Master of Science
Planetary Science and Exploration
Neish, Catherine D.
Titan is one of the most dynamic moons in the solar system. It is smaller than Earth and much colder, yet Titan is eerily similar to Earth, with rivers, rain, and seas, as well as sand seas that wrap around the equator. However, the rivers are made of hydrocarbons rather than water and the sand made of organics rather rock. We can use Titan’s impact craters to study how these processes modify the surface by comparing the craters depths, diameters and rim heights of Titan’s craters with fresh craters. Therefore, we have used the complete data set from NASA’s Cassini mission to update Titan’s crater population finding 30 new craters (90 total). We find that Titan’s craters are statistically shallower than those observed on similarly sized icy moons (e.g. Ganymede). We suggest this is due to sand and sediment infilling into the crater and fluvial erosion of the rims.
Hedgepeth, Joshua E., "Impact Craters on Titan: Finalizing Titan's Crater Population" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5618.