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Regional geomorphology and history of Titan's Xanadu province

Radebaugh, J. and Lorenz, R. D. and Wall, S. D. and Kirk, R. L. and Wood, C. A. and Lunine, J. I. and Stofan, E. R. and Lopes, R. M. C. and Valora, P. and Farr, T. G. and Hayes, A. and Stiles, B. and Mitri, G. and Zebker, H. and Janssen, M. A. and Wye, L. and LeGall, A. and Mitchell, K. L. and Paganelli, F. and West, R. D. and Schaller, E. L. (2011) Regional geomorphology and history of Titan's Xanadu province. Icarus, 211 (1). pp. 672-685. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Titan’s enigmatic Xanadu province has been seen in some detail with instruments from the Cassini spacecraft. The region contains some of the most rugged, mountainous terrain on Titan, with relief over 2000 m. Xanadu contains evolved and integrated river channels, impact craters, and dry basins filled with smooth, radar-dark material, perhaps sediments from past lake beds. Arcuate and aligned mountain chains give evidence of compressional tectonism, yet the overall elevation of Xanadu is puzzlingly low compared to surrounding sand seas. Lineations associated with mountain fronts and valley floors give evidence of extension that probably contributed to this regional lowering. Several locations on Xanadu’s western and southern margins contain flow-like features that may be cryovolcanic in origin, perhaps ascended from lithospheric faults related to regional downdropping late in its history. Radiometry and scatterometry observations are consistent with a water–ice or water–ammonia–ice composition to its exposed, eroded, fractured bedrock; both microwave and visible to near-infrared (v-nIR) data indicate a thin overcoating of organics, likely derived from the atmosphere. We suggest Xanadu is one of the oldest terrains on Titan and that its origin and evolution have been controlled and shaped by compressional and then extensional tectonism in the icy crust and ongoing erosion by methane rainfall.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lorenz, R. D.0000-0001-8528-4644
Lunine, J. I.0000-0003-2279-4131
Mitri, G.0000-0001-8390-458X
Janssen, M. A.0000-0001-5476-731X
Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier Inc. Received 20 March 2009; revised 20 July 2010; accepted 22 July 2010. Available online 3 August 2010. This work is dedicated to the memory of Steve Ostro, icy satellite observer, Cassini RADAR Team Member, and friend. The authors acknowledge the NASA Cassini Project and all those who designed and operate the remarkable Cassini spacecraft. Portions of this work were supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. JIL acknowledges support from the program ‘‘Incentivazione alla mobilita’ di studiosi straineri e italiani residenti all’estero.” The authors also acknowledge the thorough and helpful reviews from Geoffrey Collins and Devon Burr.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Program Incentivazione alla mobilita' di studiosi stranieri e italiani resident a ll'esteroUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Titan; Satellites, Surfaces; Saturn, Satellites
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110303-095336295
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Official Citation:J. Radebaugh, R.D. Lorenz, S.D. Wall, R.L. Kirk, C.A. Wood, J.I. Lunine, E.R. Stofan, R.M.C. Lopes, P. Valora, T.G. Farr, A. Hayes, B. Stiles, G. Mitri, H. Zebker, M. Janssen, L. Wye, A. LeGall, K.L. Mitchell, F. Paganelli, R.D. West, E.L. Schaller and The Cassini Radar Team, Regional geomorphology and history of Titan's Xanadu province, Icarus, Volume 211, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 672-685, ISSN 0019-1035, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.07.022.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22625
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:03 Mar 2011 22:22
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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