October 14, 2014

Spectral variability of the Martian high latitude surfaces

Poulet F. et Al.
Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 35, Issue 20, CiteID L20201

Summary: We report the surface distributions of some minerals in the high latitude (>50°) regions of Mars using the OMEGA/MEx observations in the near-infrared wavelength domains (1-2.5 µm). Mafic minerals (pyroxene and olivine) are observed in the low albedo terrains. The identification of these minerals is consistent with the presence of volcanic features identified by geologic mappings. Water-bearing minerals identified on the basis of the 1.9 µm band cover the surfaces of latitudes larger than 60°. The presence of this hydration is likely the result of diffusive exchange of water between the sub-surface ice, the pore space of the regolith and the atmosphere, rather than chemically bound water resulting from hydrous alteration during the formation of the minerals. These observations will allow for comprehensive, coordinated analyses of data from the orbital and Phoenix platforms.