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Afghanistan Geological Survey

Scientific Investigations Map 3152–A

Prepared in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industries

Surface Materials Map of Afghanistan: Carbonates, Phyllosilicates, Sulfates, Altered Minerals, and Other Materials

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

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (91.4 MB)Abstract

This map shows the distribution of selected carbonates, phyllosilicates, sulfates, altered 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 minerals that have diagnostic absorption features in the shortwave infrared wavelengths. These absorption features result primarily from characteristic chemical bonds and mineralogical vibrations. 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:
Raymond Kokaly
U.S. Geological Survey
Mailstop 964
Box 25046, Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
Phone: 303–236–1359

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

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

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