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Lunar Mare Basalts as Analogues for Martian Volcanic Compositions: Evidence from Visible, Near-IR, and Thermal Emission SpectroscopyThe lunar mare basalts potentially provide a unique sample suite for understanding the nature of basalts on the martian surface. Our current knowledge of the mineralogical and chemical composition of the basaltic material on Mars comes from studies of the basaltic martian meteorites and from orbital and surface remote sensing observations. Petrographic observations of basaltic martian meteorites (e.g., Shergotty, Zagami, and EETA79001) show that the dominant phases are pyroxene (primarily pigeonite and augite), maskelynite (a diaplectic glass formed from plagioclase by shock), and olivine [1,2]. Pigeonite, a low calcium pyroxene, is generally not found in abundance in terrestrial basalts, but does often occur on the Moon [3]. Lunar samples thus provide a means to examine a variety of pigeonite-rich basalts that also have bulk elemental compositions (particularly low-Ti Apollo 15 mare basalts) that are comparable to basaltic SNC meteorites [4,5]. Furthermore, lunar basalts may be mineralogically better suited as analogues of the martian surface basalts than the basaltic martian meteorites because the plagioclase feldspar in the basaltic Martian meteorites, but not in the lunar surface basalts, is largely present as maskelynite [1,2]. Analysis of lunar mare basalts my also lead to additional endmember spectra for spectral libraries. This is particularly important analysis of martian thermal emission spectra, because the spectral library apparently contains a single pigeonite spectrum derived from a synthetic sample [6].
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Graff, T. G. (Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Morris, R. V. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Christensen, P. R. (Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20030110578Analytic PrimaryLunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
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