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Maximizing the science and resource mapping potential of Orbital VSWIR Spectral measurements of Mars

April 30, 2021

The last 16 years witnessed a rapid growth in understanding the composition and aqueous alteration of Mars’ surface from orbital data from the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l’Eau, les Glaces et l’Activité (OMEGA) [1] and Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) [2]. Both are sensitive to water-, hydroxyl-, sulfate-, and carbonate-bearing and ferric phases that record past liquid water. As the spatial resolution of such data has improved, and supporting laboratory data have been acquired, the diversity of mineral phases that are recognized has likewise expanded. The same phases typically contain recoverable water, a resource for future human exploration, and are the only near-surface water reservoir in the >50% of Mars over which ice likely does not occur in the shallowest subsurface. Knowledge of the distribution and abundance of these water-bearing phases, and their geologic implications, is limited by spatial resolution of the available data. A revolutionary advance in understanding the inventory, diversity, and stratigraphy of these materials can be obtained from Mars orbit, using two complementary approaches: hyperspectral imaging at ~6 meters per pixel at 0.7–4 µm, and 1 meter-per-pixel imaging at selected VSWIR wavelengths from 0.4–1.7 µm.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Maximizing the science and resource mapping potential of Orbital VSWIR Spectral measurements of Mars
DOI 10.3847/25c2cfeb.7da7980b
Authors Scott L. Murchie, Raymond E. Arvidson, Janice L Bishop, Wendy M. Calvin, John Carter, John Christian, Roger N. Clark, Colin M. Dundas, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Valerie K. Fox, Abigail A. Fraeman, Timothy A Goudge, Briony H. N. Horgan, Madison N Hughes, Ellen K Leask, Alfred S. McEwen, John F Mustard, Mario Parente, Kathryn E Powell, Frank P. Seelos, Kimberly D. Seelos, Jesse D Tarnas, Christina E Viviano, James J. Wray
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Bulletin of the AAS
Index ID 70211231
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center