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Spectral Diversity of Exposed Materials at Meridiani Planum, Mars, via Pancam Aboard the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity
AuthorThompson, Shane Deric
AdvisorCalvin, Wendy M
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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Previous analyses of multispectral data of exposed materials at Meridiani Planum from the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, reported on sampling Pancam spectra for large areas of surface type exposures. In those analyses, the likelihood of spectral mixing from other material types and shadows was influential on the spectral profiles and thus not optimally measuring the spectra of the material type of interest. This study expands on previous efforts by sampling pixels specifically indicative of each material type exposed along the rover's traverse from the landing site in Eagle crater to the 800 m diameter Victoria crater. Careful selection of pixels was done to not include other material types when focusing on sampling each material type, allowing a more detailed analysis of the material types and their classifications. The results of this study conclusively showed that calibration efforts maintained reliability throughout the traverse and over the first four years of the mission, and that the bedrock materials have several sub-classes of light- and dark-toned color, layered and massive, buff and purple colored in false color composites, dust covered, and dust-free exposures. The bedrock sub-classes essentially have similar spectra with slight differences in the visible wavelengths for the buff- and purple-colored bedrock, and a lower Fe signature reported in the dark-toned outcrop. The stratigraphic section of the Burns Fm, laterally and vertically over 10 km and 7 m, respectively, does not exhibit spectral differences indicating the bedrock stratigraphy exposed in the region of the landing site and traverse was deposited in a consistent climatic environment or that the secondary diagenetic effects have overprinted a common mineralogy throughout.