This part of the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology contains four long papers. That by James & Little describes the geotechnical properties of sabkha, a salt-flat material that engineering geologists in the Middle East are increasingly being called upon to deal with in the course of civil engineering, particularly in foundation construction. The two papers by MacGregor et al. and Pettifer & Fookes deal with rippability and excavatability of rock–matters that are of much practical concern to engineering geologists in both civil engineering and openpit mining. Finally we have the paper by Crimes et al. which describes the techniques used to assess aggregate resources in four areas of the UK; this should be of interest to all who are concerned with making the best use of a valuable resource, and reminds us that although it is now eighteen years since the Verney Committee reported on the demand for aggregates in the UK, the subject is still one that continues to occupy the attention of engineering geologists. This paper is illustrated by two satellite images (p 169), and it has been possible to reproduce these in colour to great effect because the authors" organisation has contributed to the cost. We would like to encourage the use of colour illustrations in the QJEG where these can be justified on scientific grounds, and the Staff Editor will be pleased to advise prospective authors as to the likely contribution required to the cost.

As I write this Editorial we seem to be experiencing a

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