Raised Rims around Titan's Sharp‐Edged Depressions

S. . Birch
A. G. Hayes
V. Poggiali
J. D. Hofgartnerr
J. I. Lunine
M. J. Malaska
S. Wall
R. M. Lopes
O. White


We perform a systematic survey of Titan's sharp‐edged depressions (SEDs) using a combination of Cassini synthetic aperture radar images and delay‐Doppler processed altimetry. We identify a characteristic bright‐dark pattern around 172 SEDs that correlates with elevated features only resolved with the highest resolution topographic data. We find that ∼75% of Titan's SEDs have elevated (∼100 m) rim features, with a preference toward larger SEDs. The differences in the distribution of SED rim presence between the north and south are slight, but the data weakly suggest that northern SEDs may be more likely to have a rim. The pattern we identify in synthetic aperture radar images is similar to quasi‐specular increases in backscatter seen on Titan's dunes. We show that this bright‐dark pattern occurs due to elevated local slopes oriented perpendicular to the radar. In general, rims occur on most of Titan's SEDs, an observation that will aid in developing and testing SED formation models.