Neogene history of fluvial to shallow marine successions in the Kendari Basin, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia

Publication type

Journal Article

Research Area


Research Team

Coastal Lab


Collision between Australia and SE Asia began in Sulawesi, the world's eleventh-largest island, in the Early Miocene and subsequently Neogene sediments were deposited largely in coastal to shelf environments throughout the island. These sediments have been assigned to the Celebes Molasse, previously considered as a single post-orogenic unit deposited unconformably on pre-Neogene sedimentary, metamorphic and ophiolitic rocks. The most complete and extensive sequences of Neogene sediments are in the Kendari Basin, situated at the southern end of the SE Arm of Sulawesi, where an outcrop-based sedimentological study was undertaken to interpret depositional environments, palaeogeography and stratigraphy. The oldest Neogene sediments are shallow marine carbonates and deltaic siliciclastics of the Bungku Formation. They are unconformably overlain by the Upper Miocene Pandua Formation which consists of sediments deposited in a variety of environments including braided river channels, fluvio-tidal channels, tidal flats, mouth bar complex and shoreface deposits. A Mio-Pliocene subaerial unconformity separates the marginal marine serpentinite-rich sediments of the Pandua Formation from the overlying fluviatile quartz-rich Langkowala Formation. The sediments of the lower part of the Langkowala Formation include conglomeratic channel fill, while the sediments of the upper part are transgressive deposits decreasing in maximum grain-size, marked by a reduction in channel/overbank ratio and increasing tidal influence. The transgressive Pliocene Eemoiko Formation is characterised by transgressive lags or onlap shell beds and deposits of a landwards-backstepping carbonate platform. The improved understanding of the Kendari Basin will aid the interpretation of the sedimentation history of frontier basins surrounding SE Sulawesi, many of which have not yet been drilled.


Celebes Molasse, depositional environment, facies association, Kendari Basin, palaeogeography, SE Sulawesi, Stratigraphy

Publication Details


The Depositional Record

Date Published


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