GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 130-11
Presentation Time: 10:35 AM


GRUNOW, Anne and MALETIC, Erica, Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

Understanding global events and their impact requires data from multiple continents and oceans but geological field expeditions in polar regions are logistically difficult, financially expensive and can have a significant environmental impact on pristine regions. The scarcity of outcrop in Antarctica and samples from the Southern Ocean, makes previously collected geological samples a critical resource for the science community. The NSF established the Polar Rock Repository (PRR) to preserve and provide scientific access to rock, terrestrial drill core, unconsolidated till/soil and marine dredge sample collections. Currently, more than 56,000 samples spanning the Phanerozoic Eon are available as no-cost loans for research use. Supporting materials are archived, such as field notes, maps, photographs, thin sections as well as associated bibliography/DOI’s.

For example, the PRR contains more than 4700 Cenozoic volcanic (and related) rocks from Antarctica, as well as samples from Southern Ocean dredges. The samples come from almost all volcanic locations on the continent. A unique collection includes the Erebus volcanic province DVDP Ross Island drill cores 1, 2 and 3 that were cored to a depth of 380m. Another unique collection includes Deception Island samples collected from specific eruption events.

Scientists may request samples from the PRR website and conduct research using destructive techniques. The PRR website allows scientists to “drill down” into search results using categories and look-up object fields. Results can be viewed in a table, downloaded as a spreadsheet, or plotted on an interactive map that supports display of satellite imagery and bathymetry layers. Samples can be requested by placing them in the ‘shopping cart’.