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Depositional processes of reworked tephra from the Late Pleistocene Youngest Toba Tuff deposits in the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia

  • Emma Gatti (a1), Mokhtar Saidin (a2), Khairunnisa Talib (a2), NurAsikin Rashidi (a2), Philip Gibbard (a1) and Clive Oppenheimer (a1)...


Two fundamental issues for tephrostratigraphic work are the differentiation of primary from reworked tephra and the characterization of reworking mechanisms. We study the depositional processes of four deposits of Youngest Toba Tuff in the Lenggong valley, Malaysia. We focus on site stratigraphy, particle-size distributions, magnetic susceptibility and mineralogical associations. Reworked tephra display variable sedimentological characteristics including polymodal and unimodal, very fine to coarse-grained distributions, and variable concentrations of ash. Particle-size distributions from this study are similar to published analyses for primary deposits, demonstrating that particle size alone cannot distinguish primary from secondary tephra. The tephra sequences are associated with fluvial and colluvial deposition. Three facies are identified: flood flow, mudflow and slumping. The ash accumulated rapidly, over a period of a few days to months. In this valley the ideal site for paleoenvironmental reconstructions is Kampung Luat 3, where ash accumulated at least in two distinct phases. Despite the rapid accumulation, the Lenggong sites are not well-suited for paleoenvironmental studies of the YTT impact. The time lag between the primary deposition and the floods is unknown and the records could have been modified by site-specific characteristics. Such variables should be considered when proposing paleo-environmental reconstructions based on reworked tephra.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. E-mail address: (E. Gatti).


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