2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 50
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


GEORGE, Roy, Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team, U.S. Geol Survey, Box 25046 MS 974, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, BOHANNON, Robert, U.S. Geol Survey, Box 25046 MS 980, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, SNEE, Larry, U.S. Geol Survey, MS 974, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 and CHIRICO, Peter, United States Geol Survey, Reston, VA 20192, rgeorge@usgs.gov

Political stability and security in Afghanistan are improving after decades of internal strife and turmoil. However, the country must establish a long-term way of funding and generating a healthy economy. Emerald mining, which has been conducted in Afghanistan over the last three decades, represents an efficient and localized avenue to generate new jobs and revenues for the fledgling Afghan government. With the help of United States Agency for International Development (US AID), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the Afghanistan government, we are conducting 1:250,000 scale mapping and a mineral resource assessment using satellite imagery and limited fieldwork in the Panjsher Valley.

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.