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Journal Articles Icarus Year : 2015

Possible temperate lakes on Titan

Abstract

We analyze southern mid-latitude albedo-dark features on Titan observed by Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS). In exploring the nature of these features we consider their morphology, albedo, and specular reflectivity. We suggest that they represent candidates for potential temperate lakes. The presence of lakes at the mid-latitudes would indicate that surface liquid can accumulate and remain stable away from Titan's poles. Candidate lakes were identified by looking for possible shorelines with lacustrine morphology. Then, we applied an atmospheric correction that empirically solved for their surface albedo. Finally, we looked for a specular reflection of the sky in the identified candidates. Using this prescription, we find two candidates that remain as potential temperature lakes. If candidate features do represent temperate lakes on Titan, they have implications for formation mechanisms such as clouds and rainfall or, in low elevation areas, percolation and subsurface flow. Clouds were observed near candidate lake locations on the T66 flyby and this latitude band showed many clouds during southern summer. Our techniques can be applied to areas of Titan that lack RADAR coverage to search for mid-and low-latitude lakes in the future.
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Dates and versions

hal-03657839 , version 1 (08-03-2023)

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Graham Vixie, Jason Barnes, Brian Jackson, Sébastien Rodriguez, Stéphane Le Mouélic, et al.. Possible temperate lakes on Titan. Icarus, 2015, 257, pp.313 - 323. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2015.05.009⟩. ⟨hal-03657839⟩
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