Abstract

A meeting embracing current research on palaeosurfaces in the geological record was convened by M. Widdowson at the Department of Earth Sciences, Sheffield University on the 15–16 April 1994. The meeting attracted over 40 participants from Europe, and comprised 16 talks in five sessions. A discussion forum followed the final presentation.

The meeting aimed to provide a UK venue for presentation of current palaeosurface research, and a forum for multi-disciplinary discussion. It forms part of the UK contribution to the current IGCP 317Paleoweathering Records and Paleosurfaces. Contributions from the fields of geomorphology, geology, geochemistry, palynology, and palaeoenvironmental studies were represented and included studies of lateritization and bauxitization, palaeokarstification, geochemistry of rock alteration, and the preservation of ancient palaeosurface elements in both glaciated and tropical terrains. The areas of study were widespread and included research from Australia, Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, Sri Lanka, and India. Presentations incorporated discussion of aspects of evolution, reconstruction, and palaeo-environmental interpretation of ancient palaeosurfaces

Following a brief welcome by D. A. Spears on behalf .of the Sheffield University Earth Sciences Department, the morning sessions were chaired by M. Widdowson, the first of which began with a presentation by D. Subasinghe (PRIS, Reading University), who outlined the effects of silicification and associated phophatization in a Sri Lankan saprolite derived from Precambrian apatite-bearing marbles. Diagenetic processes involving the chemical replacement of primary apatite crystals during the silicification have lead to mobilization of phosphorus resulting in complex patterns of phosphate depletion and enrichment: these currently form the economically

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