LettersOPINION

Age of Gua Tempurung

I often read in tourism articles and on posters that Gua Tempurung is 250 to 400 million years old: the latest example is on the front page of the current Ipoh Echo (Issue 258). However, this is a misunderstanding of geological dates. The calcareous sediments that now form the limestones of the Kinta Valley were deposited on the seabed between 250 and 400 m.y. ago. About 200 m.y. ago they were consolidated, uplifted and metamorphosed by intrusion of the granitic rocks that now form the Main Range. Eventually the processes of weathering and erosion started to evolve the landscape of the Kinta Valley: cave formation dates from this last episode. There is no reliable date for when Gua Tempurung started to form but the best estimate is probably 1.57 to 1.84 million years ago (Ros Fatihah Muhammad. The geomorphology and origin of Gua Tempurung, Perak, West Malaysia. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia 56 (2010) 127-132).

W.K. Fletcher & Donna Baylis

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