The Antarctic Research Facility is a national repository for geological materials collected in polar regions. It is supported by an operational grant from the National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs ( Grant Number 0838901). The Facility houses over 20,000 meters of deep-sea core sediment and over 5,000 kg of dredge, trawl, and grab samples, the largest such Southern Ocean collection in the world. These materials have been acquired from over 90 USAP research vessel cruises.
The Facility also houses and curates nearly 3,000 meters of rotary cored geological material acquired by NSF supported drilling programs in the Antarctic. Replacement cost of this core inventory in terms of ship and ice-based drilling is conservatively estimated to be in the range of $150 to $200M.
The collections are maintained in a single-story building designed to process and store marine sediments. Most of the core storage area consists of a 500 square meter room kept at 2 degrees Celsius. A separate vault (50 square meters) provides additional space for materials requiring frozen (-23 degrees C) storage. The Facility houses over 20,000 meters of Antarctic and subantarctic marine geological core samples and 3000 meters of rotary cored geological material
Visiting scientists to the AMGRF can take advantage of a library that contains over 35 Polar related journals, numerous theses and dissertations, cruise data books, over 1,000 books on Antarctic and marine geology, an extensive Antarctic reprint collection, 1,2000 bottom photographs of Southern Ocean sites, several thousand core X-Radiographs, and an extensive Antarctic map collection.
Facility services include:
- curation of the existing collections at the facility
- onsite ship and land based curatorial services
- receipt and processing of new cores
- core description and publication of core descriptions
- distribution of samples from the collection to authorized scientists
- hosting of scientific meetings and workshops
- tours, lectures, and student education and training in Antarctic geoscience
- maintenance of:
- a core and sample database
- an Antarctic geology and marine geology reference library and a searchable “End Note” computer database of the entire collection
- a satellite IODP/MRC for nannofossils and diatoms