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Afghanistan Geological Survey

Scientific Investigations Map 3152–B

Prepared in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industries

Surface Materials Map of Afghanistan: Iron-bearing Minerals and Other Materials

By Trude V.V. King, Raymond F. Kokaly, Todd M. Hoefen, Kathleen B. Dudek, and Keith E. Livo

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (84.4 MB)Abstract

This map shows the distribution of selected iron-bearing minerals and other materials derived from analysis of HyMap imaging spectrometer data of Afghanistan. Using a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) WB-57 aircraft flown at an altitude of ~15,240 meters or ~50,000 feet, 218 flight lines of data were collected over Afghanistan between August 22 and October 2, 2007. The HyMap data were converted to apparent surface reflectance, then further empirically adjusted using ground-based reflectance measurements. The reflectance spectrum of each pixel of HyMap data was compared to the spectral features of reference entries in a spectral library of minerals, vegetation, water, ice, and snow.

This map shows the spatial distribution of iron-bearing minerals and other materials having diagnostic absorptions at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. These absorptions result from electronic processes in the minerals. Several criteria, including (1) the reliability of detection and discrimination of minerals using the HyMap spectrometer data, (2) the relative abundance of minerals, and (3) the importance of particular minerals to studies of Afghanistan’s natural resources, guided the selection of entries in the reference spectral library and, therefore, guided the selection of mineral classes shown on this map. Minerals occurring abundantly at the surface and those having unique spectral features were easily detected and discriminated. Minerals having similar spectral features were less easily discriminated, especially where the minerals were not particularly abundant and (or) where vegetation cover reduced the absorption strength of mineral features. Complications in reflectance calibration also affected the detection and identification of minerals.

First posted July 17, 2012

For additional information contact:
Trude King
U.S. Geological Survey
Mailstop 964
Box 25046, Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
Phone: 303–236–1373

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Suggested citation:

King, T.V.V., Kokaly, R.F., Hoefen, T.M., Dudek, K.B., and Livo, K.E., 2011, Surface materials map of Afghanistan: iron-bearing minerals and other materials: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3152–B, one sheet, scale 1:1,100,000. Also available at

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