The Iapetus’s ridge: Possible explanations of its origin

Czechowski L, Leliwa-Kopystyński J.

Advances in Space Research

42(1), 2007, 61-69, 10.1016/j.asr.2007.08.008

Images from the Cassini mission show the existence of a long ridge on Iapetus. It extends at least 1400 km along the great circle defined by the equator. We discuss the possibility that the ridge is a result of extensional forces acting above an ascending current of solid-state convection. A two-cell pattern of convection is a reasonable explanation of the observed feature. Three scenarios of the ridge formation are proposed: spin–orbit resonance scenario, convection in low viscosity-interior scenario, and impact generating flow scenario.