Editorial Note. A state of the art meeting on Palaeomagnetism, convened by Professor J. C. Briden, was held at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds on 14th January 1976. Five of the papers read at the meeting are presented in this part of the journal. Other contributions are referred to in Professor Briden's report.

Professor Briden has furnished the following conference report as an introduction to the published papers

Progress in palaeomagnetic research depends on and contributes to such diverse aspects of geomagnetism and geology that is is scarcely possible to survey the field in the course of a single one day meeting. Nevertheless the programme of nine contributions, many of which are published in this part of the Journal, indicates the spectrum of current activity and interest.

The main contribution of palaeomagnetic studies to geomagnetism has been to establish the predominantly dipole character of the field on the long time-average, and its reversal capability. Intensive studies of mainly Pleistocene and Recent material have shown that finer scale structure of the field can now be discerned palaeomagnetically. R. L. Wilson (University of Liverpool) reviewed the progress in recognition of more complicated features of the field and expressed them alternatively in the form of offset of the notional dipole from the earth’s centre (Wilson & McElhinny 1974) and as non-dipole sources near the surface of the earth’s core superposed upon a centred dipole source (Cox 1975). This latter model seems to be the most refined at the present time;

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