after much umm-ing and ahh-ing and head scratching, I've decided to seek some advice about my worldbuilding project for the novel I'm writing.

Im looking for feedback/critique on what I've done wrong with the current model and what, if anything, more knowledgeable people could see happening in such a different world.

The basic premise is that a great magical cataclysm occurred around 1AD in this timeline and all the continents shifted unnaturally (while keeping living creatures alive, mostly, and the world intact) leading to the world you see here. It's still Earth in every other way. (Antarctica is still there just not shown on this map, it's inaccurate but it's worked for me)

I've done my best to try and construct an ocean current system for this world, but I am having great difficulty as most of my understanding of ocean currents is coming from an Artifexian video, so any help/pointers would be appreciated. I'm not adverse to changing certain parts of the map or the continental shelf to make the ocean currents work properly but any assistance/advice would be massively appreciated, thanks. (If either map looks terrible please be kind, I'm no expert, just a creative.)

  • $\begingroup$ Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Worldbuilding Meta, or in Worldbuilding Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 18:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why where the actual images of the currents removed in the latest edit ? $\endgroup$
    – OT-64 SKOT
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ "Antarctica is still there just not shown on this map" What map? $\endgroup$
    – Hearth
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 1:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please do not make edits that invalidate answers, nor thatninvalidate a question. If you wish you may delete the question instead. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 16:45

1 Answer 1

  1. There are too many currents on this very small scale map. In reality I would expect that the system major surface currents would be much simpler.

  2. The major gyres ought to be clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern.

  3. I don't see the massive east-to-west equatorial currents at about 10° latitude and the corresponding west-to-east countercurrent roughly smack on the equator.

  4. The currents hug the coastlines too much. Yes, sometimes great ocean surface currents do come close to the coasts, but most usually they only approximate them rather than following them slavishly.

  5. You have a bidirectional flow around 50° south. That's not possible. The winds blow always from the west there, and you will have a massive west-to-east circumpolar drift.

  6. Small almost completely enclosed basins rarely have surface currents worth mentioning on such a small scale map.

  7. Sometimes currents do branch seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but please keep this to a minimum and don't make the braches diverge quite that sharply.

For reference, here is a similar small scale map of the real world with the major ocean surface currents:

Major surface currents

Map from Wikimedia, created by user GifTagger from a public domain US Government map by Dr. Michael Pidwirny.

  • $\begingroup$ 1) What is the differences in a gyre and a current? 2) The fractured land mass model the op posted, since it there are not very large (uninterrupted by landforms) bodies of water. No large currents moving heat between hemispheres and only relatively small small thermal mass reservoirs. Would this cause a more even heat dispersal or more chaotic? $\endgroup$
    – Gillgamesh
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Gillgamesh: (1) Most ocean currents are part of biggg gyres which make the water move in great loops. For example, in the northern Atlantic, the North Equatorial current + the Gulf Stream + North Atlantic Drift + Canary Current. (2) On the real Earth there are no big currents (or winds, for that matter) moving heat between the hemispheres. The two hemispheres behaves as if they were almost independent of each other. (3) Yes, the system is not fully stable, neither on the real Earth nor on the fantasy world. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for explanation, thanks! OP has removed the map, but I was not speculating on its stability directly but more on the degree more / less than a map with larger land masses like our own vs the very broken up one in this post. $\endgroup$
    – Gillgamesh
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 12:36

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