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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017, Article ID 4853048, 10 pages
Research Article

Continental Shelf Sediments of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

1Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Faculty of Social Science, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
3Fisheries Research Institute Sarawak, Department of Fisheries Malaysia, P.O. Box 2243, 93744 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Wan Zabidii Wan Morni; moc.oohay@68iidibazw

Received 21 June 2017; Accepted 1 August 2017; Published 18 September 2017

Academic Editor: Ana Moldes

Copyright © 2017 Wan Zabidii Wan Morni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sediment distributions in deep sea influence the benthic community structure and thus play an important role in shaping the marine ecosystem. Several studies on sediment characteristics had been conducted in South China Sea (SCS), but only limited to coastal areas of regions within SCS territories. Therefore, this study was carried out to analyze the benthic sediment profile in an area beyond 12 nautical miles off the coast of Sarawak, southern SCS. Sediment samples were collected from 31 stations, comprising three depth ranges: (I) 20–50 m, (II) 50–100 m, and (III) 100–200 m. The total organic matter (TOM) contents were determined and subjected to dry and wet sieving methods for particle size analysis. TOM contents in the deep area (>50 m) were significantly higher () and positively correlated () with silt-clay fraction. About 55% and 82% of stations in strata II and III, respectively, were dominated by silt-clay fractions (<63 μm mean diameter), coherent with TOM data. In addition, sediments in the deep area (>50 m) tend to be poorly sorted, very fine skewed, and platykurtic. Unlike data obtained 20 years ago which reported high content of silt-clay (58%), this study recorded a lower content (35%); therefore, changes in sediment load had been observed in southern SCS.