“The Long Reach of River Networks”
Abstract: Branching networks of rivers are among Earth’s most widespread and recognizable surface features. They have also been discovered on two other Solar System bodies: Mars and Saturn’s moon Titan. What do these striking landscape patterns tell us about the histories of different worlds? I will show how recent measurements and models have provided a new perspective on the origin and evolution of river networks. I will then shift the focus to Titan, where an exotic cocktail of materials and conditions has formed a deceptively Earth-like landscape, and show what our knowledge of rivers can teach us about weather and tectonics on this mysterious moon.
Taylor Perron is Associate Professor of Geology and Chair of the Program in Geology, Geochemistry + Geobiology in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at MIT.