The study of neotectonics is carried out by workers from a wide variety of disciplines, including structural geology seismology, regional geophysics, geomorphology and engineering geology. Landsat MSS imagery is a particularly effective tool for the investigation of neotectonic structures. The aim of the meeting was to bring together workers from the various contributory disciplines in order to discuss the development of modern techniques in each subject area. These modern approaches were exemplified by descriptions of neotectonically active regions ranging from NW Europe to China.
In order to stimulate a debate on the temporal scope of neotectonics, the meeting commenced with a short discussion paper by Hancock. He argued that the selection of an arbitrary Neogene or Quaternary date to be applied globally for the beginning of the period during which neotectonic structures form is unhelpful. He proposed as an alternative the notion that for a given region the neotectonic phase might be regarded as having begun when the present-day configuration of relevant plate boundaries and motions was established.
Blenkinsop suggested modifying Hancock’s proposal by defining the neotectonic phase as having commenced when the contemporary stress field of a region was established. Blenkinsop’s proposal possesses the great practical merit of permitting the geologist to compare regionally significant directions of horizontal compression and extension inferred from structures, known from field evidence to have been active during an appropriate time frame, with those determined from in situ measurements or fault plane solutions.
Recent earth movements give rise to geomorphological features indicative of the