2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 340-7
Presentation Time: 3:10 PM


LOPES, Rosaly M.C., Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109, MALASKA, Michael J., Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, Mail Stop 183-301, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, SCHOENFELD, Ashley, Planetary Science Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, BIRCH, Samuel P.D., Astronomy Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, HAYES, Alexander G., Astronomy, Cornell University, 412 Space Science Building, Ithaca, NY 14853-6801, SOLOMONIDOU, Anezina, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Mail Stop 183-601, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109, RADEBAUGH, Jani, Department of Geological Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 and WILLIAMS, David, School of Earth & Space Exploration, ASU, Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287, rosaly.m.lopes@jpl.nasa.gov

The Cassini-Huygens mission has revealed the surface of Titan in unprecedented detail. The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode on the Cassini Titan Radar Mapper is able to penetrate clouds and haze to provide high resolution (~350 m spatial resolution at best) views of the surface geology. The instrument’s other modes (altimetry, scatterometry, radiometry) also provide valuable data for interpreting the geology, as do other instruments on Cassini, in particular, the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) and the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS). Continuing the initial work described in Lopes et al. (2010, Icarus), we have established the major geomorphologic unit classes on Titan using data from flybys Ta through T92 (10/2004-07/2013). We will present the global distribution of the major classes of units and, where there are direct morphological contacts, describe how these classes of units relate to each other in terms of setting and emplacement history. The classes of units are mountainous/hummocky terrains, plains, dunes, labyrinthic terrains and lakes. The oldest classes of units are the mountainous/hummocky and the labyrinthic terrains. The mountainous/hummocky terrains consist of mountain chains and isolated radar-bright terrains. The labyrinthic terrains consist of highly incised dissected plateaux with medium radar backscatter. The plains are younger than both mountainous/hummocky and labyrinthic unit classes. Dunes and lakes are the youngest unit classes on Titan; it is likely that the processes forming them are still active. We have identified individual features such as craters, channels, and candidate cryovolcanic features. Characterization and comparison of the properties of the unit classes and the individual features with data from radiometry, ISS, and VIMS provide information on their composition and possible provenance. We can use these correlations to also infer global distribution on regions not covered by SAR. This is particularly important as SAR data will not provide complete coverage of Titan by the end of the Cassini mission.