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Keywords:

  • Moon;
  • spectroscopy;
  • olivine;
  • mineralogy;
  • composition;
  • M3

[1] A systematic approach for deconvolving remotely sensed lunar olivine-rich visible to near-infrared (VNIR) reflectance spectra with the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) is evaluated with Chandrayaan-1 Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) spectra. Whereas earlier studies of laboratory reflectance spectra focused only on complications due to chromite inclusions in lunar olivines, we develop a systematic approach for addressing (through continuum removal) the prominent continuum slopes common to remotely sensed reflectance spectra of planetary surfaces. We have validated our continuum removal on a suite of laboratory reflectance spectra. Suites of olivine-dominated reflectance spectra from a small crater near Mare Moscoviense, the Copernicus central peak, Aristarchus, and the crater Marius in the Marius Hills were analyzed. Spectral diversity was detected in visual evaluation of the spectra and was quantified using the MGM. The MGM-derived band positions are used to estimate the olivine's composition in a relative sense. Spectra of olivines from Moscoviense exhibit diversity in their absorption features, and this diversity suggests some variation in olivine Fe/Mg content. Olivines from Copernicus are observed to be spectrally homogeneous and thus are predicted to be more compositionally homogeneous than those at Moscoviense but are of broadly similar composition to the Moscoviense olivines. Olivines from Aristarchus and Marius exhibit clear spectral differences from those at Moscoviense and Copernicus but also exhibit features that suggest contributions from other phases. If the various precautions discussed here are weighed carefully, the methods presented here can be used to make general predictions of absolute olivine composition (Fe/Mg content).