Opinions

Breif history of geological surveys in Afghanistan:

Exploration of natural resources has long history in Afghanistan. The country is known for having rich and vast natural reserves, however, Afghanistan was invisible in the geological map of Eurasia drawn in 1954 except apart of Kabul city which mapped by French geologist during the years 1926-1951.

Geological surveys in the country divided into three phases.

  1. First phase of natural resources exploration:

Afghanistan is among the first Central Asian States where exploration of natural resources started thousands of years ago such as the Azure of northern Badakhshan placed in pyramids of the Egypt constructed hundreds of years ago.

Sultan Ahmad Popal, an Afghan geologist mentioned the Badakhshan Azure mine 4,000 years old.Marco Polo, an Italian tourist has mentioned the names of some mines in Afghanistan in his memoirs.

In addition, some old books such as Hadud-ul-Alam, Tibrihistory, Bihaqihistroy, Tabaqat-e-Nasari, Qanoon-Al-Beroni and others wrote about the natural reserves of Afghanistan and ways how to utilize the natural resources for the benefits of masses.

Almost all the books are of the opinion that Afghanistan underground wealth is 2,000 years old.

Digging in search of natural resources in 15th century in different parts of the country such as Kandahar, Kabul, Badakhshan and Panjsher have shown the history of natural reserves in the country.

Moreover, the Mughal kingdom of India gathered enough information about the demography, mines and earthquakes in Afghanistan.

Similarly, Chinese tourists also mentioned about the mines of Afghanistan in their memoirs.

  1. Initial stage of geological surveys:

The second phase of surveys has started from 1838 until 1955 and information about the geological surveys is owned by the English military officials involved in the first Anglo-Afghan war.

The officials have written brief information about the geography, climate and regional stability at that time.

C.P.Lardis, the first geologist who conducted survey in the area between Koh Daman in 1839,collected information about the marble stones of Afghanistan.

W.Griffth and H.Drummond wrote detailed information about the natural reserves of Afghanistan in Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and parts of the northern areas. The two English diplomats came to Afghanistan in 1841.

K.L Chris Bakh, an English geologist from 1881-1892 for the first time established the trend of stratigraphicand geological studies in Afghanistan.

In 1911, H.H Hyden, organized the stratigraphic studies of Afghanistan during his visit to Ghorban followed by the visit of Sighan, Kahmard districts of Bamyan province.

In 1922, a Russian geologist Chikaskia, explored the iron and plumbum reservoirs near the Azure mine in northeastern Badakhshan province. However, he could not continue his research due to economic problems.

French geologist R.Furon, from 1921-1951 wrote more than 20 articles about the geological surveys of Afghanistan and its neighboring counties. Zabulistan and Hindukush are among his known articles.

N.A.Waluaf, a former Soviet Union geologist, traveled in the areas of Nuristan province to collectinformation about unearthed reserves.

K. K.Brukl, a German geologist in 1936 conducted a survey in Azure mine, Hajigak mine, Franjalplumbum mine, zing mine and thoroughly studied the Panjsher valley.

In 1942, D. West, an English geologist with the help of his Afghan advisor Faqeer Mohammad Khan, surveyed the geological structure of Du Ab, Dashpashti and Dara-e-Suf coal mines.

Ghulam Ali Khan, an Afghan geologist, in 1948 drawn geological maps of YatimTaq area in Shiberghan while Sultan Ahmad Popal and Abdullah Khan studied the sedimentary gold reservoirs of Kokcha River and coal mine in Dar-e-Suf valley.

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