It is a pleasure to record my thanks to Mike Le Bas for his leadership of the editorial team over the last 13 years. Many initiatives and responses have been made over that time, as you can read in his outgoing editorial. These changes and the careful attention paid to editorial standards have maintained the Journal's fortunes in the face of increasing competition from a variety of specialist and generalist journals. Further changes will occur in the years to come and it is part of my function to ensure that the editorial board review all new approaches that may benefit the Journal. The input of you, the reader, will be welcome.

Mike undertook the Herculean task of checking in detail the final versions of all the papers published in the Journal. I will instead rely on a combination of the professional skills of Angharad Hills as Staff Editor and the individual scientific editors. In order to assign both credit and responsibility, the names of the latter now appear at the end of the articles with which they have dealt. The buck stops with me in cases of difficulty.

In the interests of all the subscribers of the Journal we aim to maximize the quality of the science that we publish. We also want science that is of broad interest to earth scientists. This includes articles in which a variety of different types of data, or data from different specialisms is synthesized. Typically these are applied to a region, but their

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