Core Storage Library - Idaho National Laboratory

Science Center Objects

Our Core Storage Library currently houses about 73,000 feet of core and several suites of cuttings from boreholes drilled at the INL. More cores and cuttings are added every year. The CSL also houses two suites of core and cuttings from the western Snake River Plain. In 2015, we added new core storage space in building CF 674. We recently published a report listing the core and cuttings available for study and the procedures for using them. 


Core is organized by well name and depth. Core to be logged is laid out on tables, where it is dusted off, and re-marked if necessary to preserve "up markings" (red line to show which direction is up in the box) and depth numbers. Core is then photographed, using a specially designed jig to control lighting and layout. The corelogger moves the rolling logging table along the laid out core, recording data as he or she goes through the core from top to bottom. In addition to photographs, data collected include lithologic description, lithology symbol, vesicle size and relative abundance estimates, fracture frequency, and structure information.


In 1990, the USGS, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, established the Lithologic Core Storage Library (CSL) to consolidate, catalog, and permanently store nonradioactive drill cores and cuttings from USGS monitoring wells. The USGS INL Project Office Corelogger Program began the summer of 2003 in an effort to provide better access to materials stored at the Lithologic Core Storage Library to the subsurface science research community.

Our first corelogger, Reuben Johnson, designed and implemented the Corelogger protocol, using commercially available software and equipment. The intent of the program was to create a standardized, web-accessible, efficient method for logging and photographing core stored at the Lithologic Core Storage Library. The protocol was designed to develop standardized core logs that included photographs, maximum description and minimum interpretation, to provide researchers with an overview of material to aid in choosing the most productive material for their purposes. Also, digital logging with photographs will help provide a permanent record in case of loss or consumption of core.


Core samples are available to qualified researchers for examination, sampling, and testing. Visitors must request permission to access this restricted area prior to arrival. Also, visitors must provide Material Safety Data Sheets for any chemicals brought into the facility.