DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 19. Mars Surface II
Poster, Highlighted on, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 3:00-5:30pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[19.09] Data Mining in the Remote Sensing Martian Data. Preliminary Results in the Search for Evaporites

G.A. Marzo, F. De Carlo, S. Fonti, V. Orofino (Department of Physics, University of Lecce, via Arnesano C.P. 193, Lecce, ITALY), T.L. Roush (NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000, USA)

Many lines of evidence suggest that the past Martian climate was consistent with the presence of liquid water on the surface of the planet. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that bodies of standing water were once present in basins, such as craters, or depressions and that evaporite deposits could have formed in these basins. The identification of such deposits, which might have survived in some regions of the planet, could confirm the present hypothesis about the ancient climate on Mars. However, only recently such deposits have been suggested, probably due to the difficulty in the spectral detectivity of such evaporites (for example carbonates and sulphates). The large number of current and planned future ESA and NASA Martian spacecraft will eventually produce a huge amount of remote sensing spectra. At the same time, the continuous refinements in the spectral and spatial resolution of the instruments make it possible to look at the details of specific geomorphologic interesting features of the Martian surface. Moreover the payload of these spacecrafts includes other instruments, such as cameras, radars and altimeters, useful in supporting the spectral observations. In this respect, the Astrophysics Group of Lecce University has started an analysis program of data mining aimed at searching for materials connected with the presence of water in the Martian spectral databases. The idea is to characterize the single spectrum and associate it with the image of the footprint, acquired in the same orbit when possible, and to the geometry of the observation. This approach allows one to look at the candidate water-connected surface features and to correct the spectrum by computing a synthetic contribution of the atmosphere using a radiative transfer model. The procedure is repeated for every spectrum of the databases matching the spatial, physical and geometrical criteria. Averaging the spectra extracted from the database will increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the spectral measurements associated with the selected area. In this work we present the preliminary results of the application of this procedure in searching for evaporites in some interesting geomorphologic Martian areas using TES data.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.