Mineralogical analysis of the Ac-H-6 Haulani quadrangle of the dwarf planet Ceres
F. Tosi ; F.G. Carrozzo ; F. Zambon ; E. Ammannito ... et al.
Aug - 2017
DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.08.012

journal : Icarus
type: Article Journal

Ac-H-6 ‘Haulani’ is one of five quadrangles that cover the equatorial region of the dwarf planet Ceres. This quadrangle is notable for the broad, spectrally distinct ejecta that originate from the crater Haulani, which gives the name to the quadrangle. These ejecta exhibit one of the most negative (‘bluest’) visible to near infrared spectral slope observed across the entire body and have distinct color properties as seen in multispectral composite images. Besides Haulani, here we investigate a broader area that includes other surface features of interest, with an emphasis on mineralogy as inferred from data obtained by Dawn's Visible InfraRed mapping spectrometer (VIR), combined with multispectral image products from the Dawn Framing Camera (FC) so as to enable a clear correlation with specific geologic features.Our analysis shows that crater Haulani stands out compared to other surface features of the quadrangle. Albedo maps obtained in the near infrared range at 1.2 µm and 1.9 µm reveal that the floor and ejecta of Haulani are indeed a patchwork of bright and dark material units. Visible to near-infrared spectral slopes display negative values in crater Haulani's floor and ejecta, highlighting bluish, younger terrains. Diagnostic spectral features centered at ∼2.7 µm and ∼3.1 µm respectively indicate a substantial decrease in the abundances of magnesium-bearing phyllosilicates and ammoniated phyllosilicates in crater Haulani's floor and bright ejecta. Similar, but less prominent, spectral behavior is observed in other geologic features of this quadrangle, while the general trend in quadrangle Ac-H-6 for these two mineral species is to increase from the northwest to the southeast. However, it is worth noting that the correlation between the ∼2.7 µm and ∼3.1 µm spectral parameters is generally strong in the Haulani crater's area, but much weaker elsewhere, which indicates a variable degree of mixing between these two major mineral phases in moving away from the crater. Finally, the region of crater Haulani displays a distinct thermal signature and a local enhancement in calcium and possibly sodium carbonate minerals, which is hardly found in the rest of the quadrangle and is likely the result of intense hydrothermal processes following the impact event. These evidences all together confirm the young age of crater Haulani, as they have not been erased or made elusive by space weathering processes.

keywords : Asteroids surfaces, Asteroid Ceres, Spectrophotometry, Infrared observations,