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Core Research Center

The USGS Core Research Center is welcoming visitors! Email to request an appointment.  

The CRC's extensive rock core and cuttings collection is available for study by interested parties. Contact us at CRC@USGS.GOV or (303) 202-4851 to schedule an appointment. Please review our FAQs for help in planning your visit.

The Core Research Center is home to 9,800 rock cores and 53,000 cuttings wells that since 1974 has supplied valuable scientific information to academia, government agencies, and industry alike.  The majority of research conducted on the collection to date has been related to natural resource characterization, but the collection has also been studied for many other lines of inquiry. Some examples of past research include a core drilled from Cajon Pass, CA which was drilled to determine fault motions and resistance to plate motion from two plates along an important fault.  Cores from the Enewetak Atoll were originally used to understand the effects of nuclear bursts on geologic structures but have more recently been used in climate studies.  Cores that were drilled in Yellowstone from a 1967-1968 expedition are still being researched to understand the chemistry of the rocks and the interactions with the geothermal fluids of Yellowstone.  Cores from the Green River Formation have been used to understand ancient lake systems and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.  The Castle Pines and Kiowa cores have been used to examine spatial variation on yields for groundwater resources in the Denver Basin and to study the paleobiology of the Upper Cretaceous and Lower Tertiary of the Denver Basin. These are but a few examples of how these valuable resources can continue to contribute to our understanding of earth systems.

In case of bad weather, check the USGS Denver Weather Notification website at Announcements of delayed arrival or closure will be posted by 5:30 a.m.

WARNING: Construction Ahead!

There is a large construction project inside and outside of our building that will continue through this year.  We hope to avoid any closures but there will be some inconvenience to our visitors, including possible noise, less indoor temperature control, occasional need to use other entrances, closure of nearby parking spaces and heavy equipment traffic on the roads around the building. If any of these inconveniences become hazardous, we will need to cancel your appointment. Appointment cancellation is a last resort, and we will do everything in our power to avoid having to do so. On the business day prior to your appointment, we will do our best to provide information regarding what situations you might encounter.  However, conditions can change rapidly, and we may not have any advance warning. Please be extra safety-conscience during your visit.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Important Notice Regarding Real ID Act Requirements for Entry to Federal Facilities

As of April 30, 2021, all states and territories are issuing IDs that are compliant with the Real ID act. A compliant ID must be presented at TSA checkpoints or for entry to Federal facilities including the Denver Federal Center - home of the CRC. PLEASE NOTE THAT EVEN IF YOUR STATE IS LISTED AS COMPLIANT, IF YOU HAVE AN OLDER LICENSE THAT DOES NOT MEET THE REAL ID ACT CRITERIA, YOU MAY HAVE DIFFICULTY ENTERING THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER.  Full enforcement of REAL ID begins May 7, 2025. Travelers without a compliant or enhanced ID (or other acceptable ID) will not be allowed to fly.  The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. Please check the DHS website for the latest information on the compliance status of your state and how to tell if your ID qualifies. If your ID is not compliant, you might consider acquiring an alternative ID such as a U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport card. More information about the REAL ID Act of 2005, and Secure Driver’s Licenses can be found on this page from the Department of Homeland Security:

The CRC apologizes for any inconvenience to our visitors.