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New study was published on coastal erosional processes on Titan’s shorelines. 

Synthetic Aperture Radar grayscale image of Ligeia Mare, a sea on Titan's north pole.
Ligeia Mare, a sea in the north polar region of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. This image is a false-color mosaic of synthetic aperture radar images obtained by the Cassini spacecraft between February 2006 and April 2007.

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is the only known planetary body besides Earth on which standing liquids persist. A methane-based hydrologic cycle produces hydrocarbon rainfall, which forms rivers, lakes, and seas on Titan’s surface. Titan’s rivers have carved deep canyons and extensive river drainage networks into the landscape, which are now flooded in the north polar region, submerged along the coasts of the seas.

The shorelines of Titan’s hydrocarbon seas may record aspects of the moon’s climatic and geologic history. In this study, "Signatures of wave erosion in Titan’s coasts," we used numerical models and lake coastlines on Earth to develop a morphologic fingerprint of coastal processes. We applied our statistical technique to maps of Titan’s shorelines and find that they are most consistent with flooded, fluvially-incised landscapes that subsequently have been eroded by waves, particularly if wave growth saturates at fetch lengths of tens of kilometers. These results suggest that waves may not only be formed on Titan’s sea-surfaces, but also that they could drive detectable coastline erosion.

Read the article "Study: Titan’s lakes may be shaped by waves" in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology News.

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