The eight papers included in this thematic set were presented at a meeting on the geology of Hong Kong held at the University of Hong Kong on 22 January 1997. The meeting reviewed the accomplishments of the Hong Kong Geological Survey and its co-workers since it was founded fifteen years ago, and coincided with the publication of the final geological memoir of the current series that describes the 1:20 000-scale geological maps of Hong Kong. The meeting also formed part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the Geotechnical Engi­neering Office of the Hong Kong Government. A total of 112 registrants from consultant companies, academic institutions, researchers from China, and several Government departments attended the meeting. In addition, 40 students from the newly established Department of Earth Sciences of Hong Kong University were present.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s major urban communities, with a population of over six million and in common with most of eastern Asia is expanding rapidly. However, development is hindered by the rugged terrain and steep-sided islands, and engineers are tackling some of the world’s largest and technically most challenging civil engineering projects. This meeting highlighted the need for systematic and accurate geological information, and the importance of understanding geological processes. It brought together geologists, geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists with the common objective to sustain the effective and safe development of Hong Kong.

The meeting was opened by the Secretary for Works, H. S. Kwong, who described the significance of the

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