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Ilmenite mapping of the lunar regolith over Mare Australe and Mare Ingenii regions: An optimized multisource approach based on Hapke radiative transfer theory

Authors

  • Myriam Lemelin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Département de Géomatique Appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
    2. Now at Department of Geology and Geophysics, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
    • Corresponding author: M. Lemelin, Department of Geology and Geophysics, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, POST Bldg., Ste. 701, 1680 E.-W. Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. (mlemelin@hawaii.edu)

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  • Caroline-Emmanuelle Morisset,

    1. Department of Space Exploration, Canadian Space Agency, Saint-Hubert, Québec, Canada
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  • Mickaël Germain,

    1. Département de Géomatique Appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
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  • Victoria Hipkin,

    1. Department of Space Exploration, Canadian Space Agency, Saint-Hubert, Québec, Canada
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  • Kalifa Goïta,

    1. Département de Géomatique Appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
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  • Paul G. Lucey

    1. Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
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Abstract

[1] We model lunar ilmenite abundances over Mare Australe and Mare Ingenii regions using a new approach; we integrate Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Clementine UV-visible/near-infrared (UVVIS/NIR) data to obtain a 14-band mosaic (320-2000 nm). We use Hapke's radiative transfer equations to compute spectra for various mixtures of orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, plagioclase, olivine, and ilmenite, with varying grain size, chemistry, and degree of maturity, and find the closest match between the modeled spectra and the spectra of the less mature pixels (optical maturity ≥ 0.2) in the 14-band mosaic. We calculate a “maximum stoichiometrically possible ilmenite content”, using Clementine-derived TiO2 abundances and the amount of TiO2 in stoichiometric ilmenite, and use it as a constraint in our model. We validate our methodology with lunar soil spectra of known composition. Our results show that the integrated WAC-UVVIS/NIR data and the UVVIS/NIR data overestimate ilmenite abundances by 8.80 wt % and 7.97 wt %, respectively, when a fixed maximum of 20 wt % ilmenite is used. When the maximum stoichiometrically possible ilmenite content is used as a constraint, the integrated WAC-UVVIS/NIR data give slightly more accurate ilmenite abundance estimation (±2.87 wt %) than when using only UVVIS/NIR data (± 3.04 wt %). We find ilmenite concentrations of 0−11 wt % in Mare Australe and 0−6 wt % in Mare Ingenii region. Ilmenite abundances between 4 and 7 wt % are exposed in Mare Australe, whereas ilmenite abundances between 7 and 11 wt % are found on the walls of 0.6-11.8 km diameter craters within Mare Australe.