March 2009 Meeting

Monday, March 9, 2009
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville
J.L. Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Faculty/Staff Dining Room


Some Discoveries and Some Questions about Extraterrestrial Channelized Flow

Dr. Devon M. Burr
University of Tennessee, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Knoxville, Tennessee

Evidence for channelized flow exists on a variety of extraterrestrial surfaces, including the Moon, Venus, Mars, and Titan. These extraterrestrial channels display a range of morphologies and have formed by a wide range of conditions, but have some surprising similarities. They are also similar in some aspects to examples of terrestrial channelized flow, which help us interpret these extraterrestrial features, but also raise some questions. Recent discoveries of inverted fluvial channels on Mars extend our understanding of the history of water and erosion on that planet. The discovery of fluvial channels on Titan provides information about the volatile cycle on that body, and possibly about the subsurface structure as well. The pronounced sinuosity of both the Martian and the Titan features is surprising, given that sinuosity requires bank cohesion which on Earth is commonly attributed to vegetation. Future work may elucidate how meandering could occur without on worlds without vegetation, and provide additional insight into meandering on Earth.


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