December - 2018

The Mulu Caves expeditions of 2009 and 2010 saw the return of scientific research to the project after a break of over a decade.  The basic aim of the research is to establish when the different levels of cave development formed.

Cross sectional cut through speleothem sample.

The method involves three different types of dating: 1. aluminium-26/beryllium-10 dating of quartz was washed into the different cave passages upon formation, 2. paleomagnetic dating of sediments that were deposited as water levels dropped in favour of new lower level passages and 3. uranium series dating of stalagmites that are deposited once the passages have been abandoned by water.

In October 2010, an application on “Long term regional landscape evolution determined from multiple dating of cave deposits in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia” was submitted to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Cosmogenic Isotope Analytical Facility (CIAF).  We are pleased to announce, the CIAF-Steering Committee graded the project as α4 science meaning ‘excellent: at forefront of the field and likely to advance its understanding significantly’. We have been granted the analysis of 10 quartz samples at an estimated cost of £13,200.   This is excellent news and we look forward to receiving the results.

For further information on the Mulu Caves scientific research, please visit our science pages of the website.