VIS-IR study of brucite–clay–carbonate mixtures: Implications for Ceres surface composition

S. De Angelis, P. Manzari, M.C. De Sanctis, E. Ammannito, T. Di Iorio

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Carbonates and clay minerals are present in Solar System bodies such as Mars and asteroid (1) Ceres. Brucite has been proposed in the recent past to fit absorption features in spectra of Ceres. In this study Visible-Near Infrared reflectance spectroscopic measurements have been performed on brucite–carbonate–clay minerals mixtures, in the 0.2–5.1 �m spectral range. Different sets of three- and two-components mixtures have been prepared using these three fine powdered endmembers, by varying the relative proportions of carbonate, clay and brucite. Spectra have been acquired on the endmembers components separately and on the mixtures. Absorption features diagnostic of the carbonate, clay and brucite phases have been analyzed and band parameters (position, depth, area, width) determined. Several trends and correlations with mineral phase content in each mixture have been investigated, with the aim to determining how endmember components influence the mixture spectra and their minimum detectability threshold. Our results indicate that brucite is detectable in mineral mixtures with carbonates and clays, based on its main absorption features at 0.95, 2.45–2.47 and 3.05 �m. While the 0.95 and 3.05 �m features are only discernible for very high brucite contents in the mixtures, the ∼2.45 �m band turns out to be highly diagnostic, also for very small amounts of brucite (of the order of 10 wt%). These experiments, together with DAWN observations of Ceres, substantially rule out the presence of great amounts of brucite globally distributed on the surface of Ceres.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315 - 327
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

De Angelis, S., Manzari, P., De Sanctis, M. C., Ammannito, E., & Di Iorio, T. (2016). VIS-IR study of brucite–clay–carbonate mixtures: Implications for Ceres surface composition. Icarus, 280, 315 - 327.