This chapter of the bibliography contains 226 pages with over 1909 papers on  the geology of Java, Madura and the Java Sea.

Download pdf Chapter III. JAVA (2.41 MB)

The island of Java has a long history of geological studies, dating back to the mid-1800's.

The first monograph dedicated to the geology of Java by Verbeek & Fennema (1896; with the first geologic map) is still the only one. A modern synthesis is badly needed. A new book by Peter Lunt (in press) on the sedimentary geology of Java will fill much of this need.

S-N cross-section across central Java, Verbeek and Fennema
S-N cross-section across central Java  (Verbeek & Fennema 1896).

West Java Cross Section, Gerth 1931
S-N cross-sections across East Java (top) and West Java  (Gerth 1931).

Focus areas of Java geology research have been on structure, volcanism, Eocene- Recent stratigraphy, paleontology, and hydrocarbons, Pleistocene hominids and mammal fossils, etc.

The western part of the Java Sea is a continuation of the Paleozoic- Early Mesozoic continental basement complexes of Sumatra and Borneo. Most of Java island appears to be underlain by Late Cretaceous- Eocene age accretionary complexes and Paleogene arc volcanics. Outcrops of the oldest 'basement' are found in only three relatively small areas in Central (Luk Ulo, Bayah) and SW Java (Ciletuh).

It has been suggested from the composition of Quaternary volcanic rocks that parts of East Java may be underlain by oceanic crust. Other evidence, like the presence of Archean-age zircons in E Miocene volcanics of SE Java suggest the subsurface presence of Australian continental material there.

The backbone of Java is a series of relatively young active volcanoes, most of them about 3000m high, and spaced about 80km apart. A long belt of outcrops of latest Oligocene- earliest Miocene 'Old Andesite' volcanic arc deposits follows today's South Coast (Southern Mountains). These probably formed the only land areas through most of Late Eocene- Pliocene time, when most of the northern half of Java was a marine basin. The present-day land area formed mainly since the Pleistocene by a combination of renewed arc volcanism, an episode of N-vergent compressional tectonics N of the modern arc and rapid shoreline progradation driven by erosional products of this activity.

Oil and gas seeps had been known for a long time in East and Central Java. Descriptions of these started to appear in the literature by the 1850's (Junghuhn 1854, Von Baumhauer 1869). The first shallow oil exploration well was drilled in 1871, at an oil seep near Cirebon in C Java. The first discovery was the Kuti Field in in 1888, near Surabaya, NE Java. This was followed by many other discoveries in the Cepu area at Kawengan (1892) and Ledok (1893). Exploration activity and oil production already started to decline in the 1920's.

The traditional plays in NE Java were in M Miocene- Pliocene sands and Globigerina calcarenites in young surface anticlines. Only since the late 1980's has the oil industry become aware of the successful deeper play in Oligocene- E Miocene reefal builups, extending from the Cepu area into Madura Straits.

NW Java has been area of oil and gas discoveries since the late 1960's, mainly in the offshore. Like on Sumatra, all oil and gas fields appear to be above, or within migration distance of, two Oligocene rift basins with lacustrine and coaly source rocks, the Arjuna and Sunda basins. Main reservoirs are Late Oligocene- E Miocene Talang Akar/ Cibulakan fluvial- deltaic sandstones and Early Miocene Baturaja limestones. The southern part of the Arjuna basin continues into the onshore, but rapidly deepens towards a young thrust belt and contains mainly small gas discoveries.

The Java Sea off East Java- Madura has some some small oil and gas discoveries, but, despite the widespread distribution of Oligo-Miocene carbonate and clastic reservoir rocks, exploration in this area has been rather disappointing.

The Java forearc zone has not been successful for hydrocarbons. Surface seeps are not known (except in the Banyumas area of Central Java) and the limited number of wells drilled there were dry. Traditional wisdom blames this on the absence of Eo-Oligocene rift systems and unusually low geothermal gradients.

The volcanic belt of West Java has yielded a number of moderate-size gold-silver deposits.

Java lacks the commercial Tertiary coal deposits known from S Sumatra and SE Kalimantan. Only a few small-scale coal exploitations are known from the Eocene of Bayat, SW Java and the Middle Miocene Ngrayong Fm at the W end of the Rembang zone, NE Java (figure below).

WSW-NE cross-section across Middle Miocene coal-bearing sediments of W Rembang zone NE Java
WSW-NE cross-section across Middle Miocene coal-bearing sediments of W Rembang zone NE Java ('T Hoen 1918).

Java has also been a focus area of numerous studies on volcanoes and on Pleistocene mammals and hominids. See more on this under the chapters on these topics.

Suggested Reading Java:
General, Historic

Junghuhn (1854), Martin (1891), Verbeek and Fennema (1896)


Van Bemmelen (1949), Sujanto and Sumantri (1977), Chotin et al. (1980, 1984), Dardji et al. (1994), Soenandar (1997), Sribudiyani et al. (2003), Satyana et al. (2004), Satyana (2005, 2006), Clements and Hall (2007, 2008), Hall et al. (2007), Seubert. and Sulistianingsih (2008), Clements et al. (2009), Granath et al.(2010)


Paltrinieri et al. (1976), Suyanto and Sumantri (1977), Baumann (1982), Lunt (in press)


Bothe (1929), Harloff (1929), Tjia (1966), Ketner et al. (1976), Suparka and Soeria-Atmadja (1991), Wakita et al. (1991, 1994), Harsolumakso and Noeradi (1996), Miyazaki et al. (1998), Parkinson et al. (1998), Prasetyadi et al. (2002-2006), Kadarusman et al. (2007, 2010)


Bellon et al. (1989), Leterrier et al. (1990), Soeria-Atmadja et al. (1988, 2004), Soeria-Atmadja and Noeradi (2005), Smyth et al. (2006, 2007, 2008)

Hydrocarbons NW Java

Arpandi and Sujitno (1975), Burbury (1977), Soulisa andSujanto (1979), Molina (1985), Wight et al (1986, 1997), Ponto et al. (1989), Yaman et al. (1991), Aldrich et al. (1995), Gresko et al. (1995), Wight (1995), Noble et al. (1997), Nugrahanto. and Noble (1997)

Hydrocarbons NE Java

Weeda (1958), Soetantri et al (1973), Soeparyono and. Lennox (1989), Ardhana et al. (1993), Schiller et al. (1994), Willumsen and Schiller (1994), Cole and Crittenden (1997), Kusumastuti et al. (2000, 2002), Satyana and Darwis (2001), Purwaningsih et al. (2002), Satyana (2002), Satyana and Purwaningsih (2002, 2003), Triyana et al. (2007), White et al. (2007)

Hydrocarbons Java Sea

Kenyon (1977), Phillips et al. (1991), Matthews and Bransden (1995), Reynolds (1995), Kaldi et al. (1999), Mudjiono and Pireno (2002), Johansen (2003, 2005), Carter et al. (2005), Takano et al. (2008)

Java forearc

Bolliger and De Ruiter (1975), Lehner et al. (1983), Masson et al. (1990), Kopp et al. (2002), Schluter et al. (2002), Yulianto et al. (2007), Shulgin et al. (2011)

W Java Gold

Marcoux et al. (1993, 1996), Marcoux and Milesi (1994), Milesi et al. (1994, 1999)

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