DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 7. Asteroid Observations II
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Monday, October 12, 1998, 10:30-11:30am, Madison Ballroom D

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[7.02] Iron signatures in Planetary Regoliths: The Moon as Case Study

L.A. McFadden (UMd), P. E. Clark (Catholic U.), A. Basu (Indiana U.)

We consider the distribution of iron in the lunar crust by combining two complementary remote sensing techniques, Apollo Gamma-ray (AGR) spectroscopy and Clementine reflectance spectroscopy (CRS). Both maps were compared in areas of overlap controlled by Apollo 15 and 16 ground tracks. The CRS map was scaled to the same lower spatial resolution (200 km) as AGR using the same color map in a mercator projection. Both AGR and CRS maps show bimodal distributions of iron abundance and have large scale similarities, but there are quantitative and significant differences. Maria account for the high iron peak and highlands, the low iron peak. CSR-derived Fe has a greater overall range, very narrow modal peaks and greater separation between high and low modes compared to AGR Fe values. If both techniques measure total iron in the regolith then both approaches should agree, their residuals should be zero. After failure to explain the differences in a systematic manner, we recalibrated the CSR iron map to the iron abundance in the pyroxene component of Apollo landing site soils, an approach consistent with crystal field theory and the algorithm used to produce the CSR map. The difference between total iron measured by AGR and iron in pyroxene now measured by CSR gives a map of the non-pyroxene iron component of the lunar crust and its distribution. We now see a correlation with lunar morphology and an anti-correlation with age of mare basins and their iron abundance, the younger basins having a higher component of non-pyroxene iron than the older ones. These results can be checked with Lunar Prospector data on other areas of the Moon. Combining remote sensing data sets has promise for determining the distribution of iron in different oxidation states on Eros with data from the NEAR mission.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mcfadden@astro.umd.edu

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