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Thin coatings of atmospherically deposited dust can mask the spectral characteristics of underlying surfaces on Mars from the visible to thermal infrared wavelengths, making identification of substrate and coating mineralogy difficult from lander and orbiter spectrometer data. To study the spectral effects of dust coatings, we acquired thermal emission and hemispherical reflectance spectra (5-25 μm; 2000-400 cm-1) of basaltic andesite coated with different thicknesses of air fall-deposited palagonitic soils, fine-grained ceramic clay powders, and terrestrial loess. The results show that thin coatings (10-20 μm) reduce the spectral contrast of the rock substrate substantially, consistent with previous work. This...
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We reported evidence of heavily hydrated salt minerals present over large areas of Europa's surface from analysis of reflectance spectra returned by the Galileo mission near infrared mapping spectrometer (NIMS) [McCord et al., 1997a, b, 1998a, b]. Here we elaborate on this earlier evidence, present spatial distributions of these minerals, examine alternate water-ice interpretations, expand on our hydrated-salts interpretation, consider salt mineral stability on Europa, and discuss the implications. Extensive well-defined areas on Europa show distinct, asymmetric water-related absorption bands in the 1 to 2.5-??m region. Radiative transfer modeling of water ice involving different particle sizes and layers at Europa...
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High spectral and spatial resolution data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument on Chandrayaan-1 are used to investigate in detail changes in the optical properties of lunar materials accompanying space weathering. Three spectral parameters were developed and used to quantify spectral effects commonly thought to be associated with increasing optical maturity: an increase in spectral slope ("reddening"), a decrease in albedo ("darkening"), and loss of spectral contrast (decrease in absorption band depth). Small regions of study were defined that sample the ejecta deposits of small fresh craters that contain relatively crystalline (immature) material that grade into local background (mature) soils. Selected...
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Five main stages of radial and concentric structures formed around Tharsis from the Noachian through the Amazonian as determined by geologic mapping of 24,452 structures within the stratigraphic framework of Mars and by testing their radial and concentric orientations. Tectonic activity peaked in the Noachian (stage 1) around the largest center, Claritas, an elongate center extending more than 20?? in latitude and defined by about half of the total grabens which are concentrated in the Syria Planum, Thaumasia, and Tempe Terra regions. During the Late Noachian and Early Hesperian (stage 2), extensional structures formed along the length of present-day Valles Marineris and in Thaumasia (with a secondary concentration...
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A systematic approach for deconvolving remotely sensed lunar olivine-rich visible to near-infrared (VNIR) reflectance spectra with the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) is evaluated with Chandrayaan-1 Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M 3) spectra. Whereas earlier studies of laboratory reflectance spectra focused only on complications due to chromite inclusions in lunar olivines, we develop a systematic approach for addressing (through continuum removal) the prominent continuum slopes common to remotely sensed reflectance spectra of planetary surfaces. We have validated our continuum removal on a suite of laboratory reflectance spectra. Suites of olivine-dominated reflectance spectra from a small crater near Mare Moscoviense,...
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In the 1970s, Mariner and Viking spacecraft observations of the north polar region of Mars revealed polar brightness temperatures that were significantly below the expected kinetic temperatures for CO2 sublimation. For the past few decades, the scientific community has speculated as to the nature of these Martian polar cold spots. Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) thermal spectral data have shown these cold spots to result largely from fine-grained, CO2 and have constrained most of these cold spots to the surface (or near-surface). Cold spot formation is strongly dependent on topography, forming preferentially near craters and on polar slopes. TES data, combined with Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) cloud data,...
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The NASA Discovery Moon Mineralogy Mapper imaging spectrometer was selected to pursue a wide range of science objectives requiring measurement of composition at fine spatial scales over the full lunar surface. To pursue these objectives, a broad spectral range imaging spectrometer with high uniformity and high signal-to-noise ratio capable of measuring compositionally diagnostic spectral absorption features from a wide variety of known and possible lunar materials was required. For this purpose the Moon Mineralogy Mapper imaging spectrometer was designed and developed that measures the spectral range from 430 to 3000 nm with 10 nm spectral sampling through a 24 degree field of view with 0.7 milliradian spatial sampling....
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The Galileo spacecraft has been periodically monitoring volcanic activity on Io since June 1996, making it possible to chart the evolution of individual eruptions. We present results of coanalysis of Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) and solid-state imaging (SSI) data of eruptions at Pele and Pillan, especially from a particularly illuminating data set consisting of mutually constraining, near-simultaneous NIMS and SSI observations obtained during orbit C9 in June 1997. The observed thermal signature from each hot spot, and the way in which the thermal signature changes with time, tightly constrains the possible styles of eruption. Pele and Pillan have very different eruption styles. From September 1996...
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Gusev crater was selected as the landing site for Spirit on the basis of morphological evidence of long-lasting water activity, including possibly fluvial and lacustrine episodes. From the Columbia Memorial Station to the Columbia Hills, Spirit's traverse provides a journey back in time, from relatively recent volcanic plains showing little evidence for aqueous processes up to the older hills, where rock and soil composition are drastically different. For the first 156 sols, the only evidence of water action was weathering rinds, vein fillings, and soil crust cementation by salts. The trenches of Sols 112-145 marked the first significant findings of increased concentrations of sulfur and magnesium varying in parallel,...
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Irvine, Backstay, and Wishstone are the type specimens for three classes of fine-grained or fragmental, relatively unaltered rocks with distinctive thermal emission spectra, found as float on the flanks of the Columbia Hills. Chemical analyses indicate that these rocks are mildly alkaline basalt, trachybasalt, and tephrite, respectively. Their mineralogy consists of Na- and K-rich feldspar(s), low- and high-Ca pyroxenes, ferroan olivine, Fe-Ti (and possibly Cr) oxides, phosphate, and possibly glass. The texture of Wishstone is consistent with a pyroclastic origin, whereas Irvine and Backstay are lavas or possibly dike rocks. Chemical compositions of these rocks plot on or near liquid lines of descent for most elements...
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A total of 3140 individual particles were examined in 31 soils along Spirit's traverse. Their size, shape, and texture were quantified and classified. They represent a unique record of 3 years of sedimentologic exploration from landing to sol 1085 covering the Plains Unit to Winter Haven where Spirit spent the Martian winter of 2006. Samples in the Plains Unit and Columbia Hills appear as reflecting contrasting textural domains. One is heterogeneous, with a continuum of angular-to-round particles of fine sand to pebble sizes that are generally dust covered and locally cemented in place. The second shows the effect of a dominant and ongoing dynamic aeolian process that redistributes a uniform population of medium-size...
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Veneers and thicker rinds that coat outcrop surfaces and partially cemented fracture fills formed perpendicular to bedding document relatively late stage alteration of ancient sedimentary rocks at Meridiani Planum, Mars. The chemistry of submillimeter thick, buff-colored veneers reflects multiple processes at work since the establishment of the current plains surface. Veneer composition is dominated by the mixing of silicate-rich dust and sulfate-rich outcrop surface, but it has also been influenced by mineral precipitation, including NaCl, and possibly by limited physical or chemical weathering of sulfate minerals. Competing processes of chemical alteration (perhaps mediated by thin films of water or water vapor...
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We have used visible and near‐infrared Panoramic Camera (Pancam) spectral data acquired by the Opportunity rover to analyze 15 rock fragments at the Meridiani Planum landing site. These spectral results were then compared to geochemistry measurements made by the in situ instruments Mössbauer (MB) and Alpha Particle X‐ray Spectrometer (APXS) to determine the feasibility of mineralogic characterization from Pancam data. Our results suggest that dust and alteration rinds coat many rock fragments, which limits our ability to adequately measure the mineralogy of some rocks from Pancam spectra relative to the different field of view and penetration depths of MB and APXS. Viewing and lighting geometry, along with sampling...
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About half of the rocks at the Mars Pathfinder Ares Vallis landing site appear to be ventifacts, rocks abraded by windborne particles. Comparable resolution images taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) camera and the Viking landers show that ventifacts are more abundant at the Pathfinder site. The ventifacts occur in several forms, including rocks with faceted edges, finger‐like projections, elongated pits, flutes, grooves, and possible rills. The trends of elongated pits, flutes, grooves, and rills cluster at ∼280–330° clockwise from north and generally dip 10–30° away from their trend direction. These orientations are indicative of southeast to northwest winds and differ from the trend of wind tails at...
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By sol 440, the Spirit rover has traversed a distance of 3.76 km (actual distance traveled instead of odometry). Localization of the lander and the rover along the traverse has been successfully performed at the Gusev crater landing site. We localized the lander in the Gusev crater using two-way Doppler radio positioning and cartographic triangulations through landmarks visible in both orbital and ground images. Additional high-resolution orbital images were used to verify the determined lander position. Visual odometry and bundle adjustment technologies were applied to compensate for wheel slippage, azimuthal angle drift, and other navigation errors (which were as large as 10.5% in the Husband Hill area). We generated...
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Twenty small new impact craters or clusters have been observed to excavate bright material inferred to be ice at mid and high latitudes on Mars. In the northern hemisphere, the craters are widely distributed geographically and occur at latitudes as low as 39°N. Stability modeling suggests that this ice distribution requires a long-term average atmospheric water vapor content around 25 precipitable microns, more than double the present value, which is consistent with the expected effect of recent orbital variations. Alternatively, near-surface humidity could be higher than expected for current column abundances if water vapor is not well-mixed with atmospheric CO2, or the vapor pressure at the ice table could be...
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The Yellowknife Bay formation represents a ~5 m thick stratigraphic section of lithified fluvial and lacustrine sediments analyzed by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. Previous works have mainly focused on the mudstones that were drilled by the rover at two locations. The present study focuses on the sedimentary rocks stratigraphically above the mudstones by studying their chemical variations in parallel with rock textures. Results show that differences in composition correlate with textures and both manifest subtle but significant variations through the stratigraphic column. Though the chemistry of the sediments does not vary much in the lower part of the stratigraphy, the variations in alkali elements...
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The "Mitten" (provisionally named Murias Chaos by the International Astronomical Union) is a region of elevated chaos-like terrain in the leading hemisphere of Europa. Its origin had been explained under the currently debated theories of melting through a thin lithosphere or convection within a thick one. Galileo observations reveal several characteristics that suggest that the Mitten is distinct from typical chaos terrain and point to a different formational process. Photoclinometric elevation estimates suggest that the Mitten is slightly elevated with respect to the surrounding terrain; geologic relations indicate that it must have raised significantly from the plains in its past, resembling disrupted domes on...
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Volcanic ash is thought to comprise a large fraction of the Martian equatorial layered deposits and much new insight into the process of faulting and related fluid flow in these deposits can be gained through the study of analogous terrestrial tuffs. This study identifies a set of fault-related processes that are pertinent to understanding the evolution of fault systems in fine-grained, poorly indurated volcanic ash by investigating exposures of faults in the Miocene-aged Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah. The porosity and granularity of the host rock are found to control the style of localized strain that occurs prior to and contemporaneous with faulting. Deformation bands occur in tuff...
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The USGS's Robotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) dedicated ground-based lunar calibration project obtained photometric observations of the Moon over the spectral range attainable from Earth (0.347-2.39 ??m) and over solar phase angles of 1.55??-97??. From these observations, we derived empirical lunar surface solar phase functions for both the highlands and maria that can be used for a wide range of applications. The functions can be used to correct for the effects of viewing geometry to produce lunar mosaics, spectra, and quick-look products for future lunar missions and ground-based observations. Our methodology can be used for a wide range of objects for which multiply scattered radiation is not significant, including...


map background search result map search result map Spatial distribution of damage around faults in the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah: A mechanical analog for faulting in pyroclastic deposits on Mars HiRISE observations of new impact craters exposing Martian ground ice Spatial distribution of damage around faults in the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah: A mechanical analog for faulting in pyroclastic deposits on Mars HiRISE observations of new impact craters exposing Martian ground ice