• Shelves of cuttings from the state of Michigan's collection

    The state of Michigan's collection of rock cuttings are archived at MGRRE to make them accessible to everyone.

  • Students inventory cuttings in glass vials

    WMU students meticulously inventory thousands of glass vials containing cuttings. Cuttings in glass vials are easily examined but often cannot be sampled due to limited volume.

  • Boxes of rescued cuttings

    MGRRE has been amassing cuttings for over thirty years. These cuttings, from some of the oldest oil and gas wells in the state, were rescued by MGRRE just days before they would have been sent to a landfill.

  • Mounted cuttings are displayed on top of boxed whole cores

    Cuttings that are glued to cardboard (mounted cuttings) can be examined next to wireline logs at the same scale.

  • Damaged cuttings boxes

    Rescued in 2015 from a farm outbuilding, these cuttings trays show rodent and water damage. They will be placed in new trays to preserve remaining data.

The Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education at Western Michigan University archives drill cuttings from more than 20,000 wells. Most were drilled for oil, gas and minerals. Review the list of these wells, showing their location, surface location, API number, permit number, well name, original driller's name and core depths.

These samples are smaller pieces of subsurface rocks cut by the drilling bit, generally the size of sand or somewhat larger. These are usually examined using a microscope. Samples yield valuable data about rock composition. That data can address questions about natural resource location, quality and extent.

Samples are usually taken at ten foot intervals. Our inventory lists the depth ranges shown on boxes containing envelopes or vials of cuttings. We cannot guarantee that the entire depth shown was sampled. However, The inventory shows whether cuttings are contained in small vials (from which we usually can't give samples because of the limited quantity) or in envelopes (from which we can often provide samples). Some cuttings have been mounted to long strips of cardboard and are easily compared to wireline logs because they are the same scale; they cannot be sampled.