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Here is a map I just produced of the plate tectonics of a world I'm working on. Does anyone familiar with the subject see anything wrong with it? If you can differentiate between the penciled and the green arrows, the green ones are set in stone, usually to produce a geological feature I already need for the story. The penciled ones I can change. All the cursive words in blue are geological features that are nonnegotiable and that I need the tectonics to produce. Otherwise, anything is open to change!

Thanks for the help.

Here is another map I've done more recently based on the tectonics map, including lakes, islands, and some physical features.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding, Arha! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox useful. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – FoxElemental May 6 '18 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ I can't see any arrows at all so you may need to go with a different visual format. plus this is not a map of plates it looks more like a continent map. $\endgroup$ – John May 6 '18 at 2:01

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You don't really need them, but they exist and would show you where to put island chains. Also, hotspots on land can produce interesting features such as Mount Kilimanjaro and the Yellowstone geysers.

Diffuse boundaries

Not all plate boundaries are 'set in stone.' There tend to be folding zones where collisions happen. The areas labeled 'Diffuse boundary' on the map above shows zones of collistion impact; usually either centered on the line of separation of two plates moving apart (e.g. Africa/Nubia and Somalia plates separating forming the Great Rift Valley) or the folding zones from the most massive collisions. Note the region from North Africa to Iran; this folded region from the collision of Africa and Eurasia and the formed the mountains of the Alpine Orogeny, which themselves erased the former Paratethys sea.

These aren't strictly necessary, but when you have separating plates on land, you should shade an area of volcanic activity as a rift valley forms. If you have colliding plates on land, you should shade a folded zone of high mountains on the slower moving of the two colliders. For example, fast moving India is folding slower moving Eurasia to form the Himalaya; while the fast moving Nazca plate is folding the slower moving South American to form the Andes.

Its really pretty good

I only nit picked some things since an answer of 'no its good' is pretty boring. But it is good.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the feedback! I've actually already gone ahead and started working on physical features, particularly lakes and islands. Hotspots are something I didn't really know anything about and I'm glad you pointed them out to me. They should be helpful for explaining certain things, like islands that are a bit far from fault lines, or, like you pointed out, strange features like Yellowstone. imgur.com/a/S8G3Axc This is my map of features, in case you or anyone else is curious! $\endgroup$ – Arha May 6 '18 at 1:08
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    $\begingroup$ "not set in stone" great pun! $\endgroup$ – Amoeba May 6 '18 at 1:36

First, I'd recommend plugging a jpeg or pdf of your map into GPlates.

It's a pain in the butt, but this will tell you if your maps make sense on a globe. Artefexian explains the process here, starting at 3:04.


He also has a video specifically on how he uses GPlates.


Just off the bat, I have a few questions.

I have to point out the plate called Telcatha on your map. The green arrows along the volcanic island chain and the arrows above the jungle are pointing at each other. Telcatha itself can't be moving north and south at the same time, so is Mistsong just moving south away from Telcatha faster than Telcatha is moving toward it? And if so, why isn't there a convergent fault along Mistsong's southern edge?

How does Balorin relate to Selkie? And is it also a case of For moving south away from Balorin that creates the divergent fault?

Is there a divergent fault between Idelwydrin and Feymarth? Is the a convergent boundary between Feymarth and Kreft?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes I really should figure out GPlates, I just know there's a lot of tech to learn there so I've been putting it off for a while. But yeah, it'd definitely be helpful here, especially to help figure out what's going on at the southern pole. Yes, Mistsong is moving away from Telcatha more quickly than Telcatha is moving toward it. I'll add a convergent fault along Mistsong's southern edge. Balorin should be converging with Selkie. Balorin and Kor are moving away from each other. Yes, Idelwydrin and Feymarch should be diverging. Feymarch and Kreft are moving in the same direction roughly. $\endgroup$ – Arha May 6 '18 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Arha If I hadn't picked up a world building project for another user, I'd be able to help you out more. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – KernelOfChaos May 6 '18 at 3:44

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