Bulk mineralogy of the NE Syrtis and Jezero crater regions of Mars derived through thermal infrared spectral analyses

1M.R.Salvatore, 2T.A.Goudge,3M.S.Bramble, 1C.S.Edwards,4J.L.Bandfield, 5E.S.Amador, 3J.F.Mustard, 6P.R.Christensen
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.019]
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, NAU Box 6010, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011-6010
2Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin
3Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University
4Space Science Institute
5Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
6School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University
Copyright Elsevier

We investigated the area to the northwest of the Isidis impact basin (hereby referred to as “NW Isidis”) using thermal infrared emission datasets to characterize and quantify bulk surface mineralogy throughout this region. This area is home to Jezero crater and the watershed associated with its two deltaic deposits in addition to NE Syrtis and the strong and diverse visible/near-infrared spectral signatures observed in well-exposed stratigraphic sections. The spectral signatures throughout this region show a diversity of primary and secondary surface mineralogies, including olivine, pyroxene, smectite clays, sulfates, and carbonates. While previous thermal infrared investigations have sought to characterize individual mineral groups within this region, none have systematically assessed bulk surface mineralogy and related these observations to visible/near-infrared studies. We utilize an iterative spectral unmixing method to statistically evaluate our linear thermal infrared spectral unmixing models to derive surface mineralogy. All relevant primary and secondary phases identified in visible/near-infrared studies are included in the unmixing models and their modeled spectral contributions are discussed in detail. While the stratigraphy and compositional diversity observed in visible/near-infrared spectra are much better exposed and more diverse than most other regions of Mars, our thermal infrared analyses suggest the dominance of basaltic compositions with less observed variability in the amount and diversity of alteration phases. These results help to constrain the mineralogical context of these previously reported visible/near-infrared spectral identifications. The results are also discussed in the context of future in situ investigations, as the NW Isidis region has long been promoted as a region of paleoenvironmental interest on Mars.

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