The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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Beverly DeJarnett (left) gives a tour of the core repository at BEG's Houston Research CenterTwo million boxes filling three giant warehouses across Texas – arguably, the largest collection of archival rock material in the world. That describes the Bureau's library of well core, cuttings and other rock samples now housed and maintained in its Houston, Austin and Midland core research centers. Geoscientists, engineers, researchers, educators, students, and the general public travel from around the world to unlock the stories held in these irreplaceable rocks, answering questions and generating new ideas about precious subterranean commodities, like oil, water, and natural gas. But how did the collection become so massive? Largely through donations of rock material over the years from companies large and small. Although the expensive process of coring Careful examination of core samples remains essential to geologic researcha well is not as common these days, there is still no better way to determine rock characteristics first-hand. When a company has learned all that it feels that it can from the rocks it has retrieved from thousands of feet below its leases, there is no better option for their disposition than to donate them to the Bureau. Calls and e-mails are fielded continually from geologists and other industry representatives hopeful of turning over their cache of core, cuttings and other rock samples to an organization with facilities and people better positioned to care for them. One advantage to donating the rocks is the continued ability to revisit them, answering any new questions that may arise. Bureau staff are careful curators of these vital rock samples, preserving them just

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©2014 Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin Bridget Scanlon Project STARR