?about the MGS drill cuttings collection

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Maryland Geological SurveyDrill Cuttings Mapper

Maryland Geological Survey Drill Cutting Collection

The Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) Drill Cutting Collection includes rock cuttings of all types as well as unconsolidated Coastal Plain sediment cuttings. It consists of approximately 2,600 boxes (mainly 15.5 x 5.5 x 3.5" in size). Each box typically contains 20-50 envelopes, bags or vials of cuttings from drilling sites throughout Maryland.

As of August 2021, approximately 1,999 boxes of drill containing over 43,500 envelopes have been inventoried. The vast majority of these storage containers have required relabeling and repackaging or reinforcement. Approximately 1,400 of these boxes containing approximately 38,261 envelopes of cuttings have been linked to borehole locations. These are included in the interactive map of the MGS Drill Cutting Collection and data table (see links below). Many additional boxes have been partially cross referenced to boreholes. Funding received as part of on-going FY2020 and FY2021 NGGDPP grants (2020-2022) supports the continuation of the above preservation activities.

The Drill Cuttings Collection is now primarily stored in the MGS Core (and Cuttings) Library in the basement of MGS’s Kenneth M. Weaver building. Due to space constraints, some cuttings are stored in the basement of the Weaver Annex building. The majority of the drill cuttings were collected by well drillers and MGS geoscientists. Some sets of cuttings were donated to MGS by other researchers, other government agencies, and geotechnical or environmental consultants. Many of the wells and/or boreholes from which the cuttings originated are referenced in published MGS reports.

As part of the inventory process, a database was created to help capture information about each set of cuttings, including, but not limited to:


For inquiries regarding the MGS Drill Cuttings Collection or to schedule a visit, please contact:
Ms. Heather Quinn – 410-554-5522, heather.quinn@maryland.gov
Mr. Dale Shelton – 410-554-5505, dale.shelton@maryland.gov


The work described above is being funded, in part, by successive grants awarded in 2017 through 2021 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP). Please visit our “Data Preservation Efforts” webpage for more information about the NGGDPP grants and the ongoing preservation efforts at MGS: Maryland Geological Survey – Data Preservation Efforts