Seafloor Samples Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution


The Mclean Laboratory is located on the Quissett Campus [get directions] near the village of Woods Hole, Mass. The samples are housed in a 4700 square foot repository that includes 650 square feet of walk-in refrigerated space. Most of the cores are split longitudinally and stored room temperature “moist” on special racks in sealed “D-tubes”. Currently there are nearly 24,000 discreet core sections in storage that, when combined, represent more than 3,800 individual core sites. Those samples that require special preservation are kept at 4 degrees Centigrade in the walk-in cooler. Rocks, Alvin material and grabs are shelved chronologically by ship and expedition in the same area.

Facilities at the Laboratory include:
  • Core splitting systems: Manual and automated equipment is on hand to carefully open deep-sea sediment core sections for subsampling and analysis. A variety of core diameters and core liner materials can be accommodated.
  • Rock preparation equipment: We maintain an array of diamond saws of various capacities including micro-blade devices and a complete thin section preparation laboratory. Portable saws are on hand for sea-going operations.
  • Microscopes: The lab inventories includes camera-equipped petrographic scopes for viewing thin sections, normal and phase contrast polarizing scopes utilized in smear slide analysis and a variety of binocular microscopes for foraminiferal studies.
  • GEOTEK Core Logger: We operate this multi-sensor core logger for non-destructive analysis of bulk density [via Gamma ray absorption], P-wave attenuation, and magnetic susceptibility. The logger is available for use at sea.
  • Subsampling accessories: Tools and expendables are on hand for use by visiting investigators.