The first thematic meeting on fractography in geology, held on 13 September at Burlington House, London, was jointly sponsored by the Petroleum Group and the Tectonic Studies Group of the Geological Society. It was attended by 50 participants from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States of America, a gathering which included a wide spectrum of specialists from the oil, environmental, engineering and mining industries and from universities and colleges. Three posters and 14 papers were presented, including two keynote addresses.

A one-day field trip led by Ameen, the convenor, preceded the conference during the course of which the fracture characterization of the Upper Chalk in the Thanet monocline, Kent, was discussed.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss those aspects and applications of fractography which have evolved into an invaluable discipline within the vast field of fracture characterization of rocks. Fractography can be defined as the science which deals with the diagnosis, description, analysis and interpretation of fracture surface morphology or topography, and links them to the causes and mechanisms of the fractures. The term fractography was first used by the metallurgist Car1 A. Zapffe (Zapffe & Clogg 1944), and introduced to geology by Byron Kulander in the 1970s (Kulander et al. 1979).

An introduction by the convenor outlined several factors which prompted the meeting.

The discipline of fractography in geology is new, even though Woodworth (1896) was the first to describe joint surface morphology from field observations. It is hardly mentioned

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