USING SATELLITE –BASED MAPPING AND RECONNAISSANCE FIELD WORK TO ASSESS THE EMERALD RESOURCES OF THE PANJSHER VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN
The harsh environment in Afghanistan makes fieldwork challenging, but the arid climate and well-exposed geology provide ideal conditions for using satellite images to aid in geologic mapping. Previously processed Landsat 7 and ASTER satellite imagery, with a 15 meter horizontal resolution, will be compared to existing 1:500,000 scale Russian/Afghan geological maps in order to ascertain the regional geologic settings of the deposits. Reconnaissance fieldwork took place in early July 2004 and includes visiting mines on the southeastern side of the Panjsher Valley between the villages of Khenj and Dest-e-Rewat. Restricted fieldwork was conducted on the northwestern side of the Panjsher Valley to understand what is currently believed to be a continental suture zone. During the field work, individuals from the Afghan Geological Survey assisted and were trained for future collection of field data. To aid in geologic mapping and remote sensing interpretation, fieldwork will also include a description of geologic units and structures and collection of samples for petrography and geochemistry.