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In my story, a planet has

  1. About 1.5x to 2x the surface gravity of Earth
  2. Much more volcanic activity than Earth
  3. An extremely strong magnetic field (ideally at least 100x that of Earth. My research on the topic suggests this is somewhat possible, given the previously mentioned volcanic activity and a larger core size)
  4. An Earth-like atmosphere, though with stronger winds and more quickly-changing weather

That last one is due to the fact that it orbits a flare star, specifically 61 Cygni B (even more specifically, it orbits 0.45 AU away, toward the outer edge of the habitable zone). The strong magnetic field keeps the atmosphere from depleting, but the random flare activity causes wild swings in temperature. I'm still working out some details, so I could budge a bit on the gravity or atmospheric density, though the magnetic field obviously has huge implications for habitability, so it's non-negotiable.

My question is, what kind of visually interesting geological feature(s) could arise on such a planet that wouldn't happen on Earth? For instance, could the strong magnetic field cause any naturally-formed stone to be oriented along it? My guess is no, since the Curie temperature of rock is much lower than the temperature of lava, so the field wouldn't influence it until after it hardened. So what, if anything, could form on this planet that couldn't on Earth?

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    $\begingroup$ Earth's magnetosphere at the surface varies between 30-60 µteslas. Compare this to a refrigerator magnet which is about 10,000 µteslas. You're advocating a big jump, but it's not terribly dramatic. Fewer aurora borealis. Compasses would identify magnetic north with authority. Maybe ferrous mineral deposits would tend to be more north-to-south. Yes, less atmosphere would be blown away by the solar wind, but it's gravity that has most of that effect - and you've doubled that. IMO the magnetosphere won't have a significant impact on the answers to your Q. Could be wrong, though. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 8, 2021 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ I agree, I think the volcanism and gravity are the bigger factors, I just figured I'd mention the magnetic field too in case there was some cool phenomenon it might cause $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2021 at 19:48

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Stronger winds = more aeolian landscapes.

ventifact

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventifact

JBH is right about the magnetic field. They would give you amazing auroras, especially with an energetic solar wind - maybe enough to light every night,. But probably not much geology from that.

Windier and (maybe?) more atmopsheric pressure would mean wind would be a more powerful force in shaping the environment. There are lots of weird landforms in aeolian landscapes (ventifacts, yardangs etc) and they are cool and weird for a fictional world.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey Gilad. I love this answer and upvoted it, but it prompts a question. If we double Earth's gravity but don't change the radius, the result should be (I think) double the air pressure at sea level and a shorter (in terms of altitude) atmospheric blanket (there's gotta be a name for that). Can you tell us what the radius of your planet is? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 8, 2021 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer. Thanks for teaching me the words "ventifact" and "yardang," which sound like an alien trying to figure out what English sounds like :) @JBH the details are in flux. I'm optimizing for magnetic field, habitability, and having awesome auroras. The biggest factor in magnetic field strength is core radius, which implies more mass and more gravity. But if I make it too massive, the atmosphere is too close to the surface and I don't get good auroras. Large atmosphere density can compensate, but like you said, that involves high pressures at sea level, which could cause problems. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2021 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ Dunno why I find those words as funny as I do, but just wanted to say, thanks for the profile name idea, @Willk. I'd been meaning to change it anyway :) $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2021 at 15:23

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