Chemical Composition of Titan's Dry Lakebed Evaporites

By Keith Cowing
August 24, 2013
Chemical Composition of Titan's Dry Lakebed Evaporites

Titan, the main satellite of Saturn, has an active cycle of methane in its troposphere. Among other evidence for a mechanism of evaporation at work on the ground, dry lakebeds have been discovered.

Recent Cassini infrared observations of these empty lakes have revealed a surface composition poor in water ice compared to that of the surrounding terrains — suggesting the existence of organic evaporites deposits. The chemical composition of these possible evaporites is unknown.

In this paper, we study evaporite composition using a model that treats both organic solids dissolution and solvent evaporation. Our results suggest the possibility of large abundances of butane and acetylene in the lake evaporites. However, due to uncertainties of the employed theory, these determinations have to be confirmed by laboratory experiments.

Daniel Cordier, Jason Barnes, Abel Ferreira
(Submitted on 22 Aug 2013)

Comments: Icarus, in press

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1308.4856 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1308.4856v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history
From: Daniel Cordier
[v1] Thu, 22 Aug 2013 13:24:35 GMT (20kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻