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Unexpected belt of ice on Titan
MarcF
post May 1 2019, 01:39 PM
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A massive belt of water ice, 6,300 kilometers long, has been identified on the surface of Titan.
https://www.space.com/titan-saturn-moon-wei...-formation.html
“It’s possible that we are seeing something that’s a vestige of a time when Titan was quite different,” says Griffith. “It can’t be explained by what we see there now.” Titan is probably not geologically active now, but the exposed ice could be a sign of the moon’s crust shifting or quaking in the past.
The ice may be embedded in the side of cliff faces exposed by erosion, rather than flat on the ground, Griffith says"

The water ice feature localizes to the huge linear formation including the Aztlan sand sea and its extensions on each side, which is probably not a coincidence. It reminds me the complex ridge-trough system at least 3200 km long extending north-to-south along the 155° meridian on Pluto.
Regards,
Marc
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ngunn
post May 23 2019, 08:22 AM
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I think there is a problem with time scales when linking the ice feature to any proposed ancient impact structure. The ice signature presumably traces a current or recent active process, also it conspicuously fails to follow the big circle.
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rlorenz
post May 24 2019, 12:01 AM
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QUOTE (ngunn @ May 23 2019, 03:22 AM) *
The ice signature presumably traces a current or recent active process, also it conspicuously fails to follow the big circle.


It is notable that the signature appears on the eastern margins of bright areas, where they grade into dunefields (this pattern is seen in the ejecta of some craters, as well as in the large-scale bright features). Such a consistent bias suggests something to do with the atmospheric circulation, perhaps via precipitation/erosion of icy bedrock, or by removing sand that was covering it up. It's an interesting puzzle.
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