I
Seumar i~.("..i. / ~r~Mna,n-~ ar i "..',. ~V]l~ ~ tl~
larD:, eSi:~ns I
PANDANG," ~ [l~, L!!!!'!
I ~ Z~ ~ 4~ Labu
/ / ~ "~ GUNUNG
I~/~ ..:.. ~ Badau LEGAU ..
]~J~.t Papan Zr Selumar.t..!."
I J: ..L.: eaga
-~sA~ Sambulae . ~n
.... ~Nangka / ~ LILANG~hi :~, _) TIN FRONT
"'~.Bunta L . ~ . . . , , . ~ . - ~ l ~ l t l t ~ , ..-"~" . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
PARANG BULOH..-" ~ I~_)~ ~ .~" . . . .
I ~ MAIN RANGE 'S' or 'IS'Type
!...i.iljlii!i!J EASTERN BELT 'r-Type
; Tin Mining
'. _9 Primary Soils and
; Deposits ":~:.:!:. Sediments
'. Tempilan name of mineral cluster
~luk~ salinta

~:: :: Tr
107 ~
I,,, ,
Fig. 12.6. (a) Bangka Island; (b) Billiton
Island. Compilation maps to show
distribution of granites and primary and
secondary tin deposits. The structure of
Bangka Island is after Ko (1986) and the
granite typology after Cobbing et al. (1992).
(Palaeo-Tethys) oceanic crust, assimilation of continental crest
lithologies and fractional crystallization processes.
In Malaysia to the NE, metaluminous intrusions of the Central
Belt (Schwartz et al. 1995) of the Eastern Granite Province are
associated with gold, stibnite and sulphide mineralization, as
exploited at Raub, but this style of mineralization is not seen in
the Indonesian sector of the Indosinian orogen.
Placer tin
Primary tin deposits have given rise to numerous onshore and offshore
placers (Fig. 12.6a, b), including Koba Tin and Cebia, from
which the bulk of Indonesia's tin production has come. Most are
palaeoplacers which were deposited and partly reworked from
the Late Miocene to Recent times, during three major phases of
erosion and sedimentation, characterized by distinctive climatic
regimes, and accompanied by a progressive rise in sea level that
eventually submerged the present-day shelf platform area surrounding
the tin islands (Aleva 1973, 1985; Batchelor 1979).
Jurassic to Early Cretaceous magmatic arcs

(Cu, Au; Table 12.4 and Fig. 12.7)

These magmatic arcs have been eroded, exposing batholiths and
plutons, so that the roof structure and mineralization are rarely preserved.
In Central Sumatra a few examples of intrusion-centered
mineralization are known from the Mid-Jurassic-Early Cretaceous
Arc. Skarn and disseminated mineralization at Muarasipongi
have been described in detail by Beddoe-Stephens et al. (1987). At
the time of the emplacement of the batholith at 158 -+- 23 Ma
precious metal and copper deposits were formed.
In the Singkarak cluster copper and precious metals in the
disused Timbulan quarry are associated with an altered granitoid.
This intrusion is probably related to the Sulit Air suite of plutons,
from which Imtihanah (2000) obtained 4~ ages of
192 + 0.4 and 193 ___ 4Ma for emplacement, which is the
suggested time of porphyry-type mineralization.
The Danau (Lake) Ranau Kelayang low-grade Cu-Mo mineralization
in the north of the Bangko cluster occurs in altered roof
rocks of the Bungo Batholith. Components of the batholith have
K-Ar mineral ages ranging between 169 and 129 Ma (McCourt
et al. 1996).
Woyla Group and Accretion Complex
(Au-Ag, Pb-Zn; Table 12.4 and Fig. 12.7)
A possible example of exhalative sulphide mineralization is present
within mafic lavas of the Bentaro Volcanic Formation in the Geunteut
cluster. Bedded hematite-magnetite rock in the Tapaktuan
Volcanic Formation is a potential, although limited, source of
massive volcanic exhalative auriferous magnetite and sulphides
forming the Tapaktuan and Babahrot clusters from which alluvial
gold is derived (Cameron et al. 1982b). The alluvial gold in the

Natal river is derived from skarn-type deposits at the contacts of

Late Cretaceous intrusions and Woyla metasediments (see
below). Alluvial chromite and perhaps some gold in the Pasaman
cluster are derived from the Pasaman ophiolite body, which was
possibly a seamount accreted within the Woyla succession.
The Sungei Pagu former Pb-Zn mine near Lubukgadang north
of Kerinci Volcano occurs within limestones in a megabreccia,
composed mostly of serpentinite boulders derived from an adjacent
massive serpentinised harzburgite (Hariwidjaja & Suharsono
1990). Small diatremes and andesite and dacite dykes occur in the
area. The megabreccia and ophiolite body are similar to lithologies
described within the Woyla Group at Natal (Wajzer et al. 1991).
The megabreccia is probably an olistostrome or a mud diapir in
an accretion complex of which the massive serpentinite forms a
component. Van Bemmelen (1949) suggested that the Pb-ZnMn mineralisation was of metasomatic origin, but here it is
suggested to be a manganese-rich metalliferous deposit of hydrothermal
type (Mitchell & Garson 1981) formed in an oceanic
environment with the harzburgite representing part of a seamount,
capped by limestone.
Late Cretaceous magmatic arc (Sn, Au-Ag;
Table 12.4 and Fig. 12.7)
Subduction beneath Sumatra was re-established in the Late Cretaceous,
following the collision of the Bentaro-Saling Oceanic
island Arc Complex in the Mid Cretaceous (Barber 2000). The
reversal of subduction direction resulting from the collision of
oceanic volcanic arcs with Sundaland in the Cretaceous was
identified as potentially important for mineralization by Carlile
& Mitchell (1994). In Northern Sumatra, small amounts of gold
in the Sikuleh area are derived from skarns in reef limestones of
the Bentaro Arc formed when the Younger Complex of the

Sikuleh Batholith was emplaced at c. 98 Ma. Detrital tin, identified

by stream sediment sampling during the North Sumatra Project
(Stephenson et al. 1982), is probably of Tertiary age, as no tin mineralization
was seen in greisens and veins at the contact of the
Sikuleh Batholith with the Woyla Group, well exposed in stream
sections along the northern margin of the intrusion (M.C.G.
Clarke, unpublished map, pers. comm.).
Precious metals and sulphides in the Natal cluster, formerly
mined from magnetite bodies at the contact of the Manunggal
Batholith with the Woyla Group, were formed around the time
of its intrusion (c. 87 Ma, Rock et al. 1983).
Cassiterite and cerium-bearing monazite placers of the Garba
cluster were eroded from greisens and pegmatites which formed
in the cupola in a late phase of the Garba Batholith. This composite
batholith was constructed during the Cretaceous, with a MidCretaceous dioritic phase (117-115 Ma, Aptian) followed by a
Late Cretaceous (86-82Ma, Santonian) granitic phase with
quartz-feldspar two-phase variants (McCourt & Cobbing 1993).
Tin and rare earth mineralization was formed as a result of the successive
fractionation of melts emplaced in a long-lived conduit and
hydrothermal system developed in a favourable carapace. Alluvial
tin in the Seputi cluster to the SE of the Garba Mountains is
thought to be associated with a younger muscovite granite, which
is a fractionated phase of the Padean Pluton (McCourt & Cobbing
1993), dated at c. 85 Ma and having low values of tin. The source
of the alluvial tin was most likely the highly fractionated granite
phases and greisens that have since been eroded away.
The second category of Late Cretaceous tin deposits in Sumatra
is associated with the Hatapang Granite, studied in detail by
Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens (1987). The cassiterite and wolframite
in this untested resource are derived from pegmatites and greisens

developed in the carapace of the granite, emplaced at 80 i 1 Ma

(Rb-Sr isochron age) to the rear of the magmatic arc. The
Hatapang Granite margin has a peraluminous chemistry and has
chemical characters of both a within-plate A-type granite (see
Chapter 5) and an S-type anatectic granite of collision origin
(Clarke & Beddoe-Stephens 1987). Detrital tin weathered out of
Tertiary sediments 70-80 km to the SE of Hatapang is possibly
derived from hidden Late Cretaceous granitoids.
Tin deposits formed during Late Cretaceous magmatism have
two origins: (1) by fractionation and assimilation in intrusions
belonging to the Late Cretaceous magmatic arc and (2) by anatexis
of peraluminous metasediments caused by crustal thickening and
associated mantle-derived intrusions in the backarc area.
Palaeocene magmatic arc (Cu, Au-Ag; Table 12.4)
Minor sulphide mineralization in the Rawas cluster occurs within
iron-rich skarns at the contact with Woyla Group metasediments
and disseminated within the Bukit Rajah Granite emplaced at
54 2 Ma (K-Ar method, JICA 1988). Nearby is the Sungei
Tuboh 1.76 Mt (estimate) skarn deposit with copper and precious
metals which formed at the contact of a quartz monzonite at
c. 40 2 Ma (K-Ar method, JICA 1988).
The alluvial gold in the Rawas cluster is found in the vicinity of
quartz veins, and associated with the sericitization and chloritization
of Woyla Group metasediments, which also may be related to
Palaeocene intrusions (Miswar & Suherman 1991).
Late Eocene-Early Miocene magmatic arc (Table 12.4)
A rare example of mineralization associated with this Early
Neogene volcanic arc occurs in the Breueh cluster NW of Banda
Aceh. Disseminated sulphides and quartz veins are related to the
intrusion of a sub-volcanic diorite body dated at 19 _+ 1 Ma (on
hornblende by K-Ar method) (Bennett et al. 1981a).

Miocene-Pliocene magmatic arc (porphyry Cu, Mo;

Table 12.5 and Fig. 12.8)
Several porphyry-type mineral occurrences (Danau Diatas, Siuluk
Deras and Danau Dipatiampat) were located as the result of
exploration for porphyry copper deposits in the early-1970s (van
Leeuwen 1978) (Exploration Phase 2 of van Leeuwen 1994)
160 CHAPTER 12
~~_ ~ .~ ~ ~- ~;
~ .~= ~~ -~~,+-~, ,
.~ o,=-~ ~ ~
~=> -.'~ i ~~ ~. ,,-,!
o .= -~.i ~~

~o'., o~
% "d
r~ r..)
~,=,~ ~~
~~.-o = ,_,
~ ~b~ ~ ~
6,., <
~ .- ,-, :,_, ._ ,.-.._
~, ..~ ..
_9~ .~ ~ . ~ ~ ~ ~.
o ~ ~ .o
~ ~o
_9 0 ~
~=~~ ~ ~. ~
~~ ~ < ~~ ~,~<
~~ ~ . ~ i ~ ~.~
~ ~ -~ -~ - ~ ~ -~ -~ -=
e~ z
_9~ o

.. dE~ ~|
! ~ ~._=~
+1 I
E ~u ~ ~'~-~o .~-~ ~ ~g. <
~E ~E
< <<
,....., C3~
~., e-~ ~ :2 ~
. ,...,

O _9 t"q
= ~ ~ o=
_9" ~ _9
162 CHAPTER 12
9~oE &~
"- I

2~MUARASIPONGI ~-....~ ~
Late Cretaceous Plutons
-4~ Elm__. Mid-Jurassic to
Early Cretaceous Plutons
Woyla Group
(Arc and Accretionary Complex)
I I Pre-Cretaceous basement
-6 ~
0 500km
,,,% -%\
96 ~ 98 ~ 100" 102 ~
lO4 ~
106 ~
Fig. 12.7. Mineral o c c u r r e n c e s associated

with the M i d - J u r a s s i c - E a r l y Cretaceous and

the Late Cretaceous magmatic arcs.
(Fig. 12.2); others were found during regional mapping (Tangse
and Dusun) and in the 1990s. The Miocene suite of equigranular
and porphyritic dioritic and granitic intrusions, with Cu-Mo mineralization,
are widely distributed in the Barisan Mountains
of western Sumatra, but the mineralization is of very low grade.
Porphyry-type mineralization is usually associated with arcparallel
fault sets of the Sumatran Fault System, with plutons
emplaced within segments and jogs of the main fault zone, or
like the Lokop cluster in fault splays, although some dioritic
centres, such as Tinjoen, are not associated with important faults.
Van Leeuwen et al. (1987) have described the extensive investigation
of the Tangse Cu-Mo prospect which was discovered
during the geological and geochemical mapping programme of
the North Sumatra Project (Young & Johari 1978). A large mineralized
system is present at the Tangse prospect, but at the time of
the investigation the grades were not economic. Cu-Mo mineralization
is present between strands of the main Sumatran Fault
System in altered, stockwork-fractured, multiphase (three sequential
sets of intrusion were distinguished) porphyritic intrusions in
the Eocene age Gle Seukeun Igneous Complex. The older group
of porphyritic quartz diorites is the most extensive, with the intrusion
and the alteration-mineralization having cooled between 13
and 9 Ma. A core of early chalcopyrite and biotite alteration is surrounded
by a halo of chlorite and epidote. These were overprinted
by two structurally controlled quartz-sericite-pyrite assemblages
of which the chlorite assemblage is enriched in Cu and Mo. The
mineralized system has been weathered and oxidized and there
is patchy secondary Cu enrichment.
The Tangse prospect is of particular interest as an example of

dated Miocene multiphase porphyritic igneous intrusions in the

Sumatran Fault System. The geochemistry and low intial Sr
isotope values shown by the Tangse porphyries indicate that
they represent a subduction-related, mantle-derived, normal-K
calc-alkaline suite, which shows little evidence of sialic crustal
contamination (van Leeuwen et al. 1987). The significance of
such multiphase intrusions is the potential for successively fractionated
melts with enriched metal contents to be emplaced in the
same host, via the same magma conduit system, resulting in
potential mineral deposits of economic value. This setting
occurred in the overlaps and jogs between transcurrent faults in
Sumatra during the Neogene, as at Tangse and probably also the
Lolo Batholith. The mineralization at the Tangse stock (van
Leeuwen et al. 1987) was completed before the intrusion of the
dacite porphyry dykes, which had cooled to c. 500 ~ by
9.97 4- 0.50 Ma (magmatic hornblende by K-Ar method). This
suggests that the vertical and horizontal movements along the
Sumatran Fault System which initially facilitated the magma
conduit system at Tangse may have disrupted this system by
c. 10 Ma and was followed by rapid uplift. The Tangse multiphase
stock may be younger than the Lolo Batholith, which is composed
of equigranular granodiorites only locally megacrystic, where the
associated minor skarn mineralisation probably dates from the
40 39 emplacement at c. 15 Ma ( Ar/~ Ar determinations by Imtihanah
The only other porphyry copper prospects that have been drilltested
to date are the Upper and Lower Tengkereng and Upper

.~ o=
o .~ ~ .~ :~,
= ~ ~,
t"q r
_.9_ .. ~
N ?5
~ i~~
.~ .~ _~ ~
Z a,

._ ,, =-,
I o / _9
,-, (j
-g = .~
._ g-.~~ =~ ~, ~;
~v~,=~e ~ .-{
=~ .~ .=
~~ ~=
~y ?5
ca .~ o
I ..t::
.-. o
~-~ ~ . _

-d "4 g'<
--z g
co <
ca ;.~
o ~ o'~ wg:~
~ ~E -=
.-~ e o ,~
2: m

o< o~
o = .,..~ r
.o=~.~ e ei.{
aa Z o ~
164 CHAPTER 12
. ,.....~ .~ ,.~
.~ ".~

0 "~
~'~ .~
0 _9
.e ~. ~.~_
, ?~
.~ o
c. E
_9 '-' ~
_-9~ ~ ~
.~ 0o
.,- . , ,
0 .0
< <<

\,-N--. " ~ ~ . O Mineral Locality
-2~ (,x,.. "~ (-,x Lake'S,. ~,,. ~ 2~
- ~ ~ pi N APAN O~',x~Tob_a v~ ,---. ~.
""~t.g& ~TINJOEN..J "~(._...1 ~
N .w
-o+ " o
_ >---,\ %
"~N N ~ ~ 1~ AIR SEBLAT )
UNI~ q~__Ld
-4 ~ "~ON, ,~r "-..._..-'~TAMBANSGA WAH)
_6 ~
96 ~ 100 ~ 102 ~ 104 ~ ~ 106 ~
I I I I "%, I
Fig. 12.8. Mineral occurrences and
prospects associated with the MiocenePliocene mineralization.
Ise-Ise in the Dusun cluster. The three Dusun cluster deposits
(Dalimunthe et al. 1997a, b) are associated with small (up to
550 x 300m 2) multiple intrusive diorite-tonalite porphyry
stocks. Alteration is highly telescoped with progressive overprinting
of advanced argillic and phyllic alteration assemblages. Quartz

stockwork veining varies from weak (1-10%) to intensive (up to

50%). The quartz stockwork is typically barren or only weakly
mineralized. Sulphide mineralization consists of pyrite, covellitechalcolite, lesser bornite and chalcopyrite and minor molybdenite.
In contrast to Tangse the molybdenum content is
negligible, whereas gold values are relatively high (0.170.38 g t-~ Au).
It has been suggested that the general low tenor of the porphyry
copper occurrences found to date in Sumatra may be due to the
poor copper content of the crust that was subducted beneath the
island during the Neogene (Katili 1974b) or because the process
of subduction was too young to have generated suitable melts
(Hutchison & Taylor 1978). Another possible explanation is that
the Neogene subduction occurred (most of the time) at an even
velocity, a condition which is not conducive to the generation of
large, high grade deposits (Sillitoe 1997).
Neogene magmatic arc (Au-Ag; Table 12.6 and Fig. 12.9)
Mining of primary deposits on the West Coast of Sumatra and in
the Lebong cluster was interrupted in 1941. Subsequently mining
has never reached pre-war production levels, with only Lebong
Tandai being reopened. Most of the abandoned mines were reinvestigated
and drilled during the late 1980s, but extensions to
the ore bodies at Mangani and Lebong Donok were not found at
depth (van Leeuwen 1994). A number of new gold occurrences
in Sumatra were found during the various COW investigations
(1985 onwards), of which Bukit Tembang reached the mining
stage while exploration is at an advanced stage at two others
(Way Linggo and Martabe).
The dating, quantity and source of the gold mineralization of
many prospects remains poorly understood, because their perceived
low economic potential has discouraged detailed study.

In Table 12.6 the times of mineralization are estimates, based on

the dating of host lithologies and intrusions, although the mineralization
sequences are better documented. An exception is the gold
mineralization at Lebong Donok for which K-Ar ages between
1.2 and 1.3Ma were quoted by Henley & Etheridge (1995),
which is a similar to the age to the Cirotan epithermal system in
west Java, where adularia was dated by the K-At method at
1.7 Ma (Milesi et al. 1994). This data places Neogene gold mineralization
in Sumatra, at least in part, in the period after 3.5 Ma in
an interval of tectonic reorganization following the collision of the
Philippine Arc and the Eurasian Plate (Barley et al. 2002).
Neogene epithermal precious metal deposits in Sumatra are
classified following White & Hedenquist (1990), using the vein
and alteration mineralogy and the form of the ore body, to infer
the fluid chemistry which controlled ore formation. The high sulphidation
type reflects relatively oxidised ore fluids, and the low
sulphidation type reflects relatively reduced ore fluids. Examples
. Mineral occurrences, prospects
and former mines related to the Neogene
gold mineralization.
of the latter type are commonly found in the southern half of the
island, concentrated along two lineaments or axes. An Outer
Neogene Gold Axis, linking the Salida and Kotaagung clusters
with concentrations in the Lebong and West Coast Districts of
van Bemmelen (1949), and an Inner Neogene Gold Axis, linking
the Mangani and Tanjungkarang clusters can be distinguished
(Machali et al. 1997) and are represented predominantly by
'classic' quartz-vein type deposits (Fig. 12.9). To date only three
high-sulphidation type deposits have been found. All are located
in northern Sumatra and are recent discoveries (Martabe, Miwah
and Meluak). They represent fossil geothermal systems rich in

magmatic volatiles. A study of the present-day hydrothermal

systems in Sumatra by Hochstein & Sudarman (1993) shows
that about 20% fall into this category. A third type of deposit comprises
sediment-hosted mineralization found at Abong and Sihayo.
The majority of Neogene epithermal gold occurrences in
Sumatra are hosted in Tertiary volcanics and sediments which
rest on the Woyla Group (Fig. 12.9). There are exceptions, as in
the Meluak, Martabe, Mangani and Bangko clusters where the
Woyla Group is not present. The spatial relationship between
many of the epithermal gold deposits and the Woyla Group in
Sumatra and Western Java was observed by Carlile & Mitchell
(1994), who suggested that this relationship may be related
indirectly to the arc reversal and emplacement of the oceanic volcanic
arcs in the Woyla Group onto the Sundaland margin in the
The focusing of fluid flow, favourable permeability and fault
structures controlling the emplacement of intrusions helps to
explain the concentration of epithermal occurrences in the
Neogene Gold Belt. Evidence of hydrothermal outflow in
the Inner Axis is illustrated by the presence of sinters, as in the
Bangko cluster. In some instances this outflow may derive from
the Outer Neogene Gold Axis in the elevated Barisan Mountains.
The geomorphic outflow of thermal waters from the Barisan
Mountains also contributes to the low temperature reservoirs of
thermal water in the Tertiary sedimentary basins in the back arc
area (Hochstein & Sudarman 1993).
In southern Sumatra several precious metal clusters are associated
with arc-parallel master fault segments of the Sumatran Fault
System (e.g. Tanjungsakti, Way Linggo and Martabe). The
Mangani prospect is situated towards the termination of a major
segment of the Sumatran Fault System (Kavalieris et al. 1987).

The connection with arc-normal fault sets is occasionally

invoked, as at Miwah and the importance of faulting in the localisation
of metal occurrences is well understood. Hovig (1914)
noted the fault-grid intersections controlling precious-metal mineralization
in the Lebong cluster. Terpstra (1932) distinguished
four groups of quartz veins at the Salida mine, based on their
orientation, and Harris (1988) drew attention to the significance
of fault control of mineralisation in the Lebong and Mangani
As mentioned above, the majority of the low sulphidation gold
deposits are located in southern Sumatra. Deposits in the Lebong
cluster (Fig. 12.10) are among the better known. Jobson et al.
(1994) described the Lebong Tandai deposit where underground
mining recommenced in 1983 and continued into the early
170 CHAPTER 12
Fig. 12.10. The Lebong cluster of precious metal prospects, occurrences and
former mines showing the 'Ketaun Zone' of eroded volcanic centres along which
some the Lebong cluster mineral localities are aligned. Geology after Gafoer
et al. (1992c) and Henley & Etheridge (1995).
1990s. The tabular, quartz-cemented, breccia ore bodies are localized
along shears, which are related to an east-west sinistral fault
system (Jobson et al. 1994 had reservations) and to a NW dextral
fault system, by Jobson et al. (1994), using kinematic indicators.
The mineralized zone is orientated approximately east-west
over a strike of 4.3 km. It appears that no transpression or transtension
was involved. The dimensions and mineralogical details of
the breccia bodies are given in Table 12.6. Jobson et al. (1994)
found that precious-metal mineralization was the result of hydraulic
fracturing, associated with four phases of hydrothermal mineral
deposition. In contrast, the precious metals at Lebong Donok are
associated with quartz veins within the NW-SE Lebong Fault.

Dacite dykes and andesite dykes and sheets are present. The mineralization
is on the flank of an eroded andesitic volcano (Henley
& Etheridge 1995) and is localized at the contact between the