This book is number 199 in the prolific Geological Society of London Special Publication series. It is based on a discussion meeting held in 2000, jointly organized by the Geological Society of London and the Royal Astronomical Society. In their Preface, the editors comment that “conference volumes can be little more than random assortments of papers by people who happened to be there”. Hmm, I thought, is this some sort of confession? But read on as I did and you will find, on balance, a fine set of papers, some of them truly interdisciplinary bringing together geophysics, petrology, geochemistry and...

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