Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes

E. P. Turtle, J. E. Perry, Alfred S. McEwen, A. D. DelGenio, J. Barbara, R. A. West, D. D. Dawson, C. C. Porco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) has been observing Titan since April 2004, compiling a nearly global surface map and monitoring the surface and atmosphere for activity. Early images of the south-polar region revealed numerous dark surface features and contemporaneous convective cloud systems, suggesting the presence of hydrocarbon lakes similar to those later detected at Titan's North Pole. Intriguingly, repeated south-polar imaging by ISS revealed differences consistent with ponding of hydrocarbon liquids on the surface due to precipitation from a large storm. More recent ISS images of high northern latitudes illustrate the full extents (>500,000 km2) of hydrocarbon seas, sections of which have been observed by Cassini's RADAR. These observations demonstrate dynamic processes at work on Titan and that the poles harbor liquid-hydrocarbon reservoirs, the extents of which differ from pole to pole and which may be coupled to seasonally varying circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL02204
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2009

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Titan
lakes
polar regions
poles
hydrocarbons
lake
hydrocarbon
liquid
harbors
convective cloud
hydrocarbon reservoir
liquids
polar region
harbor
atmospheres
atmosphere
monitoring
science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Turtle, E. P., Perry, J. E., McEwen, A. S., DelGenio, A. D., Barbara, J., West, R. A., ... Porco, C. C. (2009). Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(2), [L02204]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008GL036186

Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes. / Turtle, E. P.; Perry, J. E.; McEwen, Alfred S.; DelGenio, A. D.; Barbara, J.; West, R. A.; Dawson, D. D.; Porco, C. C.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, No. 2, L02204, 28.01.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Turtle, EP, Perry, JE, McEwen, AS, DelGenio, AD, Barbara, J, West, RA, Dawson, DD & Porco, CC 2009, 'Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 36, no. 2, L02204. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008GL036186
Turtle, E. P. ; Perry, J. E. ; McEwen, Alfred S. ; DelGenio, A. D. ; Barbara, J. ; West, R. A. ; Dawson, D. D. ; Porco, C. C. / Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2009 ; Vol. 36, No. 2.
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