Titan's diverse landscapes as evidenced by Cassini RADAR's third and fourth looks at Titan

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Cassini's third and fourth radar flybys, T7 and T8, covered diverse terrains in the high southern and equatorial latitudes, respectively. The T7 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) swath is somewhat more straightforward to understand in terms of a progressive poleward descent from a high, dissected, and partly hilly terrain down to a low flat plain with embayments and deposits suggestive of the past or even current presence of hydrocarbon liquids. The T8 swath is dominated by dunes likely made of organic solids, but also contain somewhat enigmatic, probably tectonic, features that may be partly buried or degraded by erosion or relaxation in a thin crust. The dark areas in T7 show no dune morphology, unlike the dark areas in T8, but are radiometrically warm like the dunes. The Huygens landing site lies on the edge of the T8 swath; correlation of the radar and Huygens DISR images allows accurate determination of its coordinates, and indicates that to the north of the landing site sit two large longitudinal dunes. Indeed, had the Huygens probe trajectory been just 10 km north of where it actually was, images of large sand dunes would have been returned in place of the fluvially dissected terrain actually seen-illustrating the strong diversity of Titan's landscapes even at local scales.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Titan's diverse landscapes as evidenced by Cassini RADAR's third and fourth looks at Titan
Series title Icarus
DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2007.12.022
Volume 195
Issue 1
Year Published 2008
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 19 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Icarus
First page 415
Last page 433
Other Geospatial Titan
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