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Structural and tidal models of Titan and inferences on cryovolcanism

Sohl, F. and Solomonidou, A. and Wagner, F.W. and Coustenis, A. and Hussmann, H. and Schulze-Makuch, D. (2014) Structural and tidal models of Titan and inferences on cryovolcanism. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, 119 (5), pp. 1013-1036. Wiley. DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004512 ISSN 2169-9097

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Abstract

Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, is subject to solid body tides exerted by Saturn on the timescale of its orbital period. The tide-induced internal redistribution of mass results in tidal stress variations, which could play a major role for Titan's geologic surface record. We construct models of Titan's interior that are consistent with the satellite's mean density, polar moment-of-inertia factor, obliquity, and tidal potential Love number k2 as derived from Cassini observations of Titan's low-degree gravity field and rotational state. In the presence of a global liquid reservoir, the tidal gravity field is found to be consistent with a subsurface water-ammonia ocean more than 180 km thick and overlain by an outer ice shell of less than 110 km thickness. The model calculations suggest comparatively low ocean ammonia contents of less than 5 wt % and ocean temperatures in excess of 255 K, i.e., higher than previously thought, thereby substantially increasing Titan's potential for habitable locations. The calculated diurnal tidal stresses at Titan's surface amount to 20 kPa, almost comparable to those expected at Enceladus and Europa. Tidal shear stresses are concentrated in the polar areas, while tensile stresses predominate in the near-equatorial, midlatitude areas of the sub- and anti-Saturnian hemispheres. The characteristic pattern of maximum diurnal tidal stresses is largely compliant with the distribution of active regions such as cryovolcanic candidate areas. The latter could be important for Titan's habitability since those may provide possible pathways for liquid water-ammonia outbursts on the surface and the release of methane in the satellite's atmosphere.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/90334/
Document Type:Article
Title:Structural and tidal models of Titan and inferences on cryovolcanism
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Sohl, F.frank.sohl (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Solomonidou, A.National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Geology and Geoenvironment, Athens, GreeceUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, F.W.frank.wagner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Coustenis, A.Laboratoire d’Etudes Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique (LESIA), Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cedex, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Hussmann, H.hauke.hussmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schulze-Makuch, D.School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2014
Journal or Publication Title:JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:119
DOI :10.1002/2013JE004512
Page Range:pp. 1013-1036
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Wieczorek, MarkUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:2169-9097
Status:Published
Keywords:Titan, Interiors, Tectonics, Volcanism, Astrobiology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Rückriemen, Tina
Deposited On:25 Aug 2014 13:36
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:47

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