Tuesday, March 19

Rare stromatolites discovered in Mulu


FIRST OF ITS KIND: Lundberg explaining about the formation of stromatolites.

KUCHING: The presence of stromatolites have been detected in Deer Cave, revealed visiting speaker Professor Joyce Lundberg from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, yesterday.

A suite of distinctive freshwater stromatolites developed in the low light zone close to the northeastern entrance of the cave located in Gunung Mulu National Park, is the first of their kind reported in the world.

Deer Cave is already famous for its huge passages and vast bat population.

According to Joyce, stromatolites are layered sedimentary fossilised structures formed from layers of cyanobacteria, calcium carbonate and trapped sediments.

“These stromatolites grow in a series of horizontal narrow shelves up a part of the cave wall that is exposed to low light, vertically underneath the guano-laden shelf washed by fresh water from a shower head above,” she explained in a technical talk given at the Tun Abdul Razak Hall yesterday.

The talk titled “Freshwater Stromatolites in Deer Cave, Sarawak – A Unique Geobiological Cave Formation” is part of a regular series of heritage talks organised by the Sarawak Museum Department.

About 40 people, comprising of students, academicians and officers from relevant government bodies, attended the talk.