Comparison of Titan's north polar lakes with terrestrial analogs

Priyanka Sharma, Shane Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discovery of hydrocarbon lakes in the polar regions of Titan offers a unique opportunity to compare terrestrial lakes with those in an extraterrestrial setting. We selected 114 terrestrial lakes formed by different processes as analogs for comparison with the 190 Titanian lakes that we had mapped in our previous study. Using the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) C-band backscatter data and the SRTM Water Body Data (SWBD), we carried out an assessment of manual mapping versus existing automated mapping techniques, and found the automated techniques to produce as good representations of the lake shorelines as the manual mapping in the terrestrial dataset. We then calculated and compared terrestrial and Titanian shoreline statistical parameters including fractal dimension, shoreline development index and an elongation index. We found different lake generation mechanisms on Earth produce "statistically different" shorelines. However, we cannot identify any one mechanism or set of mechanisms to be responsible for forming the depressions enclosing the lakes on Titan, on the basis of our statistical analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24203
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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Titan
lakes
shorelines
analogs
lake
shoreline
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
radar
topography
C band
polar region
comparison
polar regions
backscatter
elongation
fractals
hydrocarbons
hydrocarbon
water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Comparison of Titan's north polar lakes with terrestrial analogs. / Sharma, Priyanka; Byrne, Shane.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, No. 24, L24203, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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