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This book is a collection of papers focusing on various aspects of authigenic and diagenetic marine minerals and related elemental cycling. In essence, it belongs to a line of specialized volumes marking major steps of continued international cooperation. Closely following the establishment of UNESCO International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP) Project 156 (Phosphorites) in 1978, SEPM Special Publication 29 (Marine Phosphorites, edited by Y. K. Bentor) was published in 1980 as a collection of stimulating papers stemming from a symposium on marine phosphorites held at the Xth International Congress on Sedimentology in Jerusalem in July 1978. Nearly simultaneously, a thematic set of special papers on “Phosphatic and Glauconitic Sediments” was published by the Journal of the Geological Society (Volume 137, 1980) following a meeting of the Geological Society on the same subject earlier that year. Led by P. J. Cook and J. H. Shergold (1978-1984) and later by W. C. Burnett and S. R. Riggs (1984-1988), IGCP Project 156 conducted 29 international and regional field workshops and symposia.

Over the next two decades, a flourishing of international research on phosphorites and their related facies ensued, with many workers attempting to solve the many “Unsolved Problems” outlined by Bentor (1980) in his seminal introduction to SEPM Special Publication 29. A great deal of this research was submitted for Special Publication 52 of the Journal of the Geological Society of London, published in 1990, and edited by A. Notholt and I. Jarvis, who organized the final International Symposium of UNESCO Project 156 in Oxford in 1988.

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