37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 53 Titan III
Oral, Thursday, September 8, 2005, 4:20-6:00pm, Music Concert Hall

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[53.03] Flows on the Surface of Titan as Revealed by the Cassini RADAR

R.M.C. Lopes, C. Elachi, F. Paganelli, K. Mitchell (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology), E. Stofan (Proxemy Research), C. Wood (Wheeling Jesuit University), R. Kirk (USGS), R. Lorenz, J. Lunine (University of Arizona), S. Wall (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology), Cassini RADAR Team

The Cassini Titan Radar Mapper obtained Synthetic Aperture Radar images of the surface of Titan during the targeted fly-bys on October 26, 2004 (Ta) and February 15, 2005 (T3). These images revealed that Titan is very complex geologically (see Elachi et al., 2005, Science 13, 970-4). We will discuss the landforms interpreted to be cryovolcanic and alluvial in origin. Cryovolcanic features include a circular structure (provisionally named Ganesa Macula), which is the most prominent geologic feature in the Ta SAR swath (see Wall et al. and Neish et al., this volume). This feature has morphological similarities to pancake domes on Venus. Other landforms interpreted as cryovolcanic in origin include numerous SAR-bright, lobate features that appear to be both sheet-like and digitate cryovolcanic flows. These are seen in the Ta swath, but none could be positively identified in the T3 swath. These flow features extend from tens of kilometers to over 200 km in length and appear to be topographically controlled. Several flows are seen over Ganesa Macula, associated with linear features interpreted as possible cryolava channels. Two craters elsewhere in Ta have flows emanating from them. The irregular shape of these two craters and emerging unidirectional flows supports a cryovolcanic origin. Preliminary estimates of rheological properties (see Mitchell et al., this volume) are consistent with those of ammonia-ice mixtures. Other flow features, seen in both the Ta and T3 swaths, are associated with sinuous channels and form fan-like deposits. Their morphologies are consistent with those of alluvial fans, suggesting evidence of transported material on the surface. The presence of both cryovolcanic and alluvial features on Titan has long been suggested. The SAR data indicates that both types of features are common on Titan.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.