The bathymetry of a Titan sea
Marco Mastrogiuseppe,Valerio Poggiali,Alexander Hayes, ..., Enrico Flamini, et al.
Mar - 2014
DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058618
ISSN : 1944-8007 ;
journal : Geophysical Research Letters - Volume 41, Issue 5
type: Article Journal

We construct the depth profile—the bathymetry—of Titan's large sea Ligeia Mare from Cassini RADAR data collected during the 23 May 2013 (T91) nadir-looking altimetry flyby. We find the greatest depth to be about 160 m and a seabed slope that is gentler toward the northern shore, consistent with previously imaged shoreline morphologies. Low radio signal attenuation through the sea demonstrates that the liquid, for which we determine a loss tangent of 3 ± 1·10−5, is remarkably transparent, requiring a nearly pure methane-ethane composition, and further that microwave absorbing hydrocarbons, nitriles, and suspended particles be limited to less than the order of 0.1% of the liquid volume. Presence of nitrogen in the ethane-methane sea, expected based on its solubility and dominance in the atmosphere, is consistent with the low attenuation, but that of substantial dissolved polar species or suspended scatterers is not.

keywords : Planetary Sciences; Solar System Objects; Titan; Hydrology; Remote sensing; Cassini