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.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Surface materials map of Afghanistan: carbonates, phyllosilicates, sulfates, altered minerals, and other materials
Scientific Investigations Map
U.S. Geological Survey
Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center