I am in the beginning stages of creating another imaginary world and would like other Worldbuilders feedback on my planet’s tectonic plates. I have done a fair bit of research. I have watched videos, read articles, and reviewed papers. I am currently learning about the different types of mountains that can form from plates colliding or moving apart. A key site that has helped me a whole bunch is Worldbuilding Pasta. Highly recommend it.

The world has an average temperature of 18C, meaning there are no ice caps to speak of. The planet is the same mass as Earth but has a radius of 0.997. I got all of these numbers via Artifexian’s Worldsmith Spreadsheet(he is currently working on the spreadsheet, so I am unable to add a link to it but here is a link to the latest video) Using some of the methods given to me by the helpful answerers of my “How to measure land area for a map?” question, I have concluded that the world is about 45% land.

L.Dutch’s answer is in response to this map. enter image description here

John’s answer is in response to this map, which was changed to the one above after the question was rolled back to a previous revision. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ What improvements are you looking for? More accurate simulation of real-world plate interaction? +10 coolness? Scenarios where Volcanoes, earthquakes and hotsprings are ubiquitous? I feel this question is 75% baked and needs a final paragraph as to what specific input you are seeking $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2023 at 1:37
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH I will now actually answer your comment. Your answer is great on the other question. I will absolutely be editing my maps accordingly. I asked about my map because it is different from the user’s. I learned a lot from them. But again, my map is different from them and I wished to see the answers to it. I do have more knowledge then them but I want other people’s opinions. $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 2:58
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    $\begingroup$ "What can I improve?" is not a worldbuilding problem. Is a fishing for idea kind of question, which we don't accept $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 5:52
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    $\begingroup$ What makes you think that invalidating only one answer is ok? No answer shall be invalidated by edits. Full stop. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 6:19
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't even know that was a thing. I read the basics of this server and didn't go beyond that unless it seemed interesting. I just find it interesting that the answer invalidated is that of a mod and that mod then changes the title and removes text was added to clarify what the question is asking(which is something that is expected to be done when it is asked for). $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


No, your divergent boundaries should be in the center of most oceans. Oceans form from divergent boundaries creating new oceanic crust. Look at the Atlantic as an example, note how it also mirrors the shape of the continental margin. Continents are literally torn apart and oceanic crust fills in the gaps symmetrically on each side.

enter image description here

Convergent boundaries are often along the coast of a continent, divergent are highly unlikely to be found there.

As a side note, thank you for labeling everything; it makes it so much easier.

changes to make

  • Divergent

    Put the border between 2 and 6 in the center of the sea. The shape is fine.

    Ditto for the border between 2/6 and 4: reduce it to a single boundary and move it to the center of the sea.

    There should only be one boundary in 7, and it should be in the center, or at least near the center, but the shape of the upper of the two boundaries is perfect - you only have to move it.

    The southern boundary for 11 should be moved farther away from it.

    The border between 5 and 2 is perfect.

  • Convergent

    See real world subduction zones:

    enter image description here

    Move the boundary for 6 and 7/10 to the actual coastline of 6, or even slightly inland. You can leave one out and put some islands there, as that is how island arcs form.

    The border between 6 and 11 should be on the coast of one or the other.

    Move the northern border of 2 on land OR put an island arc (like Japan) there.

Change that and all your placements should be fine.

  • $\begingroup$ For the border between 2 and 6, I am doing what can be seen at the Mediterranean Sea(even though it has nearly the same area as Brazil. 8.3 million to 8.5 million). The African Plate and Eurasia Plate are diverging. $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Martamo actually they are converging, but that would work, $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ Oh. On the map it shows most sides of the African Plate diverging. I just assumed it was the same for the Mediterranean. But there are no arrows there so. Interesting. I will take that into account. $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 20:09

No, your plates as put in the drawing are not realistic.

Here is why: all around the map you have plaque margins which are convergent on one side and divergent at the other. This is not physically possible.

A margin is either divergent or convergent, as it was already explained in other answers on tectonic plates.

Notable offender: at the bottom left, there is an horizontal margin with an up arrow on both sides.

  • $\begingroup$ If a plate is moving then would one side be convergent while the other is divergent? And for the bottom plate, are you talking about the small continent or the South Pole plate? $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ I learned the majority of how tectonic plates work from the analysis article called “Tectonics: Constructing a Plate Tectonic History” on Worldbuilding Pasta. It in the author writes “In an idealized case such as the one I first described, a plate has a divergent boundary on one side and convergent on the other, such as is the case for the Nazca plate.” You have stated that this is not physically possible? How else do the plates look? There are cases where a plate is mostly surrounded by convergent boundaries(ie: The Filipino Plate) or mostly divergent boundaries(ie: The African Plate). $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Martamo you made each boundary both divergent and convergent, which is not what your reference says $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ Are you talking about the Antarctic plate and the big continent plate going it the same direction? $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ I believe I have fixed it. If I have it right then it is on to mountains, volcanoes, and climates. $\endgroup$
    – Martamo
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 22:28

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