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Hyperspectral surface materials map of quadrangle 3564, Jowand (405) and Gurziwan (406) quadrangles, Afghanistan, showing iron-bearing minerals and other materials

March 10, 2014

This map shows the spatial distribution of selected iron-bearing minerals and other materials derived from analysis of airborne HyMap™ imaging spectrometer (hyperspectral) data of Afghanistan collected in late 2007. This map is one in a series of U.S. Geological Survey/Afghanistan Geological Survey quadrangle maps covering Afghanistan.

Flown at an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 meters (m)), the HyMap™ imaging spectrometer measured reflected sunlight in 128 channels, covering wavelengths between 0.4 and 2.5 μm. The data were georeferenced, atmospherically corrected and converted to apparent surface reflectance, empirically adjusted using ground-based reflectance measurements, and combined into a mosaic with 23-m pixel spacing. Variations in water vapor and dust content of the atmosphere, in solar angle, and in surface elevation complicated correction; therefore, some classification differences may be present between adjacent flight lines.

The reflectance spectrum of each pixel of HyMap™ imaging spectrometer data was compared to the reference materials in a spectral library of minerals, vegetation, water, and other materials. Minerals occurring abundantly at the surface and those having unique spectral features were easily detected and discriminated, while minerals having slightly different compositions but similar spectral features were less easily discriminated; thus, some map classes consist of several minerals having similar spectra, such as “Goethite and jarosite.” A designation of “Not classified” was assigned to the pixel when there was no match with reference spectra.