LABUAN: At least eight geologic sites with high heritage value have been found in Labuan, which potentially qualifies it to be declared as a national geopark.
The discovery was revealed by the National Geopark Steering Committee to the local authority of Labuan Corporation (LC).
LC chief executive officer Dr Fary Akmal Osman said the discovery of the eight geologic sites would ‘push’ the agency to come up with strategic plans to conduct the preservation and conservation on the sites as recommended by the committee.
The eight sites are in Tanjung Batu, Muzium Chimney Walking Trail, the disused Lubok Temiang Disused Coal Mining Site [1848-1946], the oil leakage at the Ganggarak Gas Oil Hills, Tanjung Layang-Layangan, Sequence of Marine Sedimentary Rocks in Kg Bebuloh Laut, mud volcano in Kampung Layang-Layangan and the Tanjung Punei Crocker Formation of Sand Rock in Tanjung Kiamsam.
The seven sites were evaluated in Mei 2018 by the committee, led by Prof. Emeritus Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo and recommended Labuan to be declared as a national geopark.
The committee also recommended for signages to be mounted at all seven sites for public scientific information.
According to the committee’s findings, there were three units of geologic sites on the island – Temburong Formation (Middle Oligocene-Early Miocene), Setap Shale Formation (Brondijk, 1963) and Belait Formation (early-late formation).
The Temburong Formation is the oldest rock (deep marine turbidites) followed by Setap Shale (outer neritic to litoral) and the Belait Formation (fluvial and shallow marine).
The Ganggarak Gas Oil Hills which was found to have the oil leaks from the sandstone and conglomerate layers is being visited by students and local researchers.
Fossils were also found associated with a geological formation in several of the geologic sites such as in Kg Bebuloh Darat.
The only volcano mud found in Labuan is located in Kg Layangan and could potentially be turned into an eco and geo-tourism attraction.
The mud volcano is similar to that of in Pulau Tiga, Semenanjung Klias, Kudat and Tawau.
Fary said the discovery of the geologic sites would place Labuan alongside with Langkawi and other national geoparks in the country.
“The geologic sites add value to the Labuan tourism sector, as the sites potentially attract researchers to Labuan,” she said.