Cenozoic ecological history of South East Asian peat mires based on the comparison of coals with present day and Late Quaternary peats

Abstract

Tropical peat swamps are more widespread in Sundaland than in any other equatorial region. Also, Cenozoic deposits from the area are rich in coals. The developmental pattern of present day peat swamps from the region has often been used to help clarify that of coals in the geological record. This paper initially reviews the ecology of present day ombrotrophic, rheotrophic and brackish mangrove peat swamps, and their pattern and timing of development during the Holocene and latest Pleistocene based on palynological studies. Then, it attempts to examine the developmental pattern of the peats which led to the formation of Cenozoic coals across the region, based on both published and unpublished datasets generated during the course of hydrocarbon exploration programmes. It is concluded that Cenozoic coals reflect a greater variety of peat forming settings than occurs in the region today. Extensive brackish water peats formed during the Middle and Late Eocene and Middle and Late Miocene, these often being laterally very extensive. Rheotrophic peats also formed widely through most of the Cenozoic. Ombrotrophic kerapah type peats are first recognised in the Late Oligocene, based on their content of common Casuarina type and Dacrydium pollen, and were particularly common during the Early and Late Miocene in the Sunda shelf region. Kerapah peats sometimes developed great thickness. Basinal peats, on the other hand, increased in representation during the course of the Miocene. No convincing evidence for doming in Cenozoic peats has yet been noted, but on the other hand, no really thick coals, which may have been formed from basinal peats, have so far been studied. As a consequence, examples of doming in the rock record from this area are probably yet to be found.

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Author Biography

Robert J. Morley, Royal Holloway University of London
Department of Earth Sciences
Published
2013-08-26
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Section
Freshwater Invertebrates Congress
Keywords:
ombrotrophic kerapah mires, basinal peat mires, rheotrophic peats, Southeast Asia, Cenozoic coals.
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How to Cite
1.
Morley RJ. Cenozoic ecological history of South East Asian peat mires based on the comparison of coals with present day and Late Quaternary peats. J Limnol [Internet]. 2013Aug.26 [cited 2021May18];72(s2):e3. Available from: https://jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/jlimnol.2013.s2.e3