The idea for a special publication on non-volcanic margins arose during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 173 off West Iberia, prompted by ODP’s decision to cease publishing the scientific results volumes as hard copy. The Shipboard Scientific Party favoured an open scientific meeting and associated publication. But they did not want to produce a book that was a scientific results volume by another name, but rather contribute to a publication that had a much broader scope than just reporting results obtained off West Iberia. These thoughts, and many scientific discussions during the Leg, were influenced by the presence on board of scientists who also work on Alpine geology: hence the ‘evidence from land and sea’ approach that underlies the content of this publication.
However, when planning the meeting, we were very conscious of the fact that the West Iberia and Alpine examples might not be typical of other non-volcanic margins. We were keen, therefore, to ensure that margins in other parts of the world were discussed, including a margin that is active today, and that was visited by the JOIDES Resolution not long after Leg 173 took place (Leg 180: Woodlark Basin). We caution, therefore, that it may be premature to use models based on the Iberia and Tethyan margins as the paradigm for all non-volcanic margins.
The first paper in this book, by Boillot & Froitzheim, reviews the synergies that have occurred between investigations of the eastern Atlantic non-volcanic margins and remnants of similar Mesozoic margins preserved in the