Microimaging VIS-IR spectroscopy of ancient volcanic rocks as Mars analogues

Paola Manzari, Simone De Angelis, Maria Cristina De Sanctis, Tatiana Di Iorio, Eleonora Ammannito, Nicolas Bost, Frédéric Foucher, Frances Westall

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The SPectral Imager (SPIM) facility is a laboratory VIS-IR spectrometer developed to support spaceborne observations of rocky bodies of the solar system. Currently, this laboratory setup is used to support the Dawn NASA mission and to support the 2018 ExoMars mission in the spectral investigation of Martian subsurface. Specifically, for this mission, a selection of relevant Mars analogue materials has been characterized and stored in the International Space Analogue Rockstore (ISAR), hosted in Orléans, France. In this investigation, two volcanic rock samples from the ISAR collection were analyzed. These two samples were chosen because of their similarity in mineralogical composition and age with Martian basalts and volcanic sands. Moreover, volcanic sands are particularly interesting because they can contain fossils of primitive life forms. The analysis of data collected by SPIM resulted in good agreement with the mineralogical phases detected in these two samples by mineralogical and petrographical techniques, demonstrating the effectiveness of the high spatial and spectral resolution of SPIM for identifying and for mapping different mineralogical species on cut rock and mineral samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268 - 281
Number of pages14
JournalEarth and Space Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Manzari, P., De Angelis, S., De Sanctis, M. C., Di Iorio, T., Ammannito, E., Bost, N., ... Westall, F. (2016). Microimaging VIS-IR spectroscopy of ancient volcanic rocks as Mars analogues. Earth and Space Science, 3(7), 268 - 281. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015EA000153