Dione's spectral and geological properties

Katrin Stephan, Ralf Jaumann, Roland Wagner, Roger N. Clark, Dale P. Cruikshank, Charles A. Hibbitts, Thomas Roatsch, Harald Hoffmann, Robert H. Brown, G. Filiacchione, Bonnie J. Buratti, Gary B. Hansen, Tom B. McCord, Phil D. Nicholson, Kevin H. Baines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We present a detailed analysis of the variations in spectral properties across the surface of Saturn's satellite Dione using Cassini/VIMS data and their relationships to geological and/or morphological characteristics as seen in the Cassini/ISS images. This analysis focuses on a local region on Dione's anti-saturnian hemisphere that was observed by VIMS with high spatial resolution during orbit 16 in October 2005. The results are incorporated into a global context provided by VIMS data acquired within Cassini's first 50 orbits. Our results show that Dione's surface is dominated by at least one global process. Bombardment by magnetospheric particles is consistent with the concentration of dark material and enhanced CO2 absorption on the trailing hemisphere of Dione independent of the geology. Local regions within this terrain indicate a special kind of resurfacing that probably is related to large-scale impact process. In contrast, the enhanced ice signature on the leading side is associated with the extended ejecta of the fresh impact crater Creusa (∼49°N/76°W). Although no geologically active regions could be identified, Dione's tectonized regions observed with high spatial resolution partly show some clean H2O ice implying that tectonic processes could have continued into more recent times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-652
Number of pages22
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Geological processes
  • Satellites
  • Saturn
  • Spectroscopy
  • Surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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