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Figure: Andaman Sea Basin

The central basin began opening 13 Ma in the Middle Miocenes with spreading rates
calculated at 3.72 cm a-1.
TheAndaman basin evolved through a polyphase, multigenetic tectonic history from Early
Cenozoic/Late Mesozoic toRecent.
The Andaman- Nicobar basin was initiated with northward drift of Indian Plate with respect
to Asia.
The ForeArc Basin (Ponded fill) is an important tectonic element which lies between the
Outer High in the west and Volcanic Arc in the east.
The western margin of the Forearc basin is down faulted with a large vertical throw against a
major fault traceable all along the eastern margin of the high and mapped as Eastern Margin
Fault (EMF) indicating this margin as steeper and may have been the source of most
sediments (EMF; Roy 1983).
Ponded fill stage is characterized by basin inversion tectonic events during Early Miocene
and consists of sediments derived from MTDs and mudflows.
This was followed by a quiescent period when sedimentation in shallow water had taken
The Compressional event continued till the close of Miocene leading to the formation of
inverted structure at the middle of the study area.
The post lower middle Miocene sediments are mainly clastics. Post Miocene the area had
undergone passive filling in Sag fill stage (2 to 3 episodes), depositing mainly Pelagites.


Figure: Sumatra back-arc basin

Generally divided into three basins which are;

North Sumatra Basin

Central Sumatra Basin
South Sumatra Basin

During middle Paleogen to Early Miocene, initial graben-fill consisted of continental

sandstones and conglomerates. (limestone conglomerates and breccias, micaceous
quartzose sandstones, and silty mudstones.)
As the central grabens filled and became shallower, calcareous marine sands and siltstones
along with argillaceous and sandy limestones accumulated in the lows while the highs
remained at least intermittently exposed.
In late early Miocene time, a major marine transgression occurred, probably resulting from
continued subsidence coupled with a eustatic sea level rise.
The most important reservoir rocks are Miocene platform carbonates and reefs of the
Belumai and Peutu formations.
During Paleogene, fluvial sandstones, siltstones and claystones and alluvial fan
conglomerates, the latter of which were developed along graben-bounding faults
EOD fluvial/lacustrine environment.


Figure: Sumatra Fore-Arc Basins

2 fore-arc basins in West Sumatra which are

1. Sibolga basin (northwest Sumatra fore-arc)
2. Bengkulu basin (southwest Sumatra fore-arc)

Lies between the island of Sumatra and the adjacent outer-arc ridge to the west
trends northwest-southeast (The northern end terminates against the northwest extension
of the Sumatra Fault System. The southern end of the Sibolga basin was arbitrarily placed in
the vicinity of Pini and Batu Islands where a broad, southwest trending low-lying arch
separates it from the Bengkulu basin to the southeast)
the western margin of the basin is formed by a high-angle fault zone which created
associated drag structures as did strike-slip faults that cut diagonally through the basin in the
vicinity of Nias-Banyak islands. In spite of these faults, the majority of the Neogene
sedimentary rocks in the basin are undeformed.
Fossil recovery was poor in this interval leading to a tentative age of Mid Miocene up to
Lower Miocene.
For Bengkulu Basin, located in the southeast part of the Sumatra Island covering both
onshore and offshore and trending NW - SE, parallel to Sumatra Island.


Figure: Balingian basin

The Balingian formation is terminated landwards at up-faulted zone known as Tatau Horst.
There is extensive esposures of complexly folded deep-sea turbiditess of the Belaga
Formation (Rajang Group) of Late Cretaceous to Eocene age, which may represent an
accretionary prism bordering the West Borneo Basement.
The Oligocene to Early Miocene Nyalau Formation is the age of the oldest rock of the
Balingian province which outcrops can be seen along the coast of Bintulu.
The environment show the tidal features and numerous fluviatile channel based on the
sandstone-dominated very shallow marine formation.
Significant graben and horst faulting, and erosion took place during Early Miocene low
eaustatic sea levels, after which it was a relatively stable block receiving thin Middle and
Upper Miocene sedimentation at the west Balingian.
Continuous sedimentation from Late Oligocene through Miocene times occurred at the
eastern area.
The hydrocarbon source rocks are considered to be coals and organic-rich clays of the
Oligocene to Lower Miocene Nyalau Formation as most of the strata are coastal to

Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene

Subduction of proto South China Sea oceanic crust under Borneo continental plate. During
the subduction, the upper crustal sediment was accreted against the overriding plate.

Late Oligoceneto early Miocene

Subduction continue and the Cycle 2 sediment is deposited on top of the Cycle 1 accreated
sediment, forming accreationary wedge

Early Miocene to Middle Miocene

Cycle 3 and 4 sediment was deposited in the form of piggyback basin. The surface was
uplifted due to the decrease in slab pull forces. Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 were also affected in
the uplifting process.

Late Miocene to Pliestocene

Deposition of Cycle 5 and 6 on the top of the older 3 cycles


Figures: Malay basin


It has a well defined north-west-south-east orientation, parallel to Sumatran, Tonle SapMekong and Red River-Gulf of Bacbo basins, all of caused by the extrusion or escape
tectonic following the collision of India with Eurasia and thus are classified as wrench or
shear basins.
The basin started in Early Tertiary time with basement induced block faulting, and eastwest trending graben and half graben formation.
The basement is formed during the Cretaceous which consist of granites and
Non-marine sands and shales of questionable Oligocene is the oldest sediments.
Fold and fault structures began forming in Early Oligocene and continue to early
Pliocene as the basin developed.
The basin resulted from strong attenuation of the Sunda Shelf by half graben formation
and it far removed from any active volcanic arc, accordingly there is no virtue in back
arc classification.

The Malay Basin is believed to form by a combination of whole lithosphere
AND ENVIRONMENT OF strecthing and thin-skinned crustal extension (Madon & Watts, 1998). The
main theory believed by the author to form the tectonics of the Malay Basin
is the five-fold tectono-stratigraphic sub-division (Mansor, Rahman, Menier,
& Pubellier, 2014).
Middle Eocene
The extrusion of the crustal slabs in SE asia during the collision of
the Indian plate with Eurasia formed NW-SE trending faults such as
the Mae Ping, western hinge line, 3 Pagodas, Axial Malay (extension
of 3 pagodas fault) and Dungun faults. The sinistral wrench
movement along the Axial Malay fault zone opened up and formed
many 2nd order E-W trending fault grabens and half grabens which
continued to subside through Late Eocene and Oligocene.
Late Eocene
The extrusion of crustal slabs from the mainland of SE asia started to
form by rifting and the subduction in the Borneo region. This
resulted in reversal of the sinistral movement along the axial malay
zone to a dextral direction which opened up the 3rd order Malay
basin further. Subsequent shears resulted in generation of high and
low relief 4th order tectonic blocks, narrow ridges and grabens.
Early to Middle Miocene
Thermal cooling of the Sunda region initiated subsidence which
formed a new accommodation space which was filled by coastal
fluvio-tidal sediments with W-E striking axes. This subsidence
accelerated as more cooling occurred contracting the crustal volume
and increasing the bulk density. Thick successions of marginal
marine sediments overlied the fluvio-tidal sediments as further sag
occurred. By the end of middle Miocene, the malay basin had
become fully marine connecting into the South China Sea.
Early Late Miocene
The northward dive of the Australian plate with the Sunda block
caused 5th order compressional Sunda folds on the on the Neogene
sediment. The change in regional stress formed structural inversions
(E-W anticlines and thrust faults) in the SE portion of the Malay
basin where the magnitudes of the anticlines diminished further
Late Miocene
Subsequent collision created 5th order secondary rows of anticlines.
The Malay basin continued to subside throughout Pliocene
depositing marine offshore bars, siltstones and mudstones.




Eocene-Oligocene (Continental environment): Alluvial clastics

Oligocene-Early Miocene (Coastal plain environement): Clean
coarse to medium grained fluvial and alluvial fan sandstones,
Lacustrine shales
Early-Middle Miocene (Fluvio-Deltaic environment): Fine to
coarse grained clastics.
Middle-Late Miocene (Deltaic-shallow marine setting): medium
to very fine grain sandstones, coals, shales.
Late Miocene-Plestiocene (Estuarine environment) : Paralic
deposits of intermingling continental and marine deposits. Fine
to very fine grained matrix rich sandstones

Figure: Malay basin stratigraphy


Figure: Sulu Sea

The Sulu Sea region is composed of the East Palawan and the Sulu Sea basins including the
sub-basins of Balabac, Bancauan and Sandakan.
This includes a Lower Cretaceous ophiolite complete with Barremian chert overlain by the
Oligocene to Lower Miocene Crocker Formation. Equivalent of the Sabah Rajang Group on
Central Palawan have given nannofossils ranging in age from Maastrichian to Upper
The deformed Rajang Group underlies the NW Sulu Sea and formed a landmass continuous
of Sabah (Sabah Palawan Orogenic Belt) before the Middle Miocene unconformity.
The whole Sulu Sea area affected by the early Middle Miocene rifting which caused the
extensive subsidence occurred where the greatest being centered in the S.E. Sulu Sea
marginal basin.


Figure: Makassar Basin

Makassar Basin is a deep marine basin. It is bound to the south by the Adang fault zone and the
Meratus Mountains while it is bound to the North by the Bangalon lineament and the
Sangkulirang fault zone.
The basin started rifting in Lower-Middle Eocene and continued into Lower Miocene.
(Situmorang, 1982)
The basement of this basin is composed of Jurassic to Cretaceous oceanic crust and is covered by
a thick turbidite sequence.
The Makassar Straits are generally considered to be the easternmost edge of the Sunda Craton.
It is overlain by a sequence of Tertiary clastics, carbonates and volcanics affected by tectonics
due to the interaction of Australia-Indian, Pacific and Southeast Asian microplates.
The Makassar basin can be separated into North Makassar Basin and South Makassar Basin in
which there is a significant difference in the stratigraphy.

The North Makassar Basin is bounded to the South by the northern edge of the Paternoster
Platform with coincides with the Adang Fault Zone.
It is connected to the South Makassar Basin through a small channel.
The rifting of the North Makassar Straits in Lower Paleogene resulted in horst and graben
features being formed.
South Makassar Basin is bounded by the Adang Fault Zone to the north and West Sulawesi fold
belt to the east.
During the Eocene, there was an extensional phase leading to the opening of the Makassar
Straits caused by rifting. Extension began in the Middle Eocene until the Early Miocene forming
grabens and half grabens such as the Southern Sub Basin with a predominate NW-SE
During the Late Eocene to Oligocene, a second more widespread extension took place forming
the NNE-SSW trending Taka Talu Graben. Here, thick breccias are deposited adjacent to faults.
In the Early Oligocene, the Makassar straits stopped opening. This leads to thermal cooling and
sagging. The sagging is caused by flexural subsidence due to the loading on the west and east
side. (Kupecz et al., 2013)


(From Zhou Di and Yao Bochu, 2009)

The tectonic and the stretched continental crust underlying the SCS have
experienced a complex tectonic history in Cenozoic times.
The South China Sea resulted from the rifting and attenuation of the continental
crust of Southeast Asia from the Palaeocene to the Early Middle Miocene. However
the sedimentary basins in north-eastern and southeastern SCS occur during these 2
periods (Zhou et al., 2008):
Late Triassic to Early Jurassic
When a shallow to deep sea, the East Guangdong-Northwest Borneo Sea,
existed from continental SE China to NE and SE shelves and slopes of the SCS,
and finally to NW Borneo.
Late Jurassic to Middle Cretaceous

when backarc and/or forearc basins were formed by the subduction of the
Meso-Tethys and paleo-Pacific oceans towards the SE Eurasia. Unmetamorphosed sedimentary strata were encountered by drilling in the NE and

Seafloor spreading began in the Late Lower Oligocene in the north, delayed until the
Lower Miocene in the south.

The stretching resulted in passive margin composed of the Sunda Shelf, narrow
continental slope, and continental rise (Dangerous Grounds) that extends from the
water depth 500 m 3.5 km.

Borneo west of the West Baram Line is an integral part of the Southeast Asian Sunda

The end of the extension is marked throughout the Dangerous Grounds by the MidMiocene break-up unconformity. Post-unconformity strata are remarkably unfaulted
and draped over the pre-unconformity rift topography.

Northeast of the West Baram Line, the continental shelf has been under thrust
beneath Sabah causing isostatic uplift of the Western Cordillera, built predominantly
of Oligocene to Lower Miocene sandy turbidites.

The Dangerous Grounds dips south-eastwards at the Northwest Borneo Trough that
may be a fore deep related to the Western Cordillera in the Sabah collision orogeny.

A pre-Middle Miocene convergent margin existed but it remains uncertain that the
Northwest Borneo Trough was the original plate margin. The trench may have been
buried beneath the western Cordillera.

The two major deltas of the region owe their differences to their geological setting.
The Rajang Delta is built upon a passive rifted continental margin and the Baram Delta
is a product of a collision incorporating major uplift forming a cordillera near the coast


Figure: Cuu Long Basin

High rate of subsidence caused the high sediment input in the basin, resulting in rapid eastwards
progradation of the shelf edge of the basin.
During late to middle Miocene, the sedimentation was controlled by the sea level eustatic rise.
Rifting process that occur during this period caused the rate of the subsidence to increase
rapidly, resulting in westward regression of the sedimentation.
Rifting phase (Eocene) Cuu Long Basin is basically a pull-apart basin that is caused by the
exterusion and subsequent clockwise rotation of the Indochina due to collision between the
India and Eurasia plates. The extensional process caused narrow graben to be created which
later filled with non-marine clastics
Post-Rift period During Late Oligocene to Early Miocene, the inversion occurred resulting the
stress field polarity to reverse form NW-SE extension to NW-SE compression. The inversion
process caused the excellent fractured basement reservoir to be formed.



Figure: Location of Gulf of Thailand in South East Asia

There are several Tertiary Basins in Gulf of Thailand - Pattani, Western, Hua Hin, Kra, Rayong,
Chumpon & Songkhla.
The Gulf of Thailand contains several structurally complex trans-tensional basins. These are
made up of asymmetrical grabens filled with non-marine to marginal marine Tertiary sediments
as old as Eocene. Underlying the graben sediments are a variety of Paleozoic marine carbonates,
granitic intrusive rocks, and metasediments.
The regional pattern of the grabens and related faults strongly suggests that the grabens in the
Gulf of Thailand are the result of the collision of India with Central Asia that began in Eocene
time. The collision forced the area to the west of the Gulf of Thailand to the north and west
relative to the area to the east, causing grabens and strike-slip faults with right- lateral
movements, as well as en-echelon normal faults trending generally north-south.
The only modern Southeast Asian analogue to the Gulf of Thailand basins during Tertiary time is
the Tonle Sap area in Cambodia. This large lake is today being filled with lacustrine sands and
shales and in places with fresh-water limestones.

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