Geological Beginnings


The way our planet formed gives us evidence for past events and life on earth and can help us make important decisions for the future. Geology, the study of earth, examines materials that constitute our world and the processes that have changed them. This topic helps you to explore geological time and the appearance of humans. Plate tectonics are introduced as important drivers of global patterns. Sea level and ice-volume changes and cycles are presented and effects linked to change in climate and vegetation. Catastrophic extra-terrestrial activity is discussed. Malaysia’s formation, including mountain ranges and caves, is outlined. To complete this topic explore all concepts within each theme and examine and understand the resources and references identified below.

Completion Requirements

  • Explore all topic, themes and concepts
  • Read the core texts identified in the Books section

Learning Outcomes

  • Define global tectonics
  • Identify Malaysia’s geomorphology and assess its topography
  • Recognise geological time scales
  • Synthesize spatiotemporal knowledge of Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the world’s formation
  • Comprehend sea level change in geological time
  • Differentiate between temporal and spatial scale processes affecting Malaysia and the Earth
  • Examine the causes and consequences of climate change



    • Corlett, R.T., 2014. The Ecology of Tropical East Asia Second Edition. Oxford University Press. Chapters 1 and 2 (pp1-56).
    • Hutchison, C.S., Tan, D.N.K., 2009. Geology of Peninsular Malaysia. University of Malaya. Chapters 2 and 3 (pp5-41).


    • Church and Clark (2013): Sea Level Change — [WWW Document], 2015. URL
    • Church, J.A., White, N.J., 2006. A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise: An Acceleration In Global Sea-Level Rise. Geophysical Research Letters 33, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1029/2005GL024826
    • Church, J.A., White, N.J., Konikow, L.F., Domingues, C.M., Cogley, J.G., Rignot, E., Gregory, J.M., van den Broeke, M.R., Monaghan, A.J., Velicogna, I., 2011. Revisiting the Earth’s sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008. Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L18601. doi:10.1029/2011GL048794
    • Hassan, M.H.A., Erdtmann, B.D., Wang-Xiaofeng, Peng, L.C., 2013. Early Devonian graptolites and tentaculitids in northwest Peninsular Malaysia and a revision of the Devonian-Carboniferous stratigraphy of the region. Alcheringa 37, 49–63. doi:10.1080/03115518.2012.702517
    • Hutchison, C.S., 2005a. Chapter I - Regional Geology Concepts, in: Hutchison, C.S. (Ed.), Geology of North-West Borneo. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 11–12.
    • Hutchison, C.S., 2005b. Regional Tectonic Setting, in: Hutchison, C.S. (Ed.), Geology of North-West Borneo. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 5–7.
    • Hutchison, C.S., Tan, D.N.K., 2009. Geology of Peninsular Malaysia. University of Malaya.
    • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2015. Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis [WWW Document]. Cambridge University Press.
    • Malaysia
    • Metcalfe, I., 1996. Gondwanaland dispersion, Asian accretion and evolution of eastern Tethys. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 43, 605–623. doi:10.1080/08120099608728282
    • National Geographic Education, 2015. Ring of Fire [WWW Document]. National Geographic Education. URL (accessed 10.15.15).
    • Norton, I.O., Sclater, J.G., 1979. A model for the evolution of the Indian Ocean and the breakup of Gondwanaland. J. Geophys. Res. 84, 6803–6830. doi:10.1029/JB084iB12p06803
    • Patriat, P., Achache, J., 1984. India–Eurasia collision chronology has implications for crustal shortening and driving mechanism of plates. Nature 311, 615–621. doi:10.1038/311615a0
    • Ray, N., Adams, J., 2001. A GIS-based Vegetation Map of the World at the Last Glacial Maximum (25,000-15,000 BP). Internet Archaeology 11.
    • Rignot, E., Bamber, J.L., van den Broeke, M.R., Davis, C., Li, Y., van de Berg, W.J., van Meijgaard, E., 2008. Recent Antarctic ice mass loss from radar interferometry and regional climate modelling. Nature Geosci 1, 106–110. doi:10.1038/ngeo102
    • Suntharalingam, T., 1997. Malaysia: Peninsular malaysia, in: Encyclopedia of European and Asian Regional Geology. Springer Netherlands, pp. 525–530.
    • Tahir, S., Musta, B., Rahim, I., 2010. Geological heritage features of Tawau volcanic sequence, Sabah. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia 56, 79–85.
    • Yeap, E.B., 1993. Tin and gold mineralizations in Peninsular Malaysia and their relationships to the tectonic development. Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences, Seventh Regional Congress on Geology, Mineral and Energy Resources of Southeast Asia 8, 329–348. doi:10.1016/0743-9547(93)90035-N

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