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Volatile Origin and Cycles: Nitrogen and Methane, S. K. Atreya, R. D. Lorenz, and J. H. Waite, in Titan from Cassini-Huygens (R.H. Brown et al.,
 

Summary: Volatile Origin and Cycles: Nitrogen and Methane,
S. K. Atreya, R. D. Lorenz, and J. H. Waite, in Titan from Cassini-Huygens (R.H. Brown et al.,
eds.), Chapter 7, pp 177-199, 2009, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-9215-2_7, Springer Dordrecht,
Heidelberg-London-New York.
177
Abstract The story of Titan's two most abundant volatile
constituents, nitrogen and methane, is intertwined. The focus
of this paper is the origin and evolution of Titan's nitrogen
atmosphere and the cycle of methane from its production to
destruction to replenishment. Relevant observational results
from Cassini­Huygens, Voyager and the Earth as well as
various hypotheses and models are reviewed. The origin
of nitrogen by direct capture, and from dissociation of pri-
mordial nitrogen-bearing molecules, especially ammonia, by
impact, photolysis, thermal and other processes is evaluated.
Similarly, the origin of methane from Saturn's sub-nebula or
by water-rock reactions in Titan's interior is reviewed. The
role of methane in regulating Titan's climate is noted, and
similarities and differences between the methane cycle in
Titan's troposphere and the hydrological cycle on Earth are

  

Source: Atreya, Sushil - Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, University of Michigan

 

Collections: Physics