Thursday, February 03, 2005

More on LPSC Abstracts Part 1

Now that I have had a chance to scan through some of the Titan-related abstracts, I can make some comments on them.

Cryovolcanic Features on Titan's Surface as Revealed by the Cassini RADAR by Lopes et al. As I reported above, the Radar team is interepreting the bright-rimmed circular features as calderas, not craters, because of their irregular shapes and unidirectional flows. These features are discussed further in Impact Craters on Titan? Cassini RADAR View by Wood et al. The Lopes et al. abstract further discusses other cryovolcanic features including a 180 km wide pancake dome or shield with flows eminating from a central volcanic pit. Finally, several standalone cryovolcanic flow are discussed, including the large flow seen in a RADAR press release image. RADAR Reveals Titan Topography by Kirk et al. states that the bright margins of the flow likely represent a combination of topography and structural/compositional changes or the flow is 1000 meters tall (unlikely but would be similar to flow structures on Ariel).

The Kirk et al. abstract shows results of radarclinometry attempts to pull topographic information out of the Ta SAR data (the poster would presumably show results from T3 as well). Features seen in swath 3 at the eastern end of the Ta SAR data appear to be hills 5-10 km wide and 100-125 meters tall. The authors also discuss a flow eminating from a caldera that appears to be 200-300 meters tall. This would be consistent with the high-viscosity of water-ammonia cryolava (though these could always be Ionian-style flow fields).

VIMS Observations of Titan During the First Two Close Flybys by the Cassini-Huygens Mission by Rodriguez et al. and Deconvolution of Cassini VIMS Titan Cubes into Atmospheric Spectral Scattering, Surface Topographic, and Surface Spectroscopic Components by Soderblom et al. both discuss the highest resolution VIMS data. Rodriguez et al. interprets the "snail" feature in the highest resolution Ta image as a cryovolcanic dome, similar to the one seen by RADAR, albeit quite a bit smaller. This abstract also has a thumbnail of the unreleased Tb high-resolution data, showing a branching dark feature cutting into a featureless bright region. Soderblom et al. did some analysis of the Ta High-resolution data, including a photoclinometric analysis of a series of ridges and valleys south of the "snail". They suggest relief within this area of 600-800 meters, somewhat more than the RADAR results. The Soderblom et al. Abstract is significant for a having a false color view of the "snail".

Cassini Imaging Results at Titan by Mcewen et al. has a nice overview of ISS imaging of Titan as well as an updated map of Titan with Ta and Tb data included.


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