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EGLE's U.P. 'rock library' relocates 22,0000 boxes of drilling cores and cuttings to new location in Gwinn

Sorted rocks in containers at Upper Peninsula Geological Repository(On Sunday, April 4, the world will observe Geology Day. To highlight it and EGLE's Oil, Gas and Minerals Division, MI Environment today puts a spotlight on the Upper Peninsula Geological Repository, newly moved into a warehouse in Gwinn.)

After years of planning, EGLE'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, all stacked, wrapped, and strapped on 655 pallets, and hauled from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Repair Shop complex south of Marquette to a large warehouse at the former KI Sawyer Air Force Base near the town of Gwinn. 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 Northern Peninsula 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 our mineral resources, waste management that is 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, greater accessibility, and offer of 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

Photo caption: Rocks sorted in containers on pallets at the U.P. Geological Repository

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