Facility History

Since 1960, the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) at Oregon State University (OSU) has maintained an active program in Marine Geology, and CEOAS continues to be one of the leading oceanographic institutions involved in exploration, research and the collection of marine samples. To preserve these materials for future research, Drs. Ted C. Moore and LaVerne Kulm in 1971 established the OSU Core Lab, now known as the OSU Marine Geology Repository.

The facility began receiving support by the  U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1972 when the laboratory relocated to a building with 4,800 cubic feet (CFT) of refrigerated space for core storage. The OSU Marine Geology Repository has been funded continuously since 1976 as a national NSF community facility with a mission to archive and distribute geological samples for scientific research and education. At present, the OSU Marine Geology Repository archives 6,200 sediment cores totaling 16,290 m of core, 10,025 rock samples from 545 dredges, 2,200 deep-sea manganese nodules, 1,644 sediment trap samples, 693 plankton tow samples, and other materials, including lake sediments and lake drill cores. Sample requests are increasingly high with more than 27,000 samples distributed over the last three years and more than 175,000 since 1972.

In 1986, Drs. Alan C. Mix and Martin Fisk assumed management of the facility and since that time the OSU Marine Geology Repository has undergone several phases of expansion and remodeling. Following the 1990 expansion of refrigerated space, the sediment core collection of the  University of Washington was incorporated, and the name changed from the OSU Core Laboratory to the OSU/NORCOR Marine Geology Repository. In 1994, a second major expansion of the facility was completed. The refrigerated space was increased to 30,000 CFT. At that time a laboratory for core description and sample handling was added. In 1995, the first repository web page was launched. In 2002, the rock storage facility was renovated, adding another 5,500 CFT of shelved, interior rock storage and additional covered exterior staging space. In 2003, the facility was renamed the OSU/COAS Marine Geology Repository.

Dr. David Christie replaced Dr. Fisk in 2003 as curator of the rock collection and sampling activities and in 2006 Dr. Christie was replaced by Dr. Robert Duncan. At the end of 2005, Dr. Nicklas Pisias replaced Dr. Mix as the curator responsible for oversight of the sediment core and trap sample collections. This transition established a closer link between the OSU Marine Geology Repository and the OSU Marine Coring Facility (Dr. Pisias, PI) that  supports US scientists needing coring expertise aboard UNOLS vessels including the R/V Oceanus R/V Melville, R/V Revelle, R/V Kilo Moana, R/V Langseth and the USCG icebreaker Healy. The collaboration in particular facilitated the collection of shipboard physical properties data using the containerized multi-sensor track owned by the OSU Marine Geology Repository.

Dr. Stoner and Dr. Koppers replaced Drs. Pisias and Duncan in 2010. In 2009 refrigerated space was increased to a total of 41,000 CFT and in 2010 an -11°F, 1,100 CFT freezer was installed for frozen storage of gas hydrate bearing samples donated by the Department of Energy-National Energy and Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL). In October 2011 COAS merged with the OSU Department of Geosciences to become the new, expanded College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS). At that time, the repository was renamed the OSU/CEOAS Marine Geology Repository and its rock collection will be expanded considerably over the coming years with various PI collections (from both seagoing and land expeditions) now stored at the former Department of Geosciences. In September 2014, a new website for the OSU-MGR was launched at http://core-repository.coas.oregonstate.edu.


The Marine Geology Sample Repository is located at the Research Way Building, Corvallis OR. Google Map Link


Mailing Address

OSU Marine Geology Repository
College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
4700 SW Research Way
Corvallis, Oregon 97333

Email: osu-mgr@oregonstate.edu
Phone: (+1) 541-737-8210