Mineralogy and Chemistry of Ti-Bearing Lunar Soils: Effects on Reflectance Spectra and Remote Sensing Observations

1Ecaterina O. Coman, 1Bradley L. Jolliff, 1Paul Carpenter
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2018.02.008]
1Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, 63123, USA
Copyright Elsevier

This paper presents results of coordinated ultraviolet and visible wavelength reflectance measurements, X-ray diffraction analyses of mineral components, and micro X-ray fluorescence analyses of Ti concentrations of 13 lunar soil samples (<210 μm) that span a range of maturity and TiO2 contents. Results of these analyses are used to determine the effects of soil maturity, TiO2 concentration, and specific mineralogical makeup, especially ilmenite content, on the ultraviolet/visible (UV/VIS) ratio for application to remote sensing observations of the Moon and other airless bodies. We find that measured ilmenite weight percent correlates highly with measured TiO2 concentrations. Thus, the ilmenite content is a good predictor of TiO2 concentration. Ilmenite is the main contributor of TiO2 for soils with greater than about 2 weight percent TiO2, so we take the effects of TiO2 on reflectance spectra to be essentially those of ilmenite. Constraining the data set to eight mature Apollo soils, we find that among the UV/VIS ratios from laboratory-measured spectra, the 321/415 nm ratio shows the best correlation with TiO2 and ilmenite. Moreover, for soils with similar maturity in the submature to mature range, those with higher TiO2 have higher 321/415 UV/VIS ratios. Finally, the correlation between TiO2 content and 321/415 ratio in samples measured in the lab appears weaker than for the same relationship using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) spectral data for the 321/415 ratio of Apollo ground-truth sites. The correlation between lab-derived 321/415 ratios and TiO2 content for measured samples improves when low-maturity samples are excluded from the dataset, implying that the LROC WAC spectra at 400 m/pix spatial resolution senses mostly mature soil.

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