Rich mineral deposits in Afghanistan: Survey

Rich mineral deposits in Afghanistan: Survey

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US: Analysing nearly 20 terabytes of data collected from 220 mission flight-hours covering more than half of Afghanistan, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) investigators reveal several potential major oil and gas sedimentary basins, mineral-rich regions and hydrologic resources for agriculture and economic development as recently reported by Department of Defense.

Flights administered by Naval Research Laboratory Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1) were flown using NP-3D Orion turboprop aircraft specially equipped with a suite of unique state of the art remote sensing technology that included dual gravimeters, scalar and vector magnetometers, a digital photogrammetric camera, hyperspectral imager and an L-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar.

Photogrammetric mosaics and other imagery processed by USGS have also been provided to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for incorporation into Department of Defense image libraries and are being used for economic analysis projects by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for construction and development projects and to the government of Afghanistan for a myriad of uses to include geologic exploration, hydrologic resource management and earthquake hazard analysis.

“This imagery will be enormously important for seismic and flood hazard analysis, development of roads, pipelines and property boundaries, and other civil infrastructure projects and agriculture resource management,” said NRL Chief Scientist, Dr. John Brozena.

The survey was conducted under aerogeophysical project Rampant Lion (2006), sponsored by the government of Afghanistan, Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NGA. It has marked a technological milestone in the integration and successful operation of the largest set of diverse airborne geophysical sensors ever flown and the first deployment of NRL scientists into a combat theater since World War II.

Source: Naval Research Lab