We recognise the importance of having access to both physical and digital geoscience data. In addition to making core material available, we hope to make a range of digital data available for download in time. Please contact us if you with any questions regarding our online material or if you are interested in something we have not yet made available for download.


You can use the interactive map below to locate our data by toggling on and off different datasets. We acknowledge use of the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) Open Data resource and Esri ArcGIS Online in the creation of our data map.

North Sea Core CIC data is licensed under a CC-BY-4.0 License. Please credit North Sea Core CIC for any material used.

CC-BY 4.0


We selected 18 core samples which record the geological history of the North Sea and document key lithologies. Half of the core was sent for thin sectioning and the other for geochemical analysis. This provides a unique and accessible teaching or small training data set.

All images and data are downloadable.


Photos of the core samples used in both the thin section and geochemical analysis.

Thin Section Data

Thin section scans of core samples from key North Sea lithologies, across the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea Basins, including;


  • 3 samples from the Southern North Sea, including Carboniferous sandstones and Permian sandstones

  • 8 samples from the Central North Sea, including Permian anhydrites and Triassic sandstones

  • 6 samples from the Northern North Sea, including the Brent deltaic formations

  • No thin section of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation, due to its friable nature

The scanned images and supporting files can be viewed with the Olympus OlyVia Viewer software. This is third party software and requires the user to register. While North Sea Core cannot be held responsible for any issues with external software, please contact us to discussing viewing options.

Virtual Slide Microscopes (VS120) - OlyVIA Ver.2.9.1 (Build 13771)

All thin sections have been scanned in Bright Field (BF), Plane (PPL) and Cross Polarised Light (XPL), and Cross Polarized Light with Luminesce (XPL+L). The default image magnification is set at 0.122x but full magnification is 10x.

Thin sections made by Mike Rickarby at mtech Thin Sections Limited and scanned by Jake Jacovides at Millennia Stratigraphic Consultants Limited. Project facilitated by Scott Parker at Scott Parker Associates.

Photos of the thin sections available for download.

Geochemical Data

Geochemical data of core samples from key North Sea lithologies which correspond to the thin section data. The data includes combined ICP-OES (major trace elements including Sc, Zn and Zr) and ICP-MS (other trace elements) on the following samples;


  • 3 samples from the Southern North Sea, including Carboniferous and Permian sandstones

  • 9 samples from the Central North Sea, including Permian anhydrites, Triassic sandstones and the Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation

  • 6 samples from the Northern North Sea, including the Jurassic Brent deltaic sandstones


Analysis undertaken by Alex Finlay at Chemostrat Ltd.


Example image of geochemical data available for download.



High resolution core logging, including CT scans, mineralogical interpretation, core facies and rock properties.


Analysis undertaken by EPSLOG Engineering as part of their 'CoreDNA' program.

Coming soon!



There are many ways to analyse core samples, each with different purposes. Computerised Tomography (CT) scans are more commonly used in medicine but can be used as a non-destructive tool to image core material. Powerful x-ray photons create a 3D model where dense material appear brighter and less dense material appear dull. CT scans can be used to investigate pore networks, fractures, sedimentary bedding and more.

The resolution of the CT scans is 300 microns per slice thickness, with data produced by Core Specialist Services


All videos and images are downloadable. Videos produced by North Sea Core CIC. End credits by Studio No. 7

Photos of the core samples used in the CT scans.

Click on each CT scan video to learn more about the core sample and to download.


A 1 hour and 18 min video entitled "A Walk through North Sea Geological History illustrated through maps and some rocks" presented by Henk Kombrink and Stuart Archer. This talk takes the viewer throught the geological history of the North Sea through a series of maps, core samples and onshore outcrops.



Core gives a small window into the subsurface and it is easy to forget its scale and context while looking at it. By using a drone to film whole core runs, we hope to be able to show the scale of core and while incredibly useful, is representative of only a small section of the subsurface. 

Brent from Above

The material available is core from 211/23-A13 (211/23-DA27), which penetrated the whole of the Brent deltaic succession. There are four videos, an introductory presentation and the composite wireline log. All material can be downloaded and edited for your own use. This was an initial run of this activity and was a learning experience for us at North Sea Core, so we have made a few mistakes such as missing a gap in the cores (as outlined in the presentation). However, we believe this material is still of use and the mistakes would make for an interesting teaching exercise.