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Water sorption on martian regolith analogs: Thermodynamics and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

Abstract : The near-infrared reflectance spectra of the martian surface present strong absorption features attributed to hydration water present in the regolith. In order to characterize the relationships between this water and atmospheric vapor and decipher the physical state of water molecules in martian regolith analogs, we designed and built an experimental setup to measure near-IR reflectance spectra under martian atmospheric conditions. Six samples were studied that cover part of the diversity of Mars surface mineralogy: a hydrated ferric oxide (ferrihydrite), two igneous samples (volcanic tuff, and dunite sand), and three potential water rich soil materials (Mg-sulfate, smectite powder and a palagonitic soil, the JSC Mars-1 regolith stimulant). Sorption and desorption isotherms were measured at 243 K for water vapor pressure varying from 10−5 to not, vert, similar0.3 mbar (relative humidity: 10−4 to 75%). These measurements reveal a large diversity of behavior among the sample suite in terms of absolute amount of water adsorbed, shape of the isotherm and hysteresis between the adsorption and desorption branches. Simultaneous in situ spectroscopic observations permit a detailed analysis of the spectral signature of adsorbed water and also point to clear differences between the samples. Ferric (oxy)hydroxides like ferrihydrite or other phases present in palagonitic soils are very strong water adsorbent and may play an important role in the current martian water cycle by allowing large exchange of water between dust-covered regions and atmosphere at diurnal and seasonal scales.
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Contributor : Béatrice Pibaret-Bourdon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, February 23, 2009 - 8:28:01 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:58:02 PM





Antoine Pommerol, Bernard Schmitt, Pierre Beck, Olivier Brissaud. Water sorption on martian regolith analogs: Thermodynamics and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Icarus, Elsevier, 2009, 204 (1), pp.114-136. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2009.06.013⟩. ⟨insu-00363342⟩



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