Cassini RADAR topography data are used to evaluate Titan’s hypsometric profile, and to make comparisons with other planetary bodies. Titan’s hypsogram is unimodal and strikingly narrow compared with the terrestrial planets. To investigate topographic extremes, a novel variant on the classic hypsogram is introduced, with a logarithmic abscissa to highlight mountainous terrain. In such a plot, the top of the terrestrial hypsogram is quite distinct from those of Mars and Venus due to the ‘glacial buzz-saw’ that clips terrestrial topography above the snowline. In contrast to the positive skew seen in other hypsograms, with a long tail of positive relief due to mountains, there is an indication (weak, given the limited data for Titan so far) that the Titan hypsogram appears slightly negatively skewed, suggesting a significant population of unfilled depressions. Limited data permit only a simplistic comparison of Titan topography with other icy satellites but we find that the standard deviation of terrain height (albeit at different scales) is similar to those of Ganymede and Europa.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Hypsometry of Titan|
|Contributing office(s)||Astrogeology Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|