Spectral analysis of the Cerean geological unit crater central peak material as an indicator of subsurface mineral composition

1,2A.Galiano et al. (>10)
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2018.05.020]
1IAPS-INAF, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
2 Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
Copyright Elsevier

The dwarf planet Ceres is a heavily cratered rocky body, and complex craters with a central peak are widely observed on its surface. These types of craters form when a large body impacts the surface, generating extreme temperatures and pressures. During the impact event a large volume of rock is raised from the subsurface and a central uplift is formed. The material composing the central uplift is called crater central peak material (ccp) and the spectral analysis of such geologic areas can provide information about the composition of Ceres’ subsurface. Reflectance spectra of 32 ccps, acquired by the VIR spectrometer on board the NASA/Dawn spacecraft, were analysed and shows absorption bands located at about 2.7, 3.1, 3.4 and 4.0 µm which are also common on the Cerean surface. These absorptions are related, respectively, to Mg-phyllosilicates, NH4-phyllosilicates and Mg/Ca-carbonates.
The spectral parameters considered in this work are: spectral slopes estimated between 1.2 µm and 1.9 µm, band depths at 2.7-, 3.1-, 3.4- and 4.0-µm, and band centers near 4.0-µm. The ccps spectral parameters were analysed in conjunction with other Cerean parameters, such as the estimated depth of excavation of the material composing the central peak, in order to search for correlations and information about Ceres’ subsurface.
Central peak material located polewards show stronger 2.7- and 3.1-µm band depths with respect to those at the equatorial region, suggesting that subsurface deposits closer to poles are probably richer in Mg- and NH4-phyllosilicates. The 3.4-µm spectral feature is also deeper in ccps located at poleward latitudes, similar to the phyllosilicates. Conversely, the 4.0-µm band does not show this trend with latitude.
An increase in both 3.1- and 3.4-µm band depths with the estimated depth of excavation indicates that the spectral feature at 3.4-µm is the result of different contributions from carbonates and NH4-phyllosilicates, as expected. However, depending on their relative influence, the shape of the 3.4-µm spectral feature can vary.
Phyllosilicates and carbonates are the resulting products of aqueous alteration of chondritic material and, given the increasing abundance of such minerals (in particular ammoniated phyllosilicates) with depth of excavation, it is likely that our investigation involved subsurface layers nearby the boundary between the volatile-rich crust and the silicate-rich mantle.
Na-carbonate is found in the crater central peak material of Ernutet, Haulani and Ikapati, characterized by an estimated depth of excavation of about 6-9 km, where deposits of sodium carbonates could be locally present.


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