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A radar map of Titan Seas: tidal dissipation and ocean mixing through the throat of Kraken
Lorenz, D; Kirk, L; Hayes, G; Anderson, Z; Lunine, I; Tokano, T; Turtle, P; Malaska, J; Soderblom, M; Lucas, A; Karatekin, O.; Wall, D (2014). A radar map of Titan Seas: tidal dissipation and ocean mixing through the throat of Kraken. Icarus 237: 9-15. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2014.04.005
In: Icarus. Elsevier. ISSN 0019-1035, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 295656 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Titan, hydrology; Tides, solid body; Satellites, dynamics; Radioobservations

Authors  Top 
  • Lorenz, D
  • Kirk, L
  • Hayes, G
  • Anderson, Z
  • Lunine, I
  • Tokano, T
  • Turtle, P
  • Malaska, J
  • Soderblom, M
  • Lucas, A
  • Karatekin, O., more
  • Wall, D

Abstract
    We present a radar map of the Titan's seas, with bathymetry estimated as proportional to distance from the nearest shore. This naive analytic bathymetry, scaled to a recent radar sounding of Ligeia Mare, suggests a total liquid volume of 32,000 km(3), at the low end of estimates made in 2008 when mapping coverage was incomplete. We note that Kraken Mare has two principal basins, separated by a narrow (similar to 17 km wide, similar to 40 km long) strait we refer to as the 'throat'. Tidal currents in this strait may be dramatic (similar to 0.5 m/s), generating observable effects such as dynamic topography, whirlpools, and acoustic noise, much like tidal races on Earth such as the Corryvreckan off Scotland. If tidal flow through this strait is the dominant mixing process, the two basins take 20 Earth years to exchange their liquid inventory. Thus compositional differences over seasonal timescales may exist, but the composition of solutes (and thus evaporites) over Croll-Milankovich timescales should be homogenized.

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