The Cassini Titan Radar mapper has observed elevated blocks and ridge-forming block chains on Saturn's moon Titan demonstrating high topography we term “mountains.” Summit flanks measured from the T3 (February 2005) and T8 (October 2005) flybys have a mean maximum slope of 37° and total elevations up to 1930 m as derived from a shape-from-shading model corrected for the probable effects of image resolution. Mountain peak morphologies and surrounding, diffuse blankets give evidence that erosion has acted upon these features, perhaps in the form of fluvial runoff. Possible formation mechanisms for these mountains include crustal compressional tectonism and upthrusting of blocks, extensional tectonism and formation of horst-and-graben, deposition as blocks of impact ejecta, or dissection and erosion of a preexisting layer of material. All above processes may be at work, given the diversity of geology evident across Titan's surface. Comparisons of mountain and blanket volumes and erosion rate estimates for Titan provide a typical mountain age as young as 20–100 million years.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Mountains on Titan observed by Cassini Radar|
|Contributing office(s)||Astrogeology Science Center|
|Larger Work Type||Article|
|Larger Work Subtype||Journal Article|
|Larger Work Title||Icarus|