Mapping of Titan: Results from the first Titan radar passes

By: , and 



The first two swaths collected by Cassini's Titan Radar Mapper were obtained in October of 2004 (Ta) and February of 2005 (T3). The Ta swath provides evidence for cryovolcanic processes, the possible occurrence of fluvial channels and lakes, and some tectonic activity. The T3 swath has extensive areas of dunes and two large impact craters. We interpret the brightness variations in much of the swaths to result from roughness variations caused by fracturing and erosion of Titan's icy surface, with additional contributions from a combination of volume scattering and compositional variations. Despite the small amount of Titan mapped to date, the significant differences between the terrains of the two swaths suggest that Titan is geologically complex. The overall scarcity of impact craters provides evidence that the surface imaged to date is relatively young, with resurfacing by cryovolcanism, fluvial erosion, aeolian erosion, and likely atmospheric deposition of materials. Future radar swaths will help to further define the nature of and extent to which internal and external processes have shaped Titan's surface.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mapping of Titan: Results from the first Titan radar passes
Series title Icarus
DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2006.07.015
Volume 185
Issue 2
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Icarus
First page 443
Last page 456
Other Geospatial Titan
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