Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Land-Based Core Collection


Box of sediment core

As of August 2017, the Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) Land-Based Core Collection consists of approximately 250 unique cores, with known locations, obtained from wells and bore holes drilled primarily in Maryland. MGS also has approximately 16 cores for which locations are still being confirmed or sought.

The cores in this collection are sediment and/or rock cores. Some Coastal Plain cores contain rock intervals (Mesozoic or Paleozoic basement rock) and some cores drilled in fractured rock areas contain unconsolidated sediment, saprolite and/or regolith. The cores in this collection were collected on land; not from rivers, lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, or the Atlantic Ocean seafloor.

Most cores are currently stored in wooden and cardboard boxes of varying sizes (approximately 945 boxes in total). However, some cores are stored in their original core tubes of varying length and diameter (e.g., Shelby Tubes, PVC tubes, clear plastic tubes; approximately 187 tubes in total). The condition of these boxes and tubes varies from poor to suitable.

The Land-Based Core Collection is primarily stored in the MGS Core Library in the basement of MGS’s Kenneth M. Weaver building. Due to space constraints, several cores are stored in the basement of the Weaver Annex building. The majority of the land-based cores were collected by MGS, often in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Other cores were donated to MGS by other researchers, state agencies, or geotechnical consultants. Many of these cores are referenced in published MGS reports.

A detailed inventory of this land-based core collection was completed as part of the FY2016 USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) grant cycle. As part of the inventory, a land-based core collection database was created. This database was populated with information about each core and box, including, but not limited to:

As part of FY2016 NGGDPP grant activities, metadata describing the Land-Based Core Collection (as well as a GIS shapefile showing borehole locations) was uploaded to the National Digital Catalog (NDC).


For inquiries regarding the MGS Land-Based Core Collection or to schedule a visit, please contact:
Ms. Heather Quinn – 410-554-5522,
Mr. Dale Shelton – 410-554-5505,


The work described above was funded by a grant awarded in 2016 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP). Please visit our “Data Preservation Efforts” webpage for more information about the NGGDPP grants and the ongoing preservation efforts at MGS:
Maryland Geological Survey – Data Preservation Efforts