Sample Distribution Policy

Please read through all the tabs.

As an NSF-OCE-MGG funded facility the OSU MGR (and therefore PI’s who curate their samples) is bound by the NSF-OCE data policy for NSF-OCE funded projects. Samples from cores, dredges, and sediment traps, information on sampling stations, and descriptions of materials from the OSU collection are provided to qualified scientific investigators upon receipt of well-documented requests. Materials for educational purposes and museum displays may also be available in limited quantities. Policies and procedures governing requests are outlined in the tabs above.

Locations and initial descriptions of cores and dredges may be obtained from the National Geologic Data Center, NGDC. Information at NGDC is updated by OSU personnel regularly. In addition we can supply custom searches using location, core type, water depth, etc. as search criteria. Core and dredge descriptions are issued at costs calculated according to personnel time, copying, mailing, etc.

Sampling Archive Halves.

Cores are split into two identical halves after retrieval, the working half and the archive half. While the working half is available for sampling to facilitate the scientific objectives the archive half  is intended to remain a pristine ‘archive’ of the material recovered. All the non-destructive analyses are usually made on the archive half (e.g. magnetic susceptibility, gamma ray density, line scan images, XRF-scans, CT-scans etc) leaving it as a permanent record.

However, sometimes the need arises to sample the archive half. This is usually because of complete depletion of the working half. In these instances careful decisions are made by the repository staff as to whether the proposed science and sampling plan justifies sampling of the archive half of the core. If approved sampling of the archive half destroys the pristine nature of the core, preventing further non-destructive measurement.

In order to preserve the most complete record of the core the OSU MGR has set up a policy for the sampling of pristine archive halves that aims to preserve as much information as possible before sampling. This is as follows:

  • Before sampling all non-destructive analysis must be completed on the section. Some of this is routine curation practice and has no cost to the person(s) requesting samples, others are not and will incur costs to the person(s) making the request. 
    • Magnetic susceptibility* – routine curation
    • Gamma ray density* – routine curation
    • Line scan image – routine curation
    • CT-Scan – charged to proponent**
    • XRF-scan – charged to proponent**
    • * Magnetic susceptibility and Gamma Ray Density are accomplished on the MST track which resided in the sea going van. When this van is out at sea MST measurements cannot be made. Requesting samples when the MST van is at sea can therefore add a significant delay (weeks-months) to the accomplishment of non-destructive analyses and therefore sampling
    • ** For a list of costs please see our fees page.




  • Initial Statement of Proposed Research. Investigators should submit a letter (paper or electronic mail) to request samples. Each request should include a short outline of the intended studies, methods, objectives and names and addresses of collaborating investigators. Subsequent sample requests during the same investigation should include an additional statement describing progress of the study and stating the need for additional material. Student requests should be submitted through their academic advisor.
  • Sample Location and Position. Please specify the ship, cruise number, geographic area, core or dredge number, and sample depth in core. Give alternative cores or dredges, and sampling intervals in cores whenever possible. Since surface sediment material is asked for most frequently, many cores no longer have available surface material. Subsurface samples are usually available.
  • Number of Samples. Initial requests should be considered a survey to determine if more samples will be required later. Large requests require justification.
  • Size of Samples. Indicate the minimum sample weight or volume needed. The usual sample size for sediment cores is about 5 cc (about 8-12 grams, depending upon sediment type, or an approximately 1.0 cm thick quarter section of split core). Larger sample volumes must be justified. Samples from core tops are often restricted to 1 cc (2 grams). Larger sample volumes may be available from box cores, kasten cores or large diameter gravity cores.
  • Teaching and Museum Collections. Small samples for displays may be available, within the constraints of scientific research priorities.


  • Approval of Request. Sample requests are forwarded to the curators for approval. In cases of conflict of interest, uninvolved faculty are consulted. Principal investigators who obtained materials are consulted if they are still studying requested materials. Conflicts between different investigators requesting the same samples for the same purpose are mediated and resolved by consultation.
  • Sampling. The staff of the OSU Repository will do the sampling or you may do it yourself under their supervision. Please contact the core curator to schedule sampling visits. There is space for sampling, but laboratory space for sample preparation is minimal.
  • Sample shipment. Samples are normally shipped within two or three weeks after approval.
  • Acknowledgement of Samples Received. Upon receipt of your samples, please acknowledge receipt by email so that we know the samples arrived safely.
  • Citation. We ask that you acknowledge the OSU Collection in all publications resulting from use of our samples. Grant numbers are included with your shipment of samples. Please retain our sample identifications in published reports, or provide a clear correspondence between our system and yours.
  • Copies of Published Reports. One copy of all published reports, or data where OSU samples have been used should be sent in .pdf format via email to for inclusion in our records.
  • Charges for Material and Data. No charges for samples and/or data from the OSU Facility apply to research and education programs. Charges for special services or materials are calculated to cover costs.