Kraken Mare bathymetry and composition from Cassini RADAR

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Marco Mastrogiuseppe Sr1,2, Alexander G Hayes Jr1, Alice Anne Le Gall3, Domenico Casarano4, Jason Daniel Hofgartner5, Ralph D Lorenz6, Jonathan I Lunine5, Claudia Notarnicola7, Valerio Poggiali2, Ozgur Karatekin8 and Roberto Seu2, (1)Cornell University, Astronomy, Ithaca, NY, United States, (2)Università La Sapienza, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Rome, Italy, (3)LATMOS Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales, Paris Cedex 05, France, (4)CNR-IRPI National Research Council, Bari, Italy, (5)Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States, (6)JHU / APL, Laurel, MD, United States, (7)eurac, Bolzano, Italy, (8)Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
On August 21st, 2014, the Cassini spacecraft will perform its T104 fly-by of Titan. The T104 fly-by will present unique opportunity to sound depths of the Titan biggest sea - Kraken Mare. During closest approach, the RADAR will be pointed at nadir and collect data along a 200 km shore-to-shore track of Kraken Mare. Based on the recent May 2013 (T91) nadir observations of Ligeia Mare, which were used to construct a bathymetric profile and determined the sea’s loss tangent, we expect to detect echoes from both surface and seafloor of Kraken with the opportunity to derive the depth and composition of Titan’s largest sea. The possibility to sound the deepest points of Kraken will depend mainly on the liquids absorption, seafloor morphology and surface flatness. Regardless, however, the near-shore returns are expected to provide sea-floor echo’s above the Cassini RADAR’s noise floor. We will present the results of the T104 flyby and contrast them against the results of similar analysis for both Ligeia Mare and Ontario Lacus. When analysed together, the results from all three will help discern the role of lakes/seas in Titan’ overall hydrocarbon-based hydrologic cycle.