Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes
Article first published online: 29 JAN 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 2, January 2009
How to Cite
2009), Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L02204, doi:10.1029/2008GL036186., , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 29 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 29 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 1 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Received: 1 OCT 2008
 Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) has been observing Titan since April 2004, compiling a nearly global surface map and monitoring the surface and atmosphere for activity. Early images of the south-polar region revealed numerous dark surface features and contemporaneous convective cloud systems, suggesting the presence of hydrocarbon lakes similar to those later detected at Titan's North Pole. Intriguingly, repeated south-polar imaging by ISS revealed differences consistent with ponding of hydrocarbon liquids on the surface due to precipitation from a large storm. More recent ISS images of high northern latitudes illustrate the full extents (>500,000 km2) of hydrocarbon seas, sections of which have been observed by Cassini's RADAR. These observations demonstrate dynamic processes at work on Titan and that the poles harbor liquid-hydrocarbon reservoirs, the extents of which differ from pole to pole and which may be coupled to seasonally varying circulation.