Marine Geological Samples Laboratory


The Marine Geological Samples Laboratory (MGSL) of the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), University of Rhode Island serves as the central repository for dredge rocks, deep-sea cores, and land-based geological samples collected by the Marine Geology and Geophysics group at GSO/URI. The facility is located on the Narragansett Bay Campus of the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett, R.I. Its main purpose is to assure that geological samples are properly stored, described, preserved and available for use by qualified investigators from both inside and outside the institution. A large part of the funding for curatorial activities in the MGSL is obtained from the Ocean Science Division of the National Science Foundation.


MGSL is housed in a 6,000 square ft. prefabricated building containing laboratories and storage facilities for the curation of marine geological samples. A major part of the building is devoted to the storage of dredge rocks and island/continent rock samples. These samples are stored in 12′ high rows of dexidren steel racks. The other major area of sample storage consist of a 10,000 square ft. refrigerated room which houses the deep-sea sediment core collection and is maintained at a temperature of 3-4 degree C. The remaining area of the MGSL is subdivided into three laboratories and a curator’s office. There are two labs for the processing of hard rocks (coarse and fine prep labs) where samples can be laid out for description and subsampling. A separate core lab is available for the description and sampling of sediment cores.

Sample Collection

Photo of rock samples.
Photo of rock samples.

The MGSL maintains a large collection of marine geological samples that are available to qualified investigators through the University of Rhode Island’s sample distribution policy. Sample locations are grouped by Marsden Squares and a searchable database is available for each of the major sample types:

Other Samples

A complete listing of marine geological samples from many different institutions can be searched at the NGDC web site.

Inquiries should be directed to the GSO curators:

Katherine Kelley

Becky Robinson