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Komatiites as Mercury Surface Analogues: Spectral Measurements at PEL

Maturilli, Alessandro and Helbert, Jörn and Head, J.W. and Vaughan, W.M. and D'Amore, Mario and St. John, J. (2013) Komatiites as Mercury Surface Analogues: Spectral Measurements at PEL. LPSC 2013, 18.-22. Mär. 2013, The Woodlands, Texas, USA.

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X-ray fluorescence and gamma ray measurements by the NASA MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury show a surface composition strongly different from other terrestrial planets [1, 2]. The X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) measures elemental composi-tion for the topmost 0.1 mm of Mercury’s regolith, while the Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS) is sensitive to depths of tens of centimeters. High Mg/Si and low Al/Si and Ca/Si ratios exclude a feldspathic surface composition like that of the lunar highlands. Mercury's surface mineralogy is likely dom-inated by magnesian orthopyroxene, sodium-rich pla-gioclase feldspar, and lesser amounts of Ca, Mg, and/or Fe sulfides. Enstatite chondrite melts and cer-tain enstatite achondrites provide a good compositional and mineralogical match for much of the surface of Mercury [3]. Elemental results from the GRNS [4] are consistent with those previously obtained by the X-Ray Spectrometer, including the high sulfur and low iron abundances. The elemental results from gamma-ray and X-ray spectrometry are most consistent with petro-logic models suggesting that Mercury's surface is dom-inated by magnesian silicates [5]. Mercury’s magne-sian silicates and high Mg/Si ratio (in excess of the Mg/Si ratio of terrestrial and lunar basalts [1]) invites comparison to the terrestrial ultramafic lavas known as komatiites. To assess komatiites as analogs for the surface of Mercury, at the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory (PEL) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) we have measured visible and infrared spectra for a suite of komatiite samples under a range of environmental conditions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/87006/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Komatiites as Mercury Surface Analogues: Spectral Measurements at PEL
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Maturilli, AlessandroAlessandro.Maturilli (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Helbert, JörnJoern.Helbert (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5346-9505
Head, J.W.Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USAUNSPECIFIED
Vaughan, W.M.Brown UniversityUNSPECIFIED
D'Amore, MarioMario.DAmore (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9325-6889
St. John, J.School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University at Newark, Newark, OH 43055, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:1 March 2013
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Mercury analogs, spectroscopy
Event Title:LPSC 2013
Event Location:The Woodlands, Texas, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:18.-22. Mär. 2013
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben BepiColombo (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: Maturilli, Alessandro
Deposited On:06 Jan 2014 07:22
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:44

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