Surface albedo spectral properties of geologically interesting areas on Titan

A. Solomonidou, M. Hirtzig, A. Coustenis, E. Bratsolis, S. Le Mouélic, S. Rodriguez, K. Stephan, P. Drossart, C. Sotin, R. Jaumann, R. H. Brown, K. Kyriakopoulos, R. M.C. Lopes, G. Bampasidis, K. Stamatelopoulou-Seymour, X. Moussas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We investigate the nature and possible formation processes of three areas on Titan's surface which have been suggested as geologically interesting: Hotei Regio, Tui Regio, and Sotra Patera. We also reanalyze the spectral characteristics of the Huygens Landing Site. We apply a statistical Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and a radiative transfer (RT) method on the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer Datacubes in order to retrieve the surface albedo of distinct spectral units in the near infrared. We have been able to exploit only a subset of the currently available Hotei Regio data, which are, in general, not optimal in terms of geometry for an analysis with a plane-parallel RT code. Our inferred surface albedos present generally higher values from 1 to 2μm and lower ones at 0.94 and in the 2.6-5μm region. The Regions of Interest (RoIs) within Hotei Regio, Tui Regio, and Sotra Patera are always significantly brighter than the surrounding areas. The largest variations are found longward of 2μm and mainly at 5μm. This higher surface albedo with respect to the surrounding area and, in general, the fact that the spectral behavior is different for each of these areas, is probably indicative of diverse chemical compositions and origins. We compare the spectral albedos with some suggested surface candidates on Titan (such as H2O, CO2, and CH4 ices, as well as tholin) and discuss possible chemical composition variations as well as other interpretations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1729-1747
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • principal component analysis
  • radiative transfer
  • surface albedo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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