1Andreas Morlok,2Stephan Klemme,1Iris Weber,1Aleksandra Stojic,3Martin Sohn, 1Harald Hiesinger,4Joern Helbert
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.02.010]
1Institut für Planetologie, Wilhelm-Klemm-Str. 10, 48149 Münster, Germany
2Institut für Mineralogie, Corrensstraße 24, 48149 Münster, Germany
3Hochschule Emden/Leer, Constantiaplatz 4, 26723 Emden, Germany
4Institute for Planetary Research, DLR, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
The MERTIS (MErcury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer) instrument onboard the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission will provide mid-infrared data, which will be crucial to characterize the surface mineralogy of Mercury. In order to interpret the results, we are creating a database of mid-infrared spectra. As part of a study of synthetic glasses which are to serve as analog materials for the interpretation of remote sensing and modeling data, we present mid-infrared data for analog materials of Mercury regolith, surface and mantle compositions. In addition, we provide data for similar analogs of Earth, Moon, Venus, and Mars rocks for a coherent picture.
The analog samples have been first characterized by optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and EMPA. Powdered size fractions (0–25 μm, 25–63 μm, 63–125 μm, and 125–250 μm) were studied in reflectance in the mid-infrared range from 2.5 to 18 μm (550 to 2000 cm−1), additional micro-FTIR analyses were also obtained.
Results for the size fractions of the surface and regolith analogs for Mercury show typical features for amorphous material with Christiansen Features (CF) at 8–8.1 μm, Reststrahlen Bands (RB) at 9.8–9.9 μm, and the Transparency Feature (TF) at 12 μm. The six bulk silicate Mercury analogs have varying CF positions from 8.1 to 9 μm, with RB crystalline features of various olivines dominating in most samples. Similarly, bulk silicate analogs of the other planetary bodies show glassy features for the surface analogs with CF from 7.9 μm (Earth Continental Crust) to 8.3 μm (Lunar Mare), strong RB from 9.5 μm (Earth Continental Crust) to 10.6 μm (Lunar Mare and Highlands). TF are usually very weak for the glassy analogs.
Bulk silicate analogs for the other planetary bodies are again dominated by crystalline olivine features. Trends between SCFM (SiO2/(SiO2 + CaO + FeO + MgO)) index reflecting polymerization, CF and RB positions, and the SiO2 contents in previous studies are basically confirmed, but there is indication that several samples (Moon Mare and Highlands) do not follow the trend observed for low SiO2 samples and the RB position in earlier studies. Comparison with a ground based mid-IR spectrum of Mercury demonstrates general similarity in band positions with glassy Mercury surface and regolith material, and a chondrite based model of the planet. However, no mix so far can explain all spectral features.