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Comparison of Materials Detected and Identified on Earth and Mars Using Multiband and Hyperspectral Sensors
AdvisorTaranik, James V.
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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The purpose of this study was to compare the measurements made by four Earth remote sensing systems in the reflected and emitted infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum over the extensively studied areas of Cuprite, Nevada to the and Nili Fossae, Mars. The sensors and the spectral range covered are: The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) has 6 bands from 1.60 — 2.36 μm, The Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) has 41 bands from ~ 2.0 — 2.4 μm, ProSpecTIR has 53 bands from ~2.0 — 2.4 μm, The Spatially Enhanced Broadband Array Spectrograph System (SEBASS) has 128 bands from ~ 7.6 — 13.5 μm, and finally The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) has 10 bands that cover a 6.78 — 14.88 μm range. Minerals that have been altered through hydrothermal processes display unique spectral features in the infrared that are used as a diagnostic to mineral identification. Cuprite is located between Reno and Las Vegas, north of Death Valley near the Stonewall mountain volcanic complex. There is a northwest trending fault underlying U. S. highway 95 that separates the western and eastern centers of the hydrothermal system having altered Tertiary volcanics. Nili Fossae is located northwest of Isidis Planitia, nearly along the dichotomy boundary in the eastern hemisphere of Mars. Nili Fossae consists of circumferential graben to Isidis, that show volcanic reworking as well as some fluvial processes, all of late Noachian age (~ 3.96 Ga). Both sites show no current, or ongoing hydrothermal activity. Each of the Earth based sensor datasets were analyzed, and the mineral species of Kaolinite, Alunite, carbonates, clays and silica’s were identified in addition to unaltered volcanic materials. These scenes were compared to previous work and each other, and were consequently found to be in close agreement, with subtle variations in the locations, abundances and types of minerals identified. The THEMIS scene was also processed and checked against previous works and found to be in satisfactory agreement. The Earth scenes were resampled and compared to the THEMIS resolution for extrapolation to thermal investigations on Mars. The resampled scene found the fewest minerals and the lowest abundances when compared to the other spectral sensor systems previously identified. The implication is that the THEMIS sensor data are inadequate for detecting and identifying areas of spatially limited hydrothermal activity. A new sensor is suggested that would have the spatial, and spectral, sensitivities and resolution that were found to be necessary to identify these areas of hydrothermal activity.