Main Article Content



Gunung Mulu (Sarawak, Borneo), Unesco World Heritage site since 2000, is one of the most important area in the world for the study of karst phenomena. In 2019 the Geology and Paleontology Department of the Natural History Museum of Verona (Italy) started to study the concentrations of Radon-222 and the karst corrosion operated by surface and underground waters. The field researches are currently in progress.

Rock tablets were used to calculate the dissolution rate, collecting this type of “data loggers” after approximately a year. The results of this first monitoring campaign show very low values of corrosion rate in the water. Such values are unexpected due to the exceptional development of the caves, high rainfall and the presence of a rainforest. This study provides more information on the existing data of karst corrosion in the Mulu World Heritage area which could also be useful for a comparison with current global climate change.

limestone, karst corrosion, rock tablets, Mulu National Park, Malaysian Borneo.

Article Details

How to Cite
ZORZIN, R., ZANNOTTI, S., ZORZIN, A., & GERSTNER, H. (2021). DISSOLUTION OF CARBONATE ROCKS IN GUNUNG MULU - SARAWAK, NORTHERN BORNEO: FIRST RESULTS. Asian Journal of Current Research, 6(1), 1-13. Retrieved from https://www.ikprress.org/index.php/AJOCR/article/view/5821
Original Research Article


Wilford GE. The geology and mineral resources of Brunei and adjacent parts of Sarawak with description of the Seria and Miri oilfields. British Geological Survey Memoirs. 1961;10:319.

Wilford GE. The geology of Sarawak and Sabah Caves. Borneo Region Malaysian Geological Survey Bulletin. 1964;6:1-177.

Wilford GE, Wall JRD. Karst topography in Sarawak. Journal of. Tropical Geography. 1965;21:44-70.

Corbel J. Erosion en terrain calcaire (vitesse d’erosion et morphologie). Annales de Geographie. 1959;68:97-120.

Pulina M. Observation on the chimical denudation of some karst areas of Europe and Asia. Stud. Geomophol. Carpatho-Balcan. 1971;5:79-82.

Pulina M. Denudacja Chemiczna Na Obszarack Karsu Weglanowego. Polska Academic Nauk, Instytut Geografii, Prace Geograficzne NR. 1974;105:1-159.

Crowther J. A comparison of rock tablet and water hardness methods for

determining chemical erosion rates on karst surfaces. Zeitschriftfür Geomorphologie. 1983;27:55–64.

Ford D, Williams P. Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology. John Wiley & Sons. 2007;562.

Spate AP, Jennings JN, Smith DI, Greenway MA. The microerosion meter: Use and limitations. Earth Surface Processes and Lanforms 10/5. John Wiley & Sons. 1985;427-440.

Cucchi F, Forti F, Ulcigrai F. Valori di abbassamento per dissoluzione carsiche. Acta Carsologica. 1994;23:55-62.

Trudgill ST. Measurement of erosional weightloss of rock tablets. British Geomorphological Research Group. Technical Bulletin. 1975;17:13-19.

Gams I. Comparative research of limestone solution by means of standard tablets. Second preliminary report of the Commission of karst denudation (ISU). Proceedings of the Eight International Congress of Speleology, Bowling Green, July 18.24, A meeting of the International Union of Speleology. Bowling Green, National Speleological Society. 1981;1(2):273.275.

Gams I. International comparative measurement of surface solution by means of standard limestone tablets. Zbornik Ivana Rakovica, Razprave4, RazredaSazu, Ljubljana. 1986;26:361-386.

Adams CG. The foraminifera and stratigraphy of the Melinau Limestone, Sarawak, and its importance in Tertiary correlation. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society London. 1965;121(3):283-338.

James DMD. The geology and hydrocarbon resources of Negara Brunei Darusslam. Brunei Museum and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company. 1984;164.

Wilson MEJ. Cenozoic carbonates in Southeast Asia: implications for equatorial carbonate development. Sedimentary Geology. 2002;147:295-428.

Waltham AC, Brook DB. Geomorphological observations in the Limestone Caves of Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. British Cave Research Association. 1980;7(3):123-139.

Tate RB. The sedimentology and tectonics of the Temburong Formation – deformation of early Cenozoic deltaic sequenze in NW Borneo. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia. 1994;35:97-112.

Wannier M. Carbonate platforms in the wedge-top basins: An example from the Gunung Mulu National Park, Northern Sarawak (Malaysia). Marine and Petroleum Geology. 2009;26:177-207.

Gillieson D, Clark B. Mulu: The World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Karst. In: Migon P. (Ed), Geomorphological Landscapes of the World, Springer Science. 2010;311-320.

Lundberg J, McFarlace DA. A significant middle Pleistocene tephra deposit preserved in the caves of Mulu, Borneo. Quaternary Research; 2012.
DOI: 10.1016 7/j.yqres.2012.01.007.

Farrant AR, Smart PL, Whitaker FF, Tarling DH. Long-term Quaternary uplift rates inferred from limestone caves in Sarawak, Malaysia. Geology. 1995;23(4):357-360.

Hashim M, Reba NM, Nadzri MI, Pour AB, Yusoff ARM, Ali MI, Jaw SW, Hossain MS. Satellite-base runoff model for monitoring drought in Peninsular Malaysia. Remote Sens. 2016;8(8):633.

Yusuf AA, Francisco H. Climate change vulnerability mapping for Southeast Asia. In: Economy and environment for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), Singapore. 2009;10-15.

Sa’adi Z, Shahid S, Ismail T, Chung ES, Wang XY. Distributional changes in rainfall and river flow in Sarawak, Malaysia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. 2017;53(4):489-500.

Borhanazad H, Mekhilef S, Saidur R, Boroumandjazi G. Potential application of renewable energy for rural electrification in Malaysia. Renew Energy. 2013;59:210-219.

Vijith H, Dodge-Wan D. Spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall over forested river basin in NW Borneo. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics; 2019.

Folk RL. Practical petrographic classification of limestones. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. 1959;43:1-38.

Pulina M, Sauro U. Modello dell'erosione chimica potenziale di rocce carbonatiche in Italia. Memorie Società Geologica Italiana. 1993;49:313-323.

Meneghel M, Sauro U, Baciga ML, Fileccia A, Frigo G, Toniello V, Zampieri D. Sorgenti carsiche ed erosione chimica nelle Prealpi Venete. Studi Trentini di Scienze Nat. 1986;62(A.G.):145-172.

Sweeting MM. Weathering and solution of the Melinau Limestones in the Gunong Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia. Annales de la Société Géologique de Belgique. 1979;102:53-57.

Laverty M. A Note on Directed Phytokarst in Sarawak (E. Malaysia). International Journal of Speleology. 1981;11:203-206.

Prelovšek M, Turk J, Gabrovšek F. Hydrodynamic aspect of caves. International Journal of Speleology. Bologna (Italy). 2008;37(1):11-26.

Laverty M, Friederich AC, Waltham C, Brook DB. Water chemistry in the Gunung Mulu National Park including problems of interpretation and use. The Geographical Journal. 1980;146(2):232-245.

Smart PL, Bull PA, Rose J, Laverty M, Friederich H, Noel M. Surface and underground fluvial activity in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. In: Douglas, I., and Spencer, T., eds., Environmental change and tropical geomorphology, London, Allen & Unwin. 1985;123–148.

Staub J, Esterle JS. Pet accumulating depositional systems of Sarawak, East Malaysia. Sedimentary Geology. 1994;89:91-106.