Visible and near-infrared (VNIR) multispectral observations of rocks made by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's Panoramic camera (Pancam) have been analyzed using a spectral mixture analysis (SMA) methodology. Scenes have been examined from the Gusev crater plains into the Columbia Hills. Most scenes on the plains and in the Columbia Hills could be modeled as three end-member mixtures of a bright material, rock, and shade. Scenes of rocks disturbed by the rover's Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) required additional end-members. In the Columbia Hills, there were a number of scenes in which additional rock end-members were required. The SMA methodology identified relatively dust-free areas on undisturbed rock surfaces as well as spectrally unique areas on RAT abraded rocks. Spectral parameters from these areas were examined, and six spectral classes were identified. These classes are named after a type rock or area and are Adirondack, Lower West Spur, Clovis, Wishstone, Peace, and Watchtower. These classes are discriminable based, primarily, on near-infrared (NIR) spectral parameters. Clovis and Watchtower class rocks appear more oxidized than Wishstone class rocks and Adirondack basalts based on their having higher 535 nm band depths. Comparison of the spectral parameters of these Gusev crater rocks to parameters of glass-dominated basaltic tuffs indicates correspondence between measurements of Clovis and Watchtower classes but divergence for the Wishstone class rocks, which appear to have a higher fraction of crystalline ferrous iron-bearing phases. Despite a high sulfur content, the rock Peace has NIR properties resembling plains basalts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science