A compendium of the papers read at the Geological Society on 18 September 1981

It is surprising that in the UK, where so much of the ground on which we build originated as muddy sediments, there is no collection of papers readily available for engineers and geologists alike that describes the geological distribution and general character of our mudrocks, their range of properties and the problems associated with defining and predicting their geotechnical behaviour. The one-day meeting was an attempt to fill this gap. It soon became clear, however, that the subject could not be adequately covered in one day, and the meeting was probably the first of what will become a series, over the years, to deal with the subject at large. The scope of this meeting was restricted to the non-calcareous mudrocks, which were taken to include our over-consolidated clays. Calcareous mudrocks, which include many limestones, were not considered. The papers reproduced here are largely a record of the data that were presented at the meeting.

The authors of the papers were asked to provide a review of their particular subject, supported by a selected bibliography that would direct the reader to more detailed information. Many of the papers are, therefore, general in nature and are written for the reader in need of basic information founded upon our knowledge of the subject to date. Twelve papers were read at the meeting and their sequence in this publication reflects the grouping that was used for presentation. The first four papers describe the geographical position and geological nature of the major mudrock deposits in

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