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Marine Geology Data

More than 17 terabytes of analyses, descriptions, metadata, and images of sediment and rock are in the long-term archive at NCEI. Examples of data types available include physical properties, petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, paleontology, paleomagnetism, X-rays, and photographs.

Additional Information

NCEI provides data discovery and access to various types of geological data collected and created by a diverse collection of programs and institutions, including the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project, past and present NSF-funded international ocean drilling programs (DSDP, ODP, and IODP), many physical sample repositories representing U.S. and international academic institutions and government agencies are included in the Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples (IMLGS), NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) Hydrographic Survey, and many other past and present projects and programs related to NOAA's mission.

The analysis of geological samples collected from marine and lacustrine environments yields critical environmental and paleo-environmental information for the research community. Geological samples also provide valuable “ground truth” data for geophysical surveys, which remotely measure bathymetry and other properties of the seabed and sub-seabed environments. Combining these two data types, i.e., geological data derived from physical samples and geophysical data acquired from geophysical surveys, scientists gain a much better understanding of Earth's seabed and sub-seabed environments and processes. Learn more about Studying Sea Floor Composition.

How to View and Download Data

Most geological data associated with a specific cruise or sample are discoverable and accessible using the Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples (IMLGS). The IMLGS also enables access to sample material curated by partner institutions. Historic Marine Geologic data reports, sourced from academia, government, and non-U.S. institutions, are accessible through the Marine Geology Inventory.

ArcGIS maps, text searches, web services, and downloads are available for the IMLGS, the Marine Geology Inventory, and for some individual digital data sets. Searches offer free, immediate download of digital data, including images and PDF reports, as well as information on how to obtain full-resolution images from the archive.

Marine geology data from the archive are also offered in other forms through external websites. Examples include GeoMapApp and the United Nations UNEP Shelf Programme interactive map.

How to Contribute Data

If you are interested in contributing marine or lacustrine geological data to NCEI, please contact  

Please note that paleocean and paleolimnology geological-related data should be submitted to NCEI Paleoclimatology.


For questions, please contact