36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 45 Mars Surface and Water II
Oral, Friday, November 12, 2004, 1:30-3:00pm, Lewis

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[45.01] Spirit Mini-TES Observations: From Bonneville Crater to the Columbia Hills.

D.L. Blaney (JPL/Caltech), Athena Science Team

During the Mars Exploration Rover Extended Mission the Spirit rover traveled from the rim of the crater informally known as “Bonneville, Crater” into the hills informally known as the “Columbia Hills” in Gusev Crater. During this >3 km drive Mini-TES (Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer) collected systematic observations to characterize spectral diversity and targeted observations of rocks, soils, rover tracks, and trenches. Surface temperatures have steadily decreased during the drive and arrival into the Columbia hills with the approach of winter. Mini-TES covers the 5-29 micron spectral region with a 20 mrad aperture that is co-registered with panoramic and navigation cameras. As at the landing site (Christensen et al., Science, 2004), many dark rocks in the plains between “Bonneville Crater” show long wavelength (15-25 µm) absorptions due to olivine consistent with the detection of olivine-bearing basalt at this site from orbital TES infrared spectroscopy. Rocks with the spectral signature of olivine are rarer in the Columbia Hills. Measurements of outcrops of presumably intact bedrock lack any olivine signature and are consistent with other results indicating that these rocks are highly altered. Rock coatings and fine dust on rocks are common. Soils have thin dust coatings and disturbed soil (e.g rover tracks and trenches) are consistent with basalt. Mini-TES observations were coordinated with Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observations to allow us to search for correlations of visible spectra properties with infrared.

This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.