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USGS/USDOE Cooperative Studies in Nevada

Mercury Core Library and Data Center

Library Data Type:


Archival Data Type:

USGS Data Series Report 297
Archival Images
Archival Data

Other Resources:

Mercury Core Library & Data Center at ScienceBase
ScienceBase Home
USGS Core Research Center
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

The Core Library and Data Center at Mercury, Nevada, was established as a repository for geologic, hydrologic, and geophysical data and materials collected in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defense and environment programs at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), formerly Nevada Test Site (NTS). The Core Library is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey and has been used as a staging area for many scientific studies throughout the south western United States, in addition to NNSS. The Core Library houses drill-bit cuttings, drill core (both vertical and horizontal), geophysical logs, and other rock samples collected mostly from NNSS. Some samples are from other DOE facilities in New Mexico, Mississippi, Colorado, Louisiana, Alaska and other areas in Nevada. Currently, the Core Library stores more than 2,000,000 linear feet of cores and cuttings. Included within the facility is a small reference library with approximately 2,500 publications pertaining to the Nevada National Security Site and surrounding area. Most of the publications were prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Department of Energy; however, some are publications by past and present contractors to DOE.

Record and Image Archival of Rock Samples and Associated Data
The USGS has systematically compiled much of the historical data stored in paper files and reports located at the Core Library and the Nevada Water Science Center Henderson Office. Although these records were compiled from paper copies housed in the USGS historical files, much of the data was analyzed or interpreted by agencies other than the USGS; including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and various DOE and U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) contracting organizations. Compilation of depth-interval specific locations by rock sample type, fracture and fault characteristics, and hydraulic properties began during 2002; lithologic and stratigraphic descriptions during 2003; physical and mechanical rock properties during 2004; site characteristics during 2006; interval-specific locations for thin sections during 2008. These data are available online as five Microsoft (MS) Excel spreadsheets and a MS Access database that includes all five spreadsheets, plus a sixth site-characteristic table. Most redundant data have been removed from the MS Access tables and records from all six tables may be linked by a common unique number. Electronic copies of lithologic descriptions for new Environmental Management Operations Activity (EMOA), formerly Environmental Restoration Project, holes are provided courtesy of National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec). Archival databases are continually updated as new data become available and time permits. Data are summarized through 2009 in USGS Data-Series Report 297. Rock-sample images may be identified in the rock-sample database by the USGS hole name, sample interval, and sample box name; thin-section images by the thin section box number and slot location. The USGS began two image archival efforts during 2009. Rock samples stored at the Core Library are photographed and thin sections stored at the USGS Henderson office are scanned. Rock sample photography is determined from a prioritized list, which is revised each year. The USGS requests prioritized lists from the National Laboratories and various DOE and DTRA contracting organizations at the beginning of each year to accommodate current needs. Core samples were photographed during 2009 and 2010. The emphasis changed to mainly cuttings and sidewall samples from the new EMOA holes during 2011. Thin-section scanning has not been determined from a prioritized list. However, scanning efforts have mirrored the same areas and holes prioritized for photography. Scanned images of thin sections from the new EMOA holes are provided courtesy of Comprehensive Volcanic Petrographics, LLC (CVP).

Location of Nevada National Security Site and pertinent physiographic features, Nye County, Nevada. Generalized distribution of rock types in vicinity of Nevada National Security Site, Nye County, Nevada.

Location of Nevada National Security Site and pertinent physiographic features shown at left. Generalized distribution of rock types in vicinity of Nevada National Security Site shown at right.

For information on Core Library materials contact:

Robert Graves
U.S. Geological Survey
160 N. Stephanie St.
Henderson, NV 89074-8829

For information on Archival materials contact:

Dave Wood
U.S. Geological Survey
160 N. Stephanie St.
Henderson, NV 89074-8829

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