Regional Geologic Mapping of Titan

Project: Research project

Description

Statement of Work The general scientific objective of this proposal is to determine the geologic history of the Adiri quadrangle region of Titan, using geologic mapping to investigate relative roles of various geologic processes by mapping the areal extents and distributions of process-related units, and determining their stratigraphic relations. The specific scientific objectives of this proposal are: 1) to investigate quantitatively whether exogenic processes (fluvial erosion or aeolian modification) are the dominant geologic processes modifying the surface in the Adiri region throughout its history; 2) conversely, to investigate the potential role of endogenic processes (tectonic modification and/or cryovolcanism) in this region throughout its history; and 3) to further access the utility of the Cassini data sets, particularly the RADAR and ISS data, for making a basemap for a potential global geologic map of Titan later this decade after the Cassini Solstice Mission is complete. Overall, the goal of this project is to use the investigative process of geologic mapping to determine the relative importance of the various geologic processes in the Adiri quadrangle, building on our published pilot study in the Menrva region (Williams et al., 2011a). We seek to address the current controversy about whether Titan is a more geologically active world in terms of endogenic processes with extensive cryovolcanism and/or tectonism (e.g., Lopes et al., 2007; Wall et al., 2009), or whether these processes are mostly relegated to Titans past, such that Titan is now dominated by exogenic processes (hydrocarbon cycle, aeolian activity). These objectives &goal can be addressed through the reconnaissance geologic mapping we propose here.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/15/149/14/18

Funding

  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $274,338.00

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Titan
history
fluvial process
eolian process
hydrocarbon
erosion
tectonics