This special volume, vol. 13, 1980, of the Geological Bulletin, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, on the Geodynamics of the NW Himalayas, contains 213 pages, 23 articles with 96 figures and 28 tables, authored by 36 contributors from 7 countries (Pakistan, U.S., France, India, Switzerland, Italy, U.K.). The volume truthfully reflects the diversity and intensity of the recent international scientific effort toward understanding Himalayan geodynamics.

To be frank: The editorial, production, and scientific quality of this conference book is as mixed as Himalayan collision tectonics itself. Yet, beneath the poor editorial melange, there rest valuable scientific treasures. Particularly to those earth scientists' interested in oceanic subduction zones and island arcs, this book on (now) purely continental tectonics is a really surprising find. The centerpiece of attention is the now deeply eroded Kohistan belt interpreted to be an uplifted Mesozoic island arc and its associated fore-arc, back-arc, and subduction complexes. Cenozoic collision tectonics has partially exposed lower crustal or subcrustal levels of any or all of the arc-trench elements. They appear petrologically characterized by pyroxene granulites, eclogite, and garnet amphibolitic mineral assemblages. Structural and stratigraphic control is poor in most regions; and, thus, tectonic interpretations given by some authors may need revisions. But, geochemists will find a surprising number of major and minor element analyses and composition diagrams to test for possible affinities of the sampled rocks with ocean floor-, island arc-, and continent-derived igneous or metamorphic assemblages. Trace element and isotope studies are still few.