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The spectral effects of subsolidus reduction of olivine and pyroxeneThe surfaces of atmosphereless bodies are subjected to a variety of chemical, thermal, accretionary, and shock processes related to their regolith environment. These processes are responsible for a number of alterations that occur in regoliths. Alterations include particle size commutation, implantation of solar wind gases, formation of agglutinates, spectral darkening, and, in the lunar case, the development of the very strong red continuum slope in the visible and near infrared spectra. A great deal of work has pointed to the role of agglutinates as the principal agent for darkening and reddening the lunar soil. The measures of regolith maturity are strongly linked to the accumulation of agglutinates. Recent work has suggested that the finest fractions of agglutinitic glass are major source of the spectral red slope. In particular, the red slope is most strongly associated with the agglutinitic glasses that are rich in blebs of sub-micron sized metal particles. It is thought that these metal particles, because of their size and scattering efficiently relative to the wavelength of light, are responsible for the red continuum slope. This fine fraction of metal particles is produced primarily by reduction of Fe(+2) from silicates. One mechanism for the reduction process is the reaction of solar implanted wind protons with the regolith soil during impact events. In this case the presence of hydrogen creates a reducing environment and the thermal pulse from the impact greatly speeds the reaction kinetics. To explore other reducing and thermal environments a series of experiments were done using samples in evacuated capsules buffered by Tantalum and heated to subsolidus temperatures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Britt, D. T.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Inorganic And Physical Chemistry
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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