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Hypsometry of Titan

Lorenz, Ralph D. and Turtle, Elizabeth P. and Stiles, Bryan and Le Gall, Alice and Hayes, Alexander and Aharonson, Oded and Wood, Charles A. and Stofan, Ellen and Kirk, Randy (2011) Hypsometry of Titan. Icarus, 211 (1). pp. 699-706. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Cassini RADAR topography data are used to evaluate Titan’s hypsometric profile, and to make comparisons with other planetary bodies. Titan’s hypsogram is unimodal and strikingly narrow compared with the terrestrial planets. To investigate topographic extremes, a novel variant on the classic hypsogram is introduced, with a logarithmic abscissa to highlight mountainous terrain. In such a plot, the top of the terrestrial hypsogram is quite distinct from those of Mars and Venus due to the ‘glacial buzz-saw’ that clips terrestrial topography above the snowline. In contrast to the positive skew seen in other hypsograms, with a long tail of positive relief due to mountains, there is an indication (weak, given the limited data for Titan so far) that the Titan hypsogram appears slightly negatively skewed, suggesting a significant population of unfilled depressions. Limited data permit only a simplistic comparison of Titan topography with other icy satellites but we find that the standard deviation of terrain height (albeit at different scales) is similar to those of Ganymede and Europa.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Aharonson, Oded0000-0001-9930-2495
Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier Inc. Received 30 March 2010; revised 1 October 2010; accepted 2 October 2010. Available online 16 October 2010. This work was supported by the Cassini–Huygens mission, which is a joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and is managed by JPL/Caltech under a contract with NASA. We are grateful for the cogent criticism of two anonymous referees which improved the paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Titan; Geological processes; Geophysics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110303-095336575
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Official Citation:Ralph D. Lorenz, Elizabeth P. Turtle, Bryan Stiles, Alice Le Gall, Alexander Hayes, Oded Aharonson, Charles A. Wood, Ellen Stofan, Randy Kirk, Hypsometry of Titan, Icarus, Volume 211, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 699-706, ISSN 0019-1035, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.10.002. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22626
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:03 Mar 2011 18:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:39

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