The fortieth William Smith meeting of the Geological Society was a one-day lecture meeting held at Burlington House on 30 April 1986, with the William Smith Lecture presented by Professor R. K. O'Nions. The meeting was convened by Dr K. Coe (University of Exeter) and Professor D. McKenzie (University of Cambridge).

The meeting’s theme ‘Two-phase flow in crust and mantle’ relates to the interaction between, and relative movements of, the ‘solid’ and ‘fluid’ phases within the crust and mantle. The terms solid and fluid, while being convenient terms to distinguish two such phases in upper levels of the crust, become increasingly imprecise at greater depths. It then becomes better to refer to differences between two phases of sharply contrasting viscosities; a matrix of high viscosity and an ‘intergranular’ component of much lower viscosity. The behaviour of the two phases can be described in terms of fluid dynamics, and application of this technique has much potential for producing major advances across the spectrum of the geological sciences. There is also potential for the field and laboratory based geologist to integrate with the theoretical fluid dynamicist for the advancement of the science. This set of papers aims to demonstrate this link and there is much to be gained from this thematic set for both types of specialist. This theme is particularly topical in the geological sciences at the present time with active interest in the field of fluid processes and fluid-rock interaction.

The seven papers presented at the meeting form this thematic

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