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Photos: Inside the Alaska Geologic Materials Center

The Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River stores geologic samples from across the state, making them available for analysis with modern techniques. June 7, 2013
Sean Doogan photo
Core samples from Mt. Spurr at the Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River. June 7, 2013
Sean Doogan photo
Fort Knox gold mine core samples at the Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River. June 7, 2013
Sean Doogan photo
A core sample from the first oil well drilled in Prudhoe Bay. June 7, 2013
Sean Doogan photo
The Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River stores geologic samples from across the state, making them available for analysis with modern techniques. June 7, 2013
Sean Doogan photo
A sample from Cook Inlet, bored out from new analysis. June 7, 2013
Sean Doogan photo
Sean Doogan

Tucked away inside a little-known state repository are 66 weathered Conex boxes holding miles of core samples, which taken together chart the history of natural resource development in Alaska over the past 100 years.

From samples of the Swanson River oil field, one of the state’s earliest, to rocks from Amchitka Island, the site of underground nuclear tests in the late 1960s, the Alaska Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River is like a museum of development successes and failures in Alaska.

And because natural resource development has long fueled Alaska's economy, it's no surprise the center is running out of space.

Read more: Geologic Materials Center is Alaska's hardest-rocking library