Core blimey!

Today we got our first chance to look around the newly completed core store at work! The store is immense. It holds around 10 000 tonnes of rock and brings together 3,000,000,000 years of earth history into one building.

The older part of the core store holds a collossal 200 km of onshore core, plus around 150 km more as cuttings and a further 15,000 discrete borehole samples! The new extension will be housing the BGS collections currently held elsewhere, and these comprise 12,000 m of offshore core and a further 15,000 seabed samples.

You may wonder why the British Geological Survey would want to hold so much geological material. Well first, geologists really like rock, most of them just can’t get enough of it and secondly, core is really expensive to drill and so our archives provide academics and commercial companies with the chance to view core for almost nothing.


There are lots and lots of these core aisles …. probably about 10-12 in total in the older parts of the store.

More core!

You can just about see the gaggle of friends at the end of the aisle!

And here are the new empty racks awaiting material. The new stacks are really clever. They’re all motorised so that the geologists can fit even more rock into one room!

Space for much more core!

The motorised stacks in the new building

Oh schist that’s so gneiss, amirite?