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The morphology of an active zone near Enceladus’ south pole and implications

Giese, B. and Helfenstein, P. and Thomas, P. C. and Ingersoll, A. P. and Perry, J. and Wagner, R. and Neukum, G. and Porco, C. C. (2010) The morphology of an active zone near Enceladus’ south pole and implications. In: Geophysical Research Abstracts. EGU General Assembly 2010, 02 may - 07 may 2010, Vienna, Austria.

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Official URL: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2010/poster_programme/2115


On Cassini’s 121st orbit, the onboard ISS camera acquired high-resolution (15-30 m/pxl) images in Enceladus’ south polar province. The imaging sequence was specifically designed to study one of the source regions of Enceladus’ erupting plumes, Baghdad Sulcus. To facilitate the analysis, we derived a digital elevation model in an active section (76°S/323°E) across Baghdad Sulcus. The model reveals that there is a V-shaped trough up to 500 m deep in the center of this section, with flanking slopes of 30° (SW-facing) and > 32° (NE-facing, this slope is in shadow). The slopes do approach angle of repose, but the morphology on the SW slope (blocky terrain with lineation patterns and even benches at angles to the maximum slope) suggests that this is not a slope undergoing angle-of-repose control. The trough, therefore, may owe its shape primarily to faulting, with only some modification by deposition of icy particles by the plume-forming gas. Blocky covering, which includes block sizes of up to 50 m, is not restricted to the trough but also occurs at about the same size and frequency distribution away from it. This suggests that the blocks are not related to the venting process, which concentrates in the trough. Rather, the association of the blocky surfaces with multiple patterns of lineations (presumably fractures and faults) suggests they are outcrops of fault-related ice blocks or lithified detritus undergoing some form of erosion. A potential erosion process may include seismic shaking. The V-shaped trough is partly accompanied by an elevated flanking ridge, which is indicative for rift zones and hints at an extensional origin of Baghdad Sulcus. Alternatively, fault-block rotation at large strains could have led to the elevated ridge.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:The morphology of an active zone near Enceladus’ south pole and implications
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Giese, B.bernd.giese@dlr.de
Helfenstein, P.Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Thomas, P. C.Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Ingersoll, A. P.California Institute of Technology, CA, USA
Perry, J.Planetary Image Research Laboratory, Sonett Space Sciences Building, Tucson, AZ, USA
Wagner, R.roland.wagner@dlr.de
Neukum, G.Inst. für Geologische Wissenschften, Freie Unversität Berlin
Porco, C. C.Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO, USA
Journal or Publication Title:Geophysical Research Abstracts
Refereed publication:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Enceladus, Saturnian Satellites
Event Title:EGU General Assembly 2010
Event Location:Vienna, Austria
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:02 may - 07 may 2010
Organizer:European Geosciences Union
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben CASSINI (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Bernd Giese
Deposited On:10 Aug 2010 12:14
Last Modified:10 Aug 2010 12:14

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