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Open-File Report 2013–1296

Prepared in collaboration with the Afghanistan Geological Survey

Groundwater Levels in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan, 2004–2013

By Mohammad R. Taher, Michael P. Chornack, and Thomas J. Mack

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (7.25 MB)Abstract

The Afghanistan Geological Survey, with technical assistance from the U.S. Geological Survey, established a network of wells to measure and monitor groundwater levels to assess seasonal, areal, and potentially climatic variations in groundwater characteristics in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan, the most populous region in the country. Groundwater levels were monitored in 71 wells in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan, starting as early as July 2004 and continuing to the present (2013). The monitoring network is made up exclusively of existing production wells; therefore, both static and dynamic water levels were recorded. Seventy wells are in unconsolidated sediments, and one well is in bedrock. Water levels were measured periodically, generally monthly, using electric tape water-level meters. Water levels in well 64 on the grounds of the Afghanistan Geological Survey building were measured more frequently. This report provides a 10-year compilation of groundwater levels in the Kabul Basin prepared in cooperation with the Afghanistan Geological Survey.

Depths to water below land surface range from a minimum of 1.47 meters (m) in the Shomali subbasin to a maximum of 73.34 m in the Central Kabul subbasin. The Logar subbasin had the smallest range in depth to water below land surface (1.5 to 12.4 m), whereas the Central Kabul subbasin had the largest range (2.64 to 73.34 m). Seasonal water-level fluctuations can be estimated from the hydrographs in this report for wells that have depth-to-water measurements collected under static conditions. The seasonal water-level fluctuations range from less than 1 m to a little more than 7 m during the monitoring period. In general, the hydrographs for the Deh Sabz, Logar, Paghman and Upper Kabul, and Shomali subbasins show relatively little change in the water-level trend during the period of record, whereas hydrographs for the Central Kabul subbasin show water level decreases of several meters to about 25 m.

First posted August 19, 2014

  • Data ZIP (857 KB)
    This ZIP file contains groundwater level data for Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Two directories are contained in the ZIP file:
    1. Data.—This directory contains one Microsoft Excel file for each well with measured groundwater levels and associated date.
  • 2. GIS.—This directory contains a geographic information system (GIS) shapefile with metadata of the well numbers and locations

Related Report:

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Suggested citation:

Taher, M.R., Chornack, M.P., and Mack, T.J., 2014, Groundwater levels in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan, 2004–2013: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1296, 51 p.,

ISSN 0196-1497 (print)
ISSN 2331-1258 (online)
ISBN 978-1-4113-3808-1




Description of Study Area

Well Locations

Data Collection Methods

Water-Level Hydrographs

References Cited

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