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The Symposium on Glacier Beds: the Ice-Rock Interface was organized by the Canadian National Research Council’s Subcommittee on Glaciers and sponsored by the Royal Society of Canada and Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with financial assistance from the National Research Council of Canada, Fisheries and Environment Canada, and Energy, Mines and Resources, Canada, and was held in Carleton University from 15 to 19, August 1978. The Organizing Committee consisted of C. S. L. Ommanney, Chairman (Fisheries and Environment Canada), G. K. C. Clarke, Chairman of Papers Committee (Department of Geophysics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia), J. P. Johnson (Department of Geography, Carleton University, Ottawa), S. J. Jones (Glaciology Division, Fisheries and Environment Canada), R. M. Koerner (Polar Continental Shelf Project, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada), W. H. Mathews (Department of Geology, University of British Columbia), W. S. B. Paterson (Polar Continental Shelf Project, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada), V. K. Prest (Geological Survey of Canada, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada), R. J. Rogerson (Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland). This committee arranged both the scientific programme and the local organization. Papers were in three categories: invited papers, contributed papers, and reports on current work. Invited papers were requested by the committee and were chosen to provide a review of the present state of knowledge of glacier beds. Contributed papers were selected by the Papers Committee from among those for which titles had been submitted by a deadline in December 1977. Reports on current work were selected by the committee from titles submitted later than this date and were intended to provide an opportunity for reports on work more recent than the contributed papers’ deadline or still in progress. The first circular for the Symposium giving further details was published in the Society’s news bulletin Ice, No. 52, 1976.

The Organizing Committee requested the International Glaciological Society to consider publication of the proceedings in the Journal of Glaciology, and to this the Society agreed on the same conditions as apply to its own symposia, that the papers are received by a stated deadline and are then subjected to the same refereeing procedure as for papers submitted to the Journal of Glaciology in the usual way. Both invited and contributed papers were eligible for publication in this form, and this issue of the Journal contains those papers together with abstracts of papers presented at the Symposium but not published in full (for whatever reason). Abstracts are also included for those contributed papers accepted for the meeting which, because of the absence of their authors, were not presented or discussed.

An edited version of the discussions which took place is also included. These discussions have been based on written contributions handed in by participants in the discussion at the end of the session, apart from the general discussion in Session J, which has been edited from a tape-recording of the proceedings. All participants have been sent the draft edited version of their general discussion contributions and given an opportunity to correct or up-date it.

The papers in the issue are in the order in which they were presented at the Symposium, and thus invited papers are dispersed through the volume and precede other papers on a similar topic.

The Editors of the Journal acknowledge the help they have received from members of the Organizing Committee in the handling of papers, including the preparation of the reports of discussions and assistance with organizing the refereeing of papers.