An Earth analog had been modified by an advanced species to have saltwater seas in an interconnected grid across the planet's surface. The planet has no true oceans and only the large grid network of saltwater seas. Each sea is approximately 80 miles in width and varies in depth from 1 to 2 miles at the deepest. What would the effects on climate be? Would it have an even temperate climate since water can move across the globe or harsh due to lack of oceans?

Edit: Imagine they follow the planet's lines of latitude and longitude.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ This is the case where an image would help. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jun 23, 2019 at 4:17
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    $\begingroup$ Spacing of the grid can play a role. Your edit adds not meaningful information $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jun 23, 2019 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ An apt username for the question, Thalassan :) $\endgroup$
    – Dubukay
    Jun 24, 2019 at 5:04
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    $\begingroup$ Thank You! @Dubukay $\endgroup$
    – Thalassan
    Jun 24, 2019 at 5:06

3 Answers 3

  • Those oceans are extremely deep for their size. Any mechanism to prevent them from silting up over geological ages?
  • Small seas mean you cannot have very large rivers, or large watersheds for those rivers.
  • Having substantial bodies of water near everything would make the temperatures more even across the day/night and annual cycle. In the summer the oceans are a heat sink, in the winter they give it back (Continental climate).
  • Things like the Gulf Stream would be impossible, so I'd expect more regular climates at every latitude.

Net result, a very predictable climate.


Since I am envisioning an entire planetary surface made of isolated squares of deep water, I would expect the lack of currents would result in temperature extremes. The equatorial areas would be the hottest and as the latitude increased North or South, the squares would be cooler. Until you got to the polar regions, which might be frozen solid.

If they were one large ocean, then currents would mitigate temperature extremes, but as small bounded seas, they seem like they only get heated by the sunlight they receive.


Without oceanic circulation, the seas in tropical latitudes would evaporate in short time (I guesstimate hundred years) and water deposited toward poles. Poles likewise without being warmed by currents, would end up with large stable ice caps, and only two relatively thin strips of moderate latitudes would stay habitable. Such widespread change could even topple the climate into ice age, planet with large ice caps and frigid desert between them.

Over the scale of millions of years, if the aliens did not disable plate tectonics, these will disrupt the setup and larger oceans/landmasses will reemerge.


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