Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taman Negara National Park Geological History

Since the Taman Negara (National Park) is managed by PERHILITAN (the Department of Wildlife and National Park), it is not surprisingly that their conservation and ecotourism activities are focused more towards the biological eco-system. Though not many people may realize, it is the facts from its physical ecosystem (in which geology is concerned), which helped Taman Negara to be established as one of the oldest legendary forest in the world. Unfortunately, the geological history alone is not sufficient in attracting visitors to appreciate other rocks and landscape of Taman Negara.

Available geological information show that the Taman Negara possessed many interesting geological features to offer its visitors. Among others are the proud peak of Gunung Tahan, Gunung Gagau and its plateau, Gunung Tangga Dua Belas - Gunung Gedung ridge, limestone towers and caves such as Bukit Batu Besar, Gua Telinga, Gua Luas, Gua Daun Menari, Bukit Biwa, Gua Peningat and many others.

The work of rivers had etched and carved the landscape of Taman Negara forming some magnificent rapids and waterfalls, such as Lata Berkoh, Air Terjun Empat Tingkat and many others. Fossils of ancient living forms preserved naturally in sedimentary rocks of Taman Negara for million of years are so valuable.

Among the oldest one are those fauna from Bukit Biwa and Sungai Sepia, aged as old as 265-270 m.a., while flora fossils from Sungai Pertang indicated that the present landforms of Taman Negara is a result of a more than 150 m.a of natural landscaping process. Apart from all these, the Taman Negara is also not deprived of beautiful minerals and crystals one should admire. All these data and many other unexplored geological heritage show that the geotourism concept has got very strong ground and ever ready to be developed in our beloved Taman Negara.
Taman Negara comprised of sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. Jurassic-Cretaceous (I00-180 million years old) continental sedimentary rock built the Gunung Tahan, which is the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. These sedimentary rocks can be divided to three units, the Tembeling Group, Gagau Group and Koh Formation. These rock units were deposited at the same time, but in the different basin.

Taman Negara trail between Kuala Chichir and Gunung Gagau exposed several different lithologic units. Among them are fine-grained sedimentary rocks of Permian age (250-290 m.a.) and coarse-grained sedimentary rocks of Jurassic-Cretaceous age (100-180 m.a.) known as the Gagau Group. The Permian sedimentary rocks are mainly made of massive mudstone and siltstone deposited in shallow marine environment. The Jurassic-Cretaceous rocks are continental deposits, made of thickly bedded to massive sandstone exhibiting well defined cross-bedding and erosional base or channel structures.

The sandstone is a clean sandstone derived from older sandy sedimentary rock as well as granitic rock. The Gagau Group is very competent towards erosion and has undergone very little tectonic deformation. As a result, this rock formed homoclinal ridges with Gagau plateau as part of this unique geomorphic feature.

Taman Negara National Park Map


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