AuthorSmith, Diana Elizabeth
AdvisorMelosh, Henry J.
Committee ChairMelosh, Henry J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCassini spacecraft images of Enceladus' surface have revealed diverse terrains---some heavily cratered, others almost devoid of craters, and even some with ridges and fractures. We have documented crater morphologies in regions for which high-resolution data are available (140 to 360 W and 90 S to 60 N). The south polar region shows a dearth of craters, in sharp contrast to the heavily cratered northern latitudes. Tectonized regions such as Sarandib and Diyar Planitiae also have low crater densities. Viscously relaxed craters are found in the apparently young regions of the anti-Saturnian and trailing hemispheres, as well as in the older, upper northern latitudes. By modeling the viscoelastic relaxation of craters on Enceladus using TEKTON, a finite-element code, we predict large geographical variation in heat flow and a complicated thermal history on Enceladus. Our results are consistent with the planitiae being older examples of the South Polar Terrain, supporting a satellite-reorientation hypothesis.
Degree ProgramPlanetary Sciences