The Afghanistan Geological Survey archive collection


The Afghanistan Geological Survey archive collection contains a wealth of reports, aerial photographs and maps of the geology and mineral resources of Afghanistan. It is housed in one wing on the third floor of the AGS building and consists of four rooms containing the collection and another four rooms comprising staff offices, a consultation room and storage rooms. The archive has a team of five staff who work on the collection, headed by Mr. M. Atiq.

BGS Reports

The core of the archive is a collection of c.1982 unpublished reports often with substantial map and data appendices. The reports are mostly in the Russian language though others exist in Dari, English and a few other western European languages. Details of most reports have been captured in an accessions register. The AGS staff with BGS assistance are in the process of creating and populating a database of the bibliographic data in the original language of the report and providing Dari and English translations where necessary. An English abstract will be provided. Key reports and maps will be scanned and made available as PDF documents. A number of ancillary report collections exist, but many may be duplicates of the main series. The AGS-BGS project will sort out these collections and incorporate them into the database as either new reports or additional copies.

Report series No.of reports
Main AGS report collection 1982
Polymetallic mineral reports (in Russian) 145
Reports in Russian - as yet uncatalogued 600
Full translations into Dari 100
Geological project proposals (in Russian) 900

Aerial photographs and maps

Aerial view of Afghanistan

The collections consist of the following:

•   Aerial photographs c.7 500 images at 1:30 000; c.54 600 at 1:60 000 (Technoexport) and 1:50 000

   (Fairchild). The aerial photographs are of good quality but variable physical condition.

•   Topographic maps at 1:50 000, 1:100 000 and 1:250 000 exist variously created by the Russians
   (Technoexport), USA (Fairchild) and Germany and also by the Afghanistan Cartographic Institute. The
   compilation of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing of the available sheets is well advanced.

•   In addition, there are several topographic maps series at large scales covering major mineral
   deposit areas. They include: Aynak 1:10 000 and 1:5 000 (Cu); Hajigak 1: 2000 (Fe); Darband
   1:2 000 (Cu); Kundlun 1:10 000 (Cu).

•  Geological maps include the 1:500 000 series in 19 sheets and a coal mineral map at 1:100 000 for
   Balkh province compiled by Technoexport in 1966.

During the coming years it is planned to build a library of published literature and to compile a detailed bibliography on the geology of Afghanistan.

Selected references on the geology of Afghanistan.

Wolfart, R. and Wittekindt, H. 1980. Geologie von Afghanistan. Berlin : Borntraeger, 1980. A comprehensive book on the geology of Afghanistan. In German with summaries in English and Russian.

Abdullah, S.H., Chmyriov, V.M. 1980. Geology and mineral resources of Afghanistan. 2 vol. Ministry of Mines and Industries. A very comprehensive work in English.

Atlas of Mineral Resources of the ESCAP Region: Geology and Mineral Resources of Afghanistan, Vol. 11. 1995 UN Paperback 85 pages. (Price: USD 25.00.  from Earthprint.) Shows the distribution of mineral deposits and occurrences in Afghanistan irrespective of their economic significance and provides information on their contained commodities, reserves, geographic locations, their relation to the geological environment and other characteristics.

Bowersox G. and Chamberlin B.E. Gemstones of Afghanistan. Tuscon: Geoscience Press, 1995. An excellent and detailed book. Contains a comprehensive listing of gem and mineral deposits and good bibliographies.

Open-File Report 02-110 Mines and mineral occurrences of Afghanistan compiled by G.J.  Orris and J.D. Bliss. This inventory of more than 1000 mines and mineral occurrences in Afghanistan was compiled from published literature and the files of project members of the National Industrial Minerals project of the U.S. Geological Survey. The data covers metals, industrial minerals, coal, and peat. Listings in the table represent several levels of information, including mines, mineral showings, deposits, and pegmatite fields.

Bibliographies on the geology of Afghanistan.

Kastner, H. 1971. Bibliography on the geology of Afghanistan and the immediately adjacent areas (As at the end of 1970). Bulletin Afghanistan Geol. Miner. Survey, Kabul, 1971, v. 6, pp. 1-43. 717 references.

Literatur. In: Wolfart, R. and Wittekindt, H. 1980. Geologie von Afghanistan. Berlin : Borntraeger, 1980. With summary in English and Russian. p. 468-492. c 700 references.

Bibliography. In: Abdullah, S.H., Chmyriov, V.M. 1980. Geology and mineral resources of Afghanistan. 2 vol. Ministry of Mines and Industries. Over 600 references.

Afzali, H. 1982. Bibliographie geologique et mini re de l'Afghanistan. Chronique de la recherch miniere No 465. A comprehensive bibliography arranged in broad subject groupings. 811 references.