This four-volume work (two volumes covering geological and two
biological topics) originated from an article on The Great Barrier Reefs
of Australia written by the editors and published in the November 1967
issue of Science. The prime aim of this treatise is to publish in one
source as many as possible of the major advances made in the diverse
facets of coral reef problems, advances scattered in a multitude of papers
and published in a variety of journals.
Initially a one-volume work was projected, but the wealth of material
available led to this four-volume treatise. Two contain chapters on
aspects of geomorphology, tectonics, sedimentology, hydrology, and radiometric chronology relevant to coral reefs, and two accommodate articles
on pertinent biological topics.
The task of organizing the contributions by some forty-one authors
(situated in eight different countries) on forty-six different topics proved
a formidable one. We wish to thank the contributors, all of whom
have been as cooperative as their teaching and/or other commitments
We feel that the material presented in these volumes demonstrates that
many major advances in our knowledge have been made in recent years.
We realize that the treatment of the topics covered is not complete and
that in many cases new problems have been brought to light. It is our
hope that the volumes will prove a powerful stimulus to further work on
all aspects of coral reefs.
The editors, of course, accept overall responsibility for all four volumes.
Dr. Jones is mainly responsible for the editing of the two geology volumes;
Dr. Endean for that of the two biology volumes.