This report is USGS Afghanistan Project No. 155. This study was funded by an Interagency Agreement between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Afghanistan is located in the geologically active part of the world where the northward-moving Indian plate is colliding with the southern part of the Eurasian plate at a rate of about 1.7 inches per year. This collision has created the world's highest mountains and causes slips on major faults that generate large, often devastating earthquakes. Every few years a powerful earthquake causes significant damage or fatalities. New construction needs to be designed to accommodate the hazards posed by strong earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a preliminary seismic-hazard map of Afghanistan. Although the map is generalized, it provides government officials, engineers, and private companies who are interested in participating in Afghanistan's growth with crucial information about the location and nature of seismic hazards.