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‘Rock Library’ moved to Sawyer

The Michigan Department of Environmental, Great Lakes and Energy’s Oil, Gas and Minerals Division staffers have moved almost 22,000 boxes of rock samples from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Repair Shop to a complex south of Marquette to a large warehouse at K.I. Sawyer. The Upper Peninsula Geological Repository is essentially a “rock library” in which samples are organized and made available upon request to researchers. (Photo courtesy of the EGLE)

K.I. SAWYER — After years of planning, the Michigan Department of Environmental, Great Lakes and Energy’s Oil, Gas and Minerals Division staffers rolled up their sleeves this past fall to accomplish the demanding task of moving close to 22,000 boxes of rock samples — all stacked, wrapped and strapped on 655 pallets — and hauling them from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Repair Shop complex south of Marquette to a large warehouse at K.I. Sawyer.

And due to 2020 delays, they had a window of two weeks to get this done.

Like other state and federal collections, the Upper Peninsula Geological Repository is essentially a “rock library” in which samples are organized and made available upon request to researchers to conduct geologic studies. It holds a collection of drill core and cuttings with an emphasis on U.P. geology.

Most core and cuttings are classified as non-confidential, and are open and available for viewing. The core storage inventory consists primarily of rock core drilled during mineral exploration on private and state mineral leases. The collection also includes a small number of rock cuttings, chips and hand samples.

The information can be used to support informed decisions that require an understanding of Michigan’s geology such as the identification and wise use of mineral resources, waste management that’s protective of water, identifying geological hazards and research of unconventional energy sources.

The new location with significantly more space will allow for better management of the collection and greater accessibility, and offer more services to visitors.

The UPGR facility is expected to be fully accessible in the summer after EGLE staff receive forklift training.

For appointment or more information regarding the UPGR inventory contact Melanie Humphrey via email at HumphreyM@ michigan.gov.

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