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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center > Ocean Floor Samples Repository > Facilities

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Samples Repository



Welcome to Woods Hole

The USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center's Samples Repository is co-located on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Quissett Campus at 384 Woods Hole Road in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

The K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing serves as the primary storage location for all geological, biological, and geochemical samples collected through USGS research, or in the permanent custody of the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center. Local storage facilities within the Geotechnical Wing consist of walk-in refrigerated and frozen cold rooms, ambient (dry) temperature storage, as well as an analysis and sampling facility.

Our refrigerated cold room measures 774.5 square feet, and maintains a storage temperature of +4º Celsius (+39º Fahrenheit). Our freezer, measuring 420 square feet, maintains a storage temperature of –20º Celsius (-4º Fahrenheit). These temperature-controlled and closely monitored facilities have been partially built into a hillside to maximize insulation and efficiency, and are designed to exclude the ambient environment, as fluctuations in air temperature and humidity can degrade the viability of the samples for geological, geochemical, and biological research, and promote organic growth on and in the samples. Both rooms are equipped with rolling storage racks which maximize available space for sediment and subsample storage, and allow for future expansion as collections grow. Core racks and mobile storage carts are also available.

The adjoining sample preparation and processing area in the Geotechnical Wing provides storage space as well as layout and examination space for subsampling, splitting and photography.


Directions to the Samples Repository:

Heading south on Woods Hole Road from Falmouth, Mass., the entrance to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Quissett Campus will be on your left, approximately 0.8 miles after the Quissett Harbor Road-Oyster Pond Road traffic light.  Look for the large wooden sign as you approach.

At the stop sign at the end of the entrance, turn right and follow the road around for approximately 0.2 miles and make the first left.  There will be two parking lots, one to the left and one to the right.  Turn into the left parking lot.

Continue half way down the lot, past the loading bay for WHOI’s McLean Building.  You will see a large, grey trailer on the right and a dirt road going downhill just before it.  Turn right down the dirt road. 

At the bottom of the hill, follow the road forking to the left.  There you will see the USGS buildings and the entrance to the K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing.  Enter through the double doors at the end of the paved patio.



Available storage in the Samples Repository is divided into four categories, and each has been assigned an abbreviated code to identify the specific facility and location; our refrigerated space in the K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing is designated RE01;  frozen storage in the Geotechnical Wing is designated FR01; short-term dry storage available in the sample preparation and processing area is designated LAB; and long-term dry storage of samples is at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Operations Facility, referred to locally as well as designated here as MOF.

Specific storage within each space in the Geotechnical Wing (RE01, FR01, and LAB) has been further broken down to specify the precise location of sample collections, and to facilitate retrieval.  Discreet shelving units on the rolling storage racks, as well as stationary shelves, core racks, and mobile storage carts have been assigned section numbers.

Schematic view of storage available in the K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing

Figure 4. Schematic view of storage locations RE01, FR01, and LAB in the K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing with available sections and their assigned section numbers illustrated. [Larger Version]

Sections 01-44 in RE01, 01-26 in FR01, and 01-08 in LAB are shelving units, and each shelf is also numbered, starting at one on the top shelf and continuing downward.

These three components (storage location, section number, and shelf number [where available]) are combined into a single storage identification number which is assigned to each inventoried sample in the Samples Repository.  As an example, samples stored in our refrigerated space, in section 02, on the third shelf from the top would be given the location identifier RE01.02.03.

Sample Processing

The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Samples Repository provides space and services for processing and sampling of materials and collections.

Cores can be split in-house using a custom-made sediment core splitter, which utilizes two Bosch1 oscillating tools with flush cut blade attachments mounted to a sliding carriage that moves over a stationary sediment core. Cores are cradled on a V-channel, and the oscillating tools can be adjusted to fit a variety of core liner diameters. Rock samples can be cut and trimmed using a Dewalt1 D24000 1.5-Horsepower 10-inch wet tile saw.

Sample photography uses a Nikon1 D90 SLR camera mounted to the ceiling directly above the layout table in the sample preparation area. This camera is connected to a designated computer workstation and can be controlled using Nikon1 software Camera Control Pro 2. Photographs are directly downloaded to this workstation, and can be edited, spliced together and incorporated into the open source data visualization software suite CoreWall, which combines core photographs, descriptions, and derived analytical data.

Sample preparation and processing area in the K.O> Emery Geotechnical Wing Core splitter mounted to the layout table. Camera system mounted to the ceiling.

Figure 5. Sample preparation and processing area in the K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing. [Larger version]

Figure 6. Core splitter mounted to the layout table. [Larger version]

Figure 7. Camera system mounted to the ceiling. [Larger version]



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