Sample Requests


How to request samples from the OSU MGR.

At the OSU Marine and Geology Repository (OSU-MGR) we distribute thousands of sediment and hard rock samples on an annual basis to researchers all over the world. Instructions on how to request these samples from the OSU-MGR and our Sample and Data Policies are detailed below. Please go step-by-step through the following six steps:

Step 1: Decide which samples you wish to study and request. You can find an inventory of OSU holdings on the Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples (IMLGS) website and on our Main OSU collection and NOAA collections pages.

Step 2: Read and familiarize yourself with the sample distribution policies and guidelines on how to request samples. Note that these are slightly different for sediment and hard rock requests.

Sediment and Rock Core Sample Distribution Policy and Sample Request Guidelines


As an NSF-OCE-MGG funded facility, the OSU-MGR (and therefore PI’s who curate their samples) is bound by the NSF-OCE data policy for NSF-OCE funded projects. Samples from cores and sediment traps, information on sampling stations, and descriptions of materials from the OSU collection are provided to qualified scientific investigators upon receipt of well-documented requests. Materials for educational purposes and museum displays may also be available in limited quantities.


Submission Documents

We require that requestors submit two documents with their sample request:

Initial Statement of Proposed Research
Investigators should submit a letter (paper or via electronic mail in PDF format) to request samples. Each request should include a short outline of the intended studies, methods, objectives and names and addresses of collaborating investigators. Initial requests should be considered a survey to determine if more samples will be required later. Large requests require justification. Subsequent sample requests during the same investigation should include an additional statement describing progress of the study and stating the need for additional material. Student requests should be submitted through their academic advisor.

Sample Request Sheet
Please download and use the Sediment and Rock Core Sample Request Sheet to detail the samples you are requesting. Please be as detailed as possible in filling out this form and consider the following:

  • Sample Location and Position Please specify the ship, cruise number, geographic area, core or dredge number, and sample depth in core. Give alternative cores or dredges, and sampling intervals in cores whenever possible. Since surface sediment material is asked for most frequently, many cores no longer have available surface material. Subsurface samples are usually available.
  • Size of Samples Indicate the minimum sample weight or volume needed. The usual sample size for sediment cores is about 5 cc (about 8-12 grams, depending upon sediment type, or an approximately 1.0 cm thick quarter section of split core). Larger sample volumes must be justified. Samples from core tops are often restricted to 1 cc (2 grams). Larger sample volumes may be available from box cores, kasten cores or large diameter gravity cores.


Special Note for Archive Half Requests

Cores are split into two identical halves after retrieval, the working half and the archive half. While the working half is available for sampling to facilitate the scientific objectives the archive half  is intended to remain a pristine ‘archive’ of the material recovered. All the non-destructive analyses are usually made on the archive half (e.g. magnetic susceptibility, gamma ray density, line scan images, XRF-scans, CT-scans etc) leaving it as a permanent record.

However, sometimes the need arises to sample the archive half. This is usually because of complete depletion of the working half. In these instances careful decisions are made by the repository staff as to whether the proposed science and sampling plan justifies sampling of the archive half of the core. If approved sampling of the archive half destroys the pristine nature of the core, preventing further non-destructive measurement.

In order to preserve the most complete record of the core the OSU-MGR has set up a policy for the sampling of pristine archive halves that aims to preserve as much information as possible before sampling:

Before sampling all non-destructive analysis must be completed on the section. Some of this is routine curation practice and has no cost to the person(s) requesting samples, others are not and will incur costs to the person(s) making the request.

  • Magnetic Susceptibility – routine curation (both measurements are accomplished on the MST track housed in our seagoing van; when this van is out at sea MST measurements cannot be made and therefore add a significant delay (weeks-months) to the accomplishment of non-destructive analyses and therefore sampling).
  • Line Scan Image – routine curation.
  • CT-Scan – charged to proponent (see our fees page)
  • XRF-scan – charged to proponent (see our fees page)

Approval, Sampling and Shipping

Approval of Request Sample requests are forwarded to the curators for approval. In cases of conflict of interest, uninvolved faculty are consulted. Principal investigators who obtained materials are consulted if they are still studying requested materials. Conflicts between different investigators requesting the same samples for the same purpose are mediated and resolved by consultation.

Sampling The staff of the OSU Repository will do the sampling or you may do it yourself under their supervision. Please contact the core curator to schedule sampling visits. There is space for sampling, but laboratory space for sample preparation is minimal.

Sample shipment Samples are normally shipped within two or three weeks after approval.

Dredge and Dive Sample Distribution Policy and Sample Request Guidelines


All sample requests need to be submitted through the OSU-MGR online portal. Please browse through the online archive, which provides high resolution petrographic images (whole rocks + thin sections) and detailed descriptions for most samples, and identify and select the samples that support your research project best. In order to request samples, investigators should upload both the standard OSU-MGR rock sample request form (in Excel spreadsheet format) and a written statement of the proposed research in a separate letter (in PDF format).


Submission Documents

We require that requestors submit two documents with their sample request:

Statement of Proposed Research
This letter should include a short outline of the intended studies, detailed methods, research objectives, and names and addresses of collaborating investigators. Since many of the submarine rock samples in the OSU-MGR are small in size and/or have been collected at great costs from unique places around the world, it is requested that in the statement special attention is given to the rationale of what to sample, how much, how many samples, and the return of unused materials. Please review all images and descriptions of the rocks prior to requesting samples. Subsequent sample requests during the same investigation should include an additional statement describing progress of the study and stating the need for additional material. Student requests should be submitted through their academic advisor. Maximum two pages. Include your two-page CV or NSF-style biosketch for the PI and/or students and other scientists, if applicable.

OSU-MGR Rock Sample Request
Please download, fill out and submit the Dredge and Dive Sample Request Form to In the form, use the Sample Name (e.g. OSU-EX1504L2-D1-1) shown on the OSU-MGR collection website. Provide a brief summary of the analyses planned for the sample in the Purpose column. State clearly if specific sections of the sample are required (e.g. glassy rinds, fresh or altered rocks sections) in the Material column. Indicate the minimum sample weight (in grams) or volume (in cubic cm or cc) needed in the Sample Size column. Whenever possible, provide alternative dives or dredges, as some samples may not contain enough material to complete the proposed experiments. Please indicate whether it is a primary or alternate sample in the Request Type column. Please specify if any specific sample preparation is required (e.g. no saw marks) in the Comments column.


Note about Thin Sections

Most samples contain a prepared petrographic thin section that has been polished to 1 µm grit. These sections are available to borrow upon request. As high resolution plane-polarized and cross-polarized photos of these thin sections are already available in the OSU-MGR database, we ask that thin sections only be requested if SEM, EMP, FTIR or similar experiments are to be undertaken. Indicate if the thin sections will be coated and with what material in the sample request letter. We request that thin sections be returned to the repository within two years or upon completion of the proposed research project.


Approval and Sampling

Review Process. The sample request form and research statement will be reviewed by the OSU-MGR curatorial staff and the co-directors. Initial requests for pilot studies should be considered in order to determine if more samples will be required later. Large sample requests (>10 samples) may be subject to a more strenuous review, potentially requiring feedback from outside the OSU-MGR curatorial staff and directors.

Obligations. Results from all work on requested samples are expected to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Please send a PDF of any published data from the samples. Failure to publish data on requested samples may result in the denial of future requests. If the publication obligation cannot be met within three years from the sample request, a written report explaining the reasons for non-publication is expected as is the return of all unused materials. All thin sections requested are to be return within two years.

Sampling at the OSU-MGR. You or your student(s) are welcome to come to the facility to subsample the rocks yourself; otherwise we will process and send the requested samples. Please contact us at to establish a date and time for the onsite OSU-MGR sampling visit.


Step 3: Download and complete the Sediment and Rock Core Sample Request Form or Dredge and Dive Sample Request Form

Step 4: Send the completed form with appropriate documentation (see guidelines above) to the curator at via email.

Step 5: If you publish on the samples you request from the OSU-MGR then please acknowledge the OSU-MGR in your manuscript.

Step 6: Please send us copies (PDF’s), or links to published content that use samples hosted in our collection.


For more information on how to request samples or how to request samples other than sediments and rocks, please contact us via email at