A Novel Atmospheric Removal Technique for TES Spectra Applied to Olivine and Carbonate-rich Bedrock in the Nili Fossae Region

1Steven W. Ruff,2Victoria E. Hamilton
Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets (in Press) Link to Articles [https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JE006822]
1Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration
2Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO
Published by arrangement wíth John Wiley & Sons

Spectra from the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) display a combination of features attributable to surface and atmospheric components. In order to fully recognize and interpret surface spectral features, the atmospheric spectral features must be removed through some form of surface-atmosphere separation (SAS). Multiple SAS techniques are available representing a range of complexity and accuracy. A ratio between spectra from a region of interest and a relatively spectrally bland, dusty location is an effective SAS technique, but the resulting ratio spectrum contains spectral features of surface dust from the dusty location. We exploit the uniform spectral character of surface dust across Mars to produce dust-removed ratio spectra (DRRS). This simple and robust technique allows TES spectra to be compared directly to laboratory spectra and to Mini-TES spectra from the Mars Exploration Rovers. Although previous SAS techniques yield atmospherically corrected spectra that can serve this purpose, they are more challenging to implement, retain fewer data points, and are less accurate in some cases. The DRRS technique provides an option that is well suited to both quick-look assessments of TES spectra and in-depth analyses using follow-on spectral modeling techniques. We show that DRRS of olivine -rich bedrock in the Nili Fossae region display spectral features that match olivine with a composition ranging from ∼Fo50 to


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