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Questions tagged [deserts]

For questions about the formation and existence of deserts, how civilizations survive in them, creatures of the desert, and related topics.

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2 answers
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How to calculate the surface area of a lake in an endorheic basin, where evaporation is the only "outflow"

So, I am essentially doing a project where the Western Amazon is an endorheic basin with the climate of the Sechura desert and wanted to see how large the surface area of the lake formed within would ...
The Great One's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
890 views

Very Simple: Is white hair good for a hot environment?

Simple question: In a desert environment (Just assume the Sahel-Sahara border area in terms of environment), is white hair a detriment or benefit? Please answer at your earliest convenience.
Rory 02's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes
2 answers
790 views

How far can inland sea with area 350000 sqkm influence precipitation?

I already wrote here one question about my planet Artemis. It has size similar to Earth, it is orbiting its star in average distance like Earth, but with little bit larger excentricity (causing that ...
GiuseppeZee's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
170 views

Large Chasm with water in desert world , temperatures and wind patterns

I'm developing a desert world with polar ice caps, but the majority of the planet is covered in scorching desert terrain. The ice caps, though present, are relatively small, and the areas near the ...
Naima's user avatar
  • 363
5 votes
1 answer
254 views

If winds blew 500 mph regularly for millions of years, would dune ergs get blown into a corner?

Suffice it to say this is a bit specific for google. Erosion likely still builds up huge sandfields but I wonder if, given the force of the wind, they'd be moved from being spread out as an actual erg ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
13 votes
6 answers
4k views

What would a mountain and desert made out of diamond, glass, or a see-through fantasy material look like?

I once ran across a question on this forum a few years back that questioned if mountains made out of diamond could reasonably exist. Ever since then I've been interested in the concept of diamond ...
Dorothy Vivian's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I determine the radius of turn a 4.6m diameter Tunnel Boring Machine could have? (im building fictional underground labs in the desert)

I have chosen this kind of Tunnel Boring Machine to make the tunnels (4.6m diameter). The curvature of the tunnels depends on the radius of turn the machine has. The idea is to build underground ...
olivia__bd's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
190 views

Does heat stroke and stress cause vivid hallucinations or scattered [closed]

In my novel the protagonist hallucinates a building in the middle of the desert, almost like an oasis. Would hallucinations from stress or heat stroke create a vivid and imaginary environment he could ...
Lucas Avigliano's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
3k views

Plausibility of using orbital mirrors to dig a canyon

So I'm working on a sci-fi setting, a scorching hot desert planet where colonists live in canyons. The problem is, canyons are naturally formed by water- something this desert planet is very lacking ...
Atlan's user avatar
  • 499
4 votes
2 answers
270 views

Realistic desert size?

I have figured out a fair bit of processes for my fictional world but am having trouble trying to decide if this desert is a realistic size. I have highlighted the area in yellow and a rainforest in ...
Martamo's user avatar
  • 976
1 vote
2 answers
191 views

Colorful desert on a lifeless planet that has water?

The planet has earth-like atmospheric pressure and size, it's in the habitable zone, and has 45% land and 55% water (that absorbed a lot of CO2), with an atmosphere of almost 98% nitrogen and not so ...
Khalid's user avatar
  • 543
1 vote
2 answers
330 views

In what sort of lands could I install my people? [closed]

Here is the plot: in a society close to earth and humans, but with medieval-like technologies, there is a group of people that is regularly migrated to a new place where it should installed itself. ...
totalMongot's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
283 views

Turning the desert green with invasive plants

I don't like the sand, but apparently deserts are inevitable since I don't remember reading about a period on earth when there were no deserts. So I was thinking, what invasive plants of earth has the ...
user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

What mount would work best in a desert setting as a cavalry animal?

The story I’m currently writing, is in a fantasy desert setting. It’s gonna be focused on world and city building so obviously the army is gonna play a big role. The technology of the world is based ...
Boulder_Man's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
174 views

Deserts and Rainshadows near Equatorial Continent with North/South Mountains

So I have two continents on the equator with a north-south mountain range. One has the mountain range roughly in the middle, while the other is on the east coast. The plate boundary for the east coast ...
Brian-Lee Baetz's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
152 views

Where in the American West Would a New City Arise? [closed]

It's been 20 years since a global pandemic wiped out over 99% of the world population, and America was not spared. Of the 330 million people in the country (give or take a few million), only about 1.5 ...
Robbie's user avatar
  • 159
19 votes
4 answers
4k views

How could a black desert form?

While there are areas on our world that hold vast amounts of black sand like Reynisfjara, they are usually confined to beaches and don't cover a large area. What I'm wondering is how can a desert with ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,971
7 votes
2 answers
158 views

How can I organize societal structure based on harsh climates?

I'm writing a fantasy old-west type novel, and I want this world to have extreme climates. I have a few questions, particularly for Americans: I want the mostly settled areas (mid to low income ...
Hugo's user avatar
  • 91
4 votes
3 answers
398 views

Would this fire-based magical catastrophe turn a forest region into a desert?

A massive magic ritual involving the nation's greatest spellcasters utilizing an entire city as their focus, either through miscalculation or sabotage, inadvertently open a massive portal into the ...
goat_fab's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
3 answers
293 views

Could a hot desert plausibly exist in this location?

I'm attempting to construct a world such that a hot desert like the Sahara exists in the region outlined in yellow. The same map depicting prevailing winds (thick arrows) and ocean currents (thin ...
H0tCh0colat3's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
4k views

In a desert made of sugar, what would happen if it rained?

The next setting I'm working on is a desert made entirely of sugar. It's unclear how this came to be, but it's created a unique and bizarre landscape. Something I've been considering, is what might ...
Tclarkrpg's user avatar
  • 239
6 votes
2 answers
512 views

Could a Massive Freshwater Lake and River System Exist in a Desert Environment?

In my book series, there is this lake called Lake Pheron. Lake Pheron's surface is located about 2,200 feet above sea level in a mostly flat, inland area called the Tangolian Desert. This desert is ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
16 votes
14 answers
5k views

How to Supply a City on top of a Vertical Cliff?

In my fantasy series, there’s this city called Pharcos situated on top of nearly vertical 3,500ish foot high sandstone cliffs above the river it uses for water. This river, called the Clazelis, along ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
-1 votes
4 answers
218 views

How could farmland be turned into a desert?

How would an agricultural world be desertified? I have a community of farmers, and the environment is working against them but they are making it work with nitrates (got the idea from Disney Zorro ...
Jillian's user avatar
  • 51
8 votes
4 answers
326 views

How does a plain surrounded by desert get rain?

So, in my world, I have a city built in a plain surrounded by a desert. The plain got to be there by magic and general hand waving and was sustained in a similar way. At some point, that stopped being ...
Lea's user avatar
  • 155
6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Can snow dunes form naturally?

Suppose I have a very big area as big as Gobi desert and it is windy all years round, but it is covered in snow instead of sand since Earth is experiencing another ice age right now. I am not sure if ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
10 votes
6 answers
1k views

How to build roads in a windy desert

The world is a desert, and it's awfully windy. The wind is as unpredictable as possible with an average speed around 150km/h. It's usual to see wind reaching 300km/h once every three days. The human ...
Headax's user avatar
  • 419
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a river civilization develop in a cold desert climate?

There seems to be a trend with the oldest civilizations (Civilizations being urbanized societies with a government and social heirarchy) starting around river valleys surrounded by desert; the ...
Tateran's user avatar
  • 93
2 votes
4 answers
419 views

Could an empire be built around a desert?

I'm trying to make an empire that has a large (almost as big as the Sahara) desert in the middle of its boundaries. The capital would be found in the north near a mountain range, and the empire ...
Son of Thrain's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
127 views

Can a desert and semi-desert be right beside each other geographically?

One of the countries in my novel is Semi-Arid, but I want it to become more like a hot and dry desert the farther West one travels (like the Sahara). Is this possible? PS. There are mountains to the ...
Arskairyus's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can I have sand in a desert that would make it impossible to differentiate between land and horizon?

I am looking for an end-result where one would not be able to differentiate between land and horizon. And I want it in a desert. So either some new, exotic material has to make-up the sand. Or it has ...
mukul215's user avatar
  • 597
2 votes
2 answers
369 views

Weather in a desert planet

Neviat, it is a desert planet with 81.5% of the Earth's atmospheric pressure and 80% of its gravity, it is generally dry but has many lakes and oases at its poles, the temperature across the latitudes ...
Bowman's user avatar
  • 619
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

Making stillsuits less fantasy - how to dump the heat?

As we all know1, stillsuit as described in the books would cook the user. Water would carry heat away from the body, but then it would be caught again, and again with the heat. Assuming energy is not ...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 33.3k
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can a plant or alien plant have fruit and shoot seeds as well?

On my planet Chlorea there are desserts and in them is a tree-like plant. During the dry season nothing really happens; the plant saves water, they lose leaves to save water etc. But in the wet season ...
Erik Sanchez's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
383 views

How to explain the presence of tropical rainforest and temperate forest at an equal latitude near the equator, in a fictional world?

That's the rough outline of my fantasy world. The entire location is somewhat shifted towards the Northern Hemisphere because you can't see the polar ice caps of the southern hemisphere. Now, the dark ...
Abhay123's user avatar
  • 121
5 votes
4 answers
531 views

Vehicles vs work animals in a desert planet

Would animals like camels and horses be more useful/practical in the deep desert than vehicles like dune buggies and sandrails? Basically, I have a planet that's mostly desert surrounded with rock ...
whyiszzzsleeping's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
5k views

Are snow caps plausible for a mountain range in an extremely large desert?

I have a very large desert, approximately 15 000 km across from west to east (the north-south distance is around 4 000 km, although it's at a bit of an angle). The desert is bounded at one edge by a ...
whatamidoing's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
285 views

Can a continent be completely desert?

I want my continent to be at least 90% desert. It has a square shape with several peninsulas. Kinda like Australia, but more than 3 times bigger and it's not flat(well it does have flat areas, but not ...
MinSin's user avatar
  • 143
7 votes
4 answers
431 views

Can I eliminate a dry continental high pressure spot inland by adding a huge body of water in the middle of it?

Can I eliminate a dry continental high pressure spot inland by adding a huge body of water in the middle of it? Like this sample picture: The red arrows around the continent are warm ocean currents ...
Inquirer's user avatar
  • 807
5 votes
4 answers
260 views

Feasibility of a sand gliding creature?

Would it make sense for a desert creature to glide along the sand to traverse long distances? There's a number of gliding animals in nature, most of which use it as an efficient travel option for long ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
28 votes
10 answers
5k views

Is it possible for the soil of a desertic exoplanet to be so copper rich that its surface is mostly covered in green-blue deserts?

Here on Earth, Mars and most of others if not all terrestrial planets in the universe, iron is their most common metallic element because iron is in general the most common metal in the universe. Here ...
DeMooniC's user avatar
  • 392
9 votes
9 answers
2k views

How can nations control large plains and deserts?

How can organized nations in a fantasy setting control large land masses (20-30,000 km²) made of deserts, rocky deserts, and drymuds? By control, I mean enforcing laws, defending it during conflicts, ...
ShadeQ's user avatar
  • 227
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to create a rainforest and desert in proximity to each other such that the desert can be hottest or coldest possible on an Earth-like planet

I have created a tall mountain range and am creating a forest on one side and desert on another. Can this forest be a rainforest? If so, are there any examples on Earth where rainforests and deserts ...
mukul215's user avatar
  • 597
3 votes
1 answer
433 views

Is This Desert Planet Realistic?

Okay, I have a desert planet that orbits an M0 star and an G0 star at an circumbinary orbital radius of .9 AU from the shared center of gravity of its twin suns. It’s tilted on its axis by 23.5 ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
2 votes
1 answer
94 views

What would be the effects on wildlife of an atomic bomb on a Sahelian or Saharan grassland or desert?

So, I'm coming up with a world in which, after a nuclear war in Africa, there is a bunker in the country of Chad. The main characters leave the bunker as the radioactivity has mostly worn off (after ...
Popplio Lover's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
194 views

What would be the effects on terrain of an atomic bomb on a Sahelian or Saharan grassland or desert?

So, I'm coming up with a world in which, after a nuclear war in Africa, there is a bunker in the country of Chad. The landscape has been affected by over 50 atomic bombs. The main characters leave the ...
Popplio Lover's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
781 views

Time estimate for converting desert to savanna/forest

I'm building a world in whose history climactic changes causes a region of desert to start seeing regular rain. This causes the native culture of the desert people to also change along with it, ...
Baron_vonCernogratz's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
245 views

How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part I The Great Drought

This is part one of a two part question. Part two can be found her (How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part II The Great Flood) Desert planets are a staple of science fiction. And while we have ...
Jacob Badger's user avatar
  • 2,333
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why might an area of land be so hot that it smokes?

I'm attempting to design a desert area that could almost constantly be covered in a thin layer of smoke. It does not block out the sun but instead sticks closer to the ground. The land is hot, arid, ...
Popplio Lover's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
408 views

Are the deserts in this continent realistically placed?

I have asked previously how I could create an earth-like world with as many deserts as possible in it. Based on the answers I got, I designed this continent, and asked for a reality-check, but the ...
Pedro Gabriel's user avatar