Waigeo Island Archipelago Most Popular Favourite Papua Tourism
WAIGEO ISLAND, located in Eastern Indonesia, belongs to the eastern Halmahera-Waigeo "province Papua" (Sukamto et al. 1981) or "terrane" (Hall and Nichols 1990), and its basement rocks consist of ophiolites which are imbricated with Mesozoic deep water sediments and Early Tertiary rocks. During 1974-1979, Indonesian scientists geologically mapped the Halmahera-Waigeo region as part of the second Five Year Development Programme (Sukamto et al. 1981, see also the historical review of geological works), while in 1987, they participated in a joint project with scientists from University College London (UCL).
The mrlange (Hamilton 1979) or ophiolite (Sukamto et al. 1981) is well-exposed in the north part of the island. The diverse lithologies recognized in this sequence include Mesozoic deep sea sediments with red radiolarian cherts, Eocene Discocyclina-bearing limestone, and shallow-water Oligocene limestone containing orbitoids, viz. Lepidocyclina (Eulepidina? and Nephrolepidina), Miogypsina, Cycloclypeus, etc. (Brouwer 1924, Van Bemmelen 1949). Twenty six samples from the island were examined (HYL) in anticipation that the recovered radiolarian fauna would provide the needed age identification for the island, which, in turn, would contribute towards tectonic considerations. This report constitutes the first such radiolarian study from Southeast Asia.
THE ISLAND of Waigeo occupies an intermediate position between the Bird's Head region of Irian Jaya (westernNew Guinea) and the island of Halmahera. It is situated about 75km north of the town of
Sorong in western Irian Jaya, and about 250 km ESE of Halmahera. Waigeo is the easternmost of the islandterranes of the Sorong Fault Zone, a zone of inferred regional left-lateral shear linking northern New Guinea with Sulawesi. The island therefore occupies a critical position in this tectonically complex region and
contributes important evidence towards unravelling the evolution of the NE Indonesia region, and in particular
the relationships between the Halmahera-Philippine arcs on the one hand and New Guinea-Australia on the
During 1987, 1988 and 1990, geologists from University College London and the Indonesian Geological Research and Development Centre (GRDC) carried out geological surveys of Waigeo Island as part of ongoing projects investigating the geology of Halmahera and the Sorong Fault Zone. This paper presents some of the results of this fieldwork. Waigeo is approximately 125km in an east-west direction and up to 50 km from north to south. The most striking geographical feature of the island is the large lagoon of Teluk (Bay) Mayalibit which almost divides Waigeo into two separate islands.
To the east and west of the bay the topography is rugged, but with generally rounded morphology. The highest peak, Gunung (Mount) Samlor, reaches 1000 m. A lesser peak, Gunung Lok, reaches a height of only 670 m, but forms an impressive pinnacle peak, known in Dutch colonial times as the Buffelhoorn.
The Waigeo island is very sparsely inhabited, with the entire population living in coastal villages. The interior of Waigeo is thickly covered by rain forest with only limited geological exposure, but exposure is often excellent around the coastline, particularly on the north coast. Because of the reconnaissance nature of the investigations, fieldwork concentrated mainly on these coastal exposures, and knowledge of the geology further inland is limited to a few river traverses. However, good quality aerial photographs cover most of
Waigeo, and this has permitted the extrapolation of the coastal observations to produce a new geological map
of the island.