Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5182
This report presents an overview of the geology, hydrology, and climate of the lower Helmand Basin, a large, closed, arid basin in southern Afghanistan. The basin is drained by the Helmand River, the only perennial desert stream between the Indus and Tigris-Euphrates Rivers. The Helmand River is the lifeblood of southern Afghanistan and has supported desert civilizations in the Sistan depression for over 6,000 years.
The Helmand Basin is a structurally closed basin that began to form during the middle Tertiary as a consequence of the collision of several Gondwanaland fragments. Aeromagnetic studies indicate the basin is 3–5 kilometers deep over basement rocks. Continued subsidence along basin-bounding faults in Iran and Pakistan throughout the Neogene has formed the Sistan depression in the southwest corner of the basin. Lacustrine, eolian, and fluvial deposits are commonly...>>MORE
Posted November 2006
Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Acrobat Reader, free of charge or go to access.adobe.com for free tools that allow visually impaired users to read PDF files.