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Leading-Side Terrains on Enceladus: Clues to Early Volcanism and Tectonism from Cassini ISS

Helfenstein, Paul and Giese, Bernd and Perry, Jason and Roatsch, Thomas and Veverka, Joe and Thomas, Peter and Denk, Tilmann and Neukum, Gerhard and Porco, Carolyn (2010) Leading-Side Terrains on Enceladus: Clues to Early Volcanism and Tectonism from Cassini ISS. AGU Fall Meeting, 13-17 Dec 2010, San Francisco. (Unpublished)

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Until November 2009 the relation of the tectonic styles on the leading hemisphere of Enceladus to those elsewhere on the satellite were unclear. Cassini's ISS Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) acquired high-resolution mosaics of the leading hemisphere for the first time during three close flybys, one on November 21, 2009, another on May 18, 2010, and a third on August 13, 2010, respectively. The new mosaics show that the leading side has distinct geological provinces that exhibit diverse tectonic styles and different cratering histories. The highly tectonised terrains are bounded by a prominent broad annulus of grooved and striated terrains that ranges from about 60 km to over 140 km in width. It surrounds a complex arrangement of tectonic structures, including a conspicuous province near 30°N, 90°W of curvilinear massifs and roughly orthogonal-trending ridged-troughs that define a crudely radial and concentric pattern relative to a point near 25°N, 125°W. This angular sector, about 65° in width, may be the partial remains of an ancient impact basin with a diameter of about 180 km. It could also be the surface expression of an ancient, large diapir. The peculiar quasi-radial ridged-troughs resemble extinct, topographically degraded examples of tiger stripes seen elsewhere on Enceladus. While these features may have a different fracture origin from tiger stripes, their comparable morphology suggests that long ago they may have expressed a similar style of fissure volcanism. Among our other significant findings is a region near 10°S, 60°W of rounded, rope-like sub-parallel ridges similar to ropy (funiscular) plains materials previously found only in the South Polar Terrain region near active tiger stripes. We suggest that the pattern of ropy ridges on the leading hemisphere arose from a similar style of tectonic deformation that produced the South Polar funiscular plains – a terrain that is closely related to possible folding and tectonic spreading associated with the tiger stripes. These features may thus record an ancient episode of South Polar style tectonism and volcanism near the equator. This hypothesis is consistent with the observed presence of viscously relaxed impact craters at the boundaries of the tectonically modified leading-side terrains as probes of a formerly elevated regional heat flux.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/67451/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Title:Leading-Side Terrains on Enceladus: Clues to Early Volcanism and Tectonism from Cassini ISS
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Helfenstein, PaulCornellUNSPECIFIED
Giese, Berndbernd.giese (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Perry, JasonUniv. of ArizonaUNSPECIFIED
Roatsch, Thomasthomas.roatsch (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Veverka, JoeCornellUNSPECIFIED
Thomas, PeterCornellUNSPECIFIED
Denk, TilmannFU BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Neukum, GerhardFU BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Date:December 2010
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Cassini, Saturnian satellites, Enceladus
Event Title:AGU Fall Meeting
Event Location:San Francisco
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:13-17 Dec 2010
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 Geology
Deposited By: Roatsch, Dr.rer.nat. Thomas
Deposited On:05 Jan 2011 21:59
Last Modified:05 Jan 2011 21:59

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