A Geocryology Workshop, the first scientific meeting to be organized by the British National Committee of the International Permafrost Association, was held on 29 March 1994 at the University of Cardiff. The workshop was attended by 16 members, and papers were delivered on a wide range of permafrost-related topics. Papers by Brian Whalley (Belfast) and by Rick Shakesby, John Matthews and Danny McCarroll (Swansea) described new data on the origin of rock glaciers and protalus ramparts. Iain Sutherland (Cardiff) and Colin Ballantyne (St. Andrews) each described studies of rapid periglacial slope adjustments in Norway; Graham Elliot (Reading) illustrated the potential of radiocarbon dating in determining past rates of solifluction and Adrian Humpage (Cardiff) discussed shallow active layer detachment slides on Ellesmere Island, Canada, as analogues for British Quaternary clay slides. Colin Lloyd (Institute of Hydrology) outlined new hydrological research in Spitsbergen, Stephen Gurney (Reading) presented data on cryogenic mounds in Quebec, and Ed Derbyshire (Royal Holloway, London) demonstrated the value of periglacial stratigraphy in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction on the Tibetan Plateau.
Three papers were concerned with laboratory studies: Ron Jones (Nottingham) discussed frost heaving of clay soils; Julia Branson (Southampton) described experimental simulation of needle ice growth; and Charles Harris (Cardiff) presented preliminary results of large-scale laboratory simulation of solifluction currently being undertaken in the cold labs of the CNRS, Caen, France. Finally, the importance of establishing a cold regions data bank and the work of the Data and Information Working Group of IPA were discussed by Mike Clark (Southarnpton).
This workshop was highly focused and informal and generated much discussion. It was agreed that further such meetings should be held, possibly on an annual basis, under the auspices of the British National Committee of the IPA.
Submitted by Charles Harris
Chairman, British National Committee of the IPA