Most activities of the members the Southern African Permafrost Group have been concentrated on the preparations associated with the INQUA Congress, Durban, from 3-15 August 1999, as reported elsewhere in this issue. Ongoing research on Marion Island in the maritime sub-Antarctic by the Universities of the Western Cape and Pretoria focus on: (a) Ground climate monitoring in order to examine environmental controls on frost activity, (b) Experimental determination of sediment movement rates in response to soil frost activity, with particular emphasis on needle ice as a geomorphic agent, (c) Quantitative survey work on active and relict periglacial landforms, concentrating on active patterned ground, (d ) Geomorphological mapping of glacial andperiglacial landforms. In addition Paul Sumner, with the assistance of Werner Nel, is working on rates of weathering and debris production on Marion Island.

Jan Boelhouwers (