• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 4:50 PM


PAPP, Kenneth R., JOHNSON, K.J. and RIORDAN, J.A., Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, Geologic Materials Center, 18205 Fish Hatchery Rd, Eagle River, AK 99577,

The Alaska Geologic Materials Center (GMC) in Eagle River holds non-proprietary rock core and cuttings that represent nearly 13 million feet of exploration and production drilling in Alaska. Additionally, the collection includes more than 450,000 feet of diamond-drilled hard-rock mineral core; rock materials from more than 1,600 oil and gas exploratory or production wells; core from nearly 1,100 exploratory hard-rock mineral holes; and numerous surface samples. The material, valued at “billions of dollars,” will soon exceed the available capacity of the present GMC.

Currently the collection is maintained, without basic environmental controls, in a single crowded warehouse, three converted houses, and a collection of 60 shipping containers, all on a single site. Despite recent significant improvements in organizing, repackaging, and providing its inventory data to the public, continued use of the current facility would likely physically jeopardize the material the State has worked so diligently to acquire and preserve.

Division of Geological & Geophysical Survey managers, working with the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities and GMC staff, are consequently developing plans for a new facility to help establish future accessibility and security of the valuable material stored at the GMC. GMC staff will likely take on the formidable task of transferring more than 250,000 cubic feet of geologic material to a new site in the next 2–5 years. Proper planning and quality control prior to the move are essential to maintain an accurate physical material and data inventory. This situation will certainly pose unique challenges, as a large portion of the current collection is stored in inadequate, poorly labeled, and rotting packaging. The Curator is directing the GMC staff to take advantage of this time schedule to assimilate the collection into a working barcode system prior to the critical move date.

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