The experiment discussed here was designed to constrain interpretations of variations in continuum slope variations which define several spectral annuli on the flanks of Olympus Mons, observed in the Imaging Spectrometer (IMS) data. The IMS Olympus Mons data reveal that the rings, seen as alternating brighter and darker reflectance in Viking data, correspond to annuli of alternating shallower and steeper continuum slope. At least three factors contributing to continuum slope are identified: ferric coating thickness, viewing geometry, and surface texture. Because the Olympus Mons spectral annuli were observed at nearly constant backscatter geometries in the ISM data, with only slight viewing variations due to the volcanoe's flank slopes, the difference of continuum slope between annuli probably cannot be explained by viewing geometry alone. This suggests that the variation of some fundamental surface characteristics, such as ferric dust/rind thickness or surface texture, is the cause of the Olympus Mons special annuli observed in the ISM imaging spectrometer data.
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
NASA, Washington, Reports of Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program, 1990; p 236-237