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The CSDCO, together with the partner LacCore Facility, are the NSF facilities for continental scientific drilling and coring.

These facilities provide integrated support for any phase of projects of any type or size. Supported projects:

  • Range in size from one person and a single meter of core, to teams of hundreds of investigators with thousands of meters of core. 
  • Include all lithologies from soft sediment, peat, and soil, to crystalline rock, in support of any geoscientific discipline. 
  • Utilize components of support that are helpful, given project team resources and expertise.

Major facility activities include:

  • Project development. Facility staff provide guidance in project scoping, continually refining and using best practices established in past projects to optimize new research. This includes selection of best techniques for field coring/drilling, downhole survey, and borehole installations; planning for suitable analyses and aligning these goals with appropriate field techniques; and planning for all other project phases. CSDCO staff can provide general or detailed budget estimates, including bid solicitation and review from dozens of vendors, to minimize cost and optimize performance, and can serve as the general contractor for project execution.
  • Field equipment. CSDCO / LacCore maintain a rental pool of specialized field equipment for collection of core samples and accessing coring sites, sell specialized hand-operated coring equipment, and coordinate access to specialized community equipment and standard industry tooling, as appropriate. 
  • Operations support. Facility staff coordinate project logistics; provide management of field operations or training in routine field workflows; and capture data as they are generated during field activities. 
  • Lab/instrumentation. The LacCore Facility operates a large, well-appointed lab for highly efficient initial core processing, scanning, description, and subsampling, and training for each step, including software utilization. Outputs from this process provide the foundation for all core interpretation and analytical outputs.
  • Software. CSDCO coordinates development of specialized applications and systems for data management, visualization, discovery/utilization, reference, and outreach. Free, open-source, and multi-platform. 
  • Repository for samples / data / outcomes. The LacCore archive consists of core and grab samples from thousands of locations worldwide, fundamental core data, project publications, reports, and community best practices and outputs. After 2 years of exclusive use by original investigators (NSF policy), all data are openly available, and subsamples can be obtained with a formal sample request process. 
  • Outreach and diversity. CSDCO staff coordinate development of meaningful broader impacts for researchers' projects, provide comprehensive training for researchers at any point in their careers, and work toward inclusion and accommodation in the geosciences.
  • Community planning & coordination. The CSDCO coordinates development of long-range science plans, to identify locations, frameworks, and resource requirements to answer the most compelling scientific questions.

Costs for these services are described in the Services page.

Please contact staff for details or a quotation for your project.