Crater topography on Titan: implications for landscape evolution

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We present a comprehensive review of available crater topography measurements for Saturn’s moon Titan. In general, the depths of Titan’s craters are within the range of depths observed for similarly sized fresh craters on Ganymede, but several hundreds of meters shallower than Ganymede’s average depth vs. diameter trend. Depth-to-diameter ratios are between 0.0012 ± 0.0003 (for the largest crater studied, Menrva, D ~ 425 km) and 0.017 ± 0.004 (for the smallest crater studied, Ksa, D ~ 39 km). When we evaluate the Anderson–Darling goodness-of-fit parameter, we find that there is less than a 10% probability that Titan’s craters have a current depth distribution that is consistent with the depth distribution of fresh craters on Ganymede. There is, however, a much higher probability that the relative depths are uniformly distributed between 0 (fresh) and 1 (completely infilled). This distribution is consistent with an infilling process that is relatively constant with time, such as aeolian deposition. Assuming that Ganymede represents a close ‘airless’ analogue to Titan, the difference in depths represents the first quantitative measure of the amount of modification that has shaped Titan’s surface, the only body in the outer Solar System with extensive surface–atmosphere exchange.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Crater topography on Titan: implications for landscape evolution
Series title Icarus
DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.11.030
Volume 223
Issue 1
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Icarus
First page 82
Last page 90
Other Geospatial Titan