The policies under which the Continental Scientific Drilling Facility operates are consistent with applicable NSF policies and have been formulated through discussions with NSF, the Continental Scientific Drilling Facility External Advisory Group, and the research community. Its primary goal is to provide a uniform framework for the continued use of sample material.


The goal of Continental Scientific Drilling Facility is to curate cores collected on land and in lakes to further the scientific and educational goals of the Earth Systems History community. This goal will be accomplished by:

  • Providing state-of-the-art archival storage space for cores
  • Enabling on-line access to a searchable database of cores archived at the CSD Facility and elsewhere, including access to metadata
  • Providing technical assistance in core logging and Initial Core Description
  • Providing scientific interaction with repository users
  • Providing a role model for worldwide efforts to curate cores


All users of the the Continental Scientific Drilling Facility should acknowledge the facility in their publications and presentations. Including the facility in your acknowledgements helps to spread the word about our services, and is crucial to the continued funding of the program.

Accessioning Cores

The Continental Scientific Drilling Facility accepts cores of all types for permanent cold storage and curation. The cores may be recently-collected or decades old. Researchers wishing to accession cores must ship their cores to the CSD Facility, and pay for sample storage containers (typically standard ODP D-tubes). There are no other archiving-related costs.

Sample Distribution

Sample requests may originate from any scientist, curator, or educator with adequate resources to complete a scientific investigation, or who will prepare materials for curatorial or educational purposes.

Project Phases: Active and Archive

The NSF-defined exclusive use period (during which only the original PIs have access to the cores) is two years from the date of sample collection.


All CSD Facility forms can be found here.