What is the important geologic information recorded in Thrust Belts and Foreland Basins (TBFB) on the evolution of orogens? How do they transcript the coupled influence of deep and surficial geological processes? Is it still worth looking for hydrocarbons in foothills areas? These and other questions are addressed in the volume edited by Lacombe, Lavé, Roure and Vergés, which constitutes the Proceedings of the first meeting of the new ILP task force on 'Sedimentary Basins', held in December 2005 at the Institut Français du Pétrole, on behalf of the Société Géologique de France and the Sociedad Geologica de España. This volumes spans a timely bridge between recent advances in the understanding of surface processes, field investigations, high resolution imagery, analogue-numerical modelling, and hydrocarbon exploration in TBFB. With 25 thematic papers including well-documented regional case studies, it provides a milestone publication as a new in-depth examination of TBFB.