Data of Titan's surface from the Cassini-Huygens mission show inferred fluvial networks interpreted as products of liquid alkane flow. Using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, we delineated drainage networks, measured network parameters, and used these measurements in a simplified algorithm for classifying terrestrial drainage patterns. The results show a variety of patterns, indicating that a variety of factors control fluvial drainage on Titan. Drainage network patterns in southwestern Xanadu are classified as rectangular, suggesting control by a subsurface tectonic structural fabric. Link orientations also suggest that this subsurface tectonic fabric is oriented predominantly eastwest. Spatial variations in drainage networks are consistent with a west-to-east precipitation pattern, supporting inferences from aeolian dune morphology. These results illustrate how fluvial landform analysis can yield new information on both atmospheric and subsurface processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)