Utah Core Research Center

Established in 1951, the Utah Geological Survey’s Utah Core Research Center (UCRC) contains the region’s only publicly available and most complete collection of geologic core and cuttings from Utah. This facility currently holds core from over 1,500 drill holes, totaling about 400,000 feet of material (more than 75 miles), and cuttings from nearly 5,000 drill holes, representing over 57,000,000 feet of subsurface data (nearly 11,000 miles!). Most of this material came from oil and gas wells, but also includes material from metal exploration wells, potash wells, water/geothermal wells, and many more.

The UCRC also acts as a repository for other geologic data, including hand samples related to Utah-based research projects, thin sections and analytical data from cores and other samples, oil samples from several Utah oil fields, rock/mineral samples from several Utah mining districts, and legacy data archives from retired geologists. This collection represents about $5 billion worth of investment in Utah’s natural resources and in many cases is irreplaceable.

The UCRC collection is an invaluable resource for companies looking to develop Utah’s natural resources. Industry professionals frequently visit the UCRC to examine core and collect sample material for analytical testing. This helps them better understand their lease area, reduce costs, and hopefully spur increased development. It is not uncommon for the UCRC to be the first place that a new-to-Utah petroleum company will visit before investing in potential Utah leases or drilling new wells.

The collection is also widely used by the academic community. Professors and students from all over the world come to Utah to examine our core and cuttings for various research projects. The results of these projects are often published, leading to increased interest and understanding in Utah’s geology.

UGS geologists are dedicated to curating this essential collection and fostering its use for Utah industry and geologic knowledge.

Read More:

Why a Building Full of Rocks is so Important to Utah, Survey Notes, January 2019

Contact the Utah Core Research Center

Please make an appointment before visiting. For more information on the facility and equipment or to schedule a visit to the UCRC, feel free to call or email. Nominal fees apply for viewing and sampling core. Discounts or fee-waivers are available to academic researchers. In addition, the UCRC is always excited to accept additional core/cuttings material.

Utah Core Research Center
240 North Redwood Road
P.O. Box 146100
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6100

(801) 537-3359
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Ammon McDonald

UCRC Curator

Tom Dempster

UCRC Assistant Curator

Michael Vanden Berg

Energy and Minerals Program Manager

Additional Info

Facility and Equipment

The UCRC has a large classroom (75+ people) with built-in projection equipment for lectures and has a separate, large, well-lit core viewing area. Binocular petrographic and stereoscopic microscopes are also available for cuttings or thin section examination. The UCRC has rock saws and a drill press for cutting analytical samples or thin section blanks, as well as high-resolution core photography capabilities. In addition, UGS has a Rigiku Miniflex II x-ray diffraction machine that can be utilized for a fee.