Titan, unlike earth has a liquid (mostly) water ocean beneath it's icy crust. (I think) this prevents plate tectonics because it isn't viscous enough to drag the crust with it. The heating of said ocean isn't uniform, setting up convection currents. Downwelling water will be cooler than the upwelling water at the same depth. Cooler water means a thicker crust, which means the top of the (less dense) crust must be higher for the same total weight, much like how mountain roots on Earth keep mountains from sinking.

Is this a plausible mechanism for the formation of some of the mountain ranges on Titan?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You must be a geophysicist. Good for you! $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2020 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ Titan is less unlike Earth than you think. It may not be liquid, but we have evidence for water deep in the mantle of Earth. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2020 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ How do we know that "The heating of said ocean isn't uniform, setting up convection currents"? It's hard to imagine anything natural could be completely uniform, but is there some evidence of these convection currents? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 24, 2020 at 1:58


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