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Questions tagged [geography]

For questions about the characteristics and effects of natural features on a world.

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5answers
3k views

Are geographically typed planets realistic?

In many science fictions we see planets which are designated by a particular terrain type. For example, Dagobah is a swamp planet, Tatooine is a desert planet, and Kamino is an ocean world. However, ...
50
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7answers
26k views

Creating a realistic world map - Landmass formation

This question focuses on the initial creation of landmasses. What are the processes that causes land-masses to form, and continents and islands to rise up from the sea and sink back into it? How can ...
49
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8answers
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Creating a realistic world map - Coastlines

Whenever I draw coastlines for a map, I find myself simply drawing large curves and adding in small squiggles in between, occasionally varying things a little for river deltas or small peninsulas. ...
105
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11answers
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In a medieval setting, how far apart should towns be?

This is a medieval European (fantasy) setting, with the following (highly tentative) parameters: Each town is vaguely autonomous, and have their own municipal government system. Towns do trade with ...
31
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3answers
6k views

Creating a realistic world map - Erosion

Once geological processes have created a landscape a number of factors come into play in order to reshape it. This includes weather and climate effects such as wind, rain and ice reshaping the terrain....
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9answers
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Are there any real world examples of where a desert and a swamp meet each other?

I am building a world with many deserts and swamps. So a simple question: Are there any real world examples of where a desert and a swamp meet each other? Deserts and swamps are vastly different ...
12
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2answers
407 views

Does a planet's axial tilt and seasonal progression affect a planetary-ring system, as seen from the planet surface?

Ok, so I have determined my world can keep it's planetary ring system. YAY! Now I just need to clarify once and for how it would look like from the planet surface. I think I have it worked out, but ...
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7answers
9k views

What would an ammonia-based world look like?

Apart from the obvious difference that liquid ammonia needs a much colder temperature than liquid water (but ammonia-based life forms wouldn't feel that as particularly cold), what would be the most ...
11
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4answers
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Horses for Absolutely Everybody, how it came to be

Suppose that I have a fantasy kingdom, built on a magical land, and the thing is that horses are so cheap and plentiful in that land, even the poorest peasant would have at least a horse to their name....
46
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3answers
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What would a planet spinning fast enough to allow geostationary orbit near the surface look like?

From an answer to a previous question of mine: A planet spinning fast enough to allow geostationary orbit near the surface would result in odd side effects. Any object at rest on the equator would ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Creating a realistic world map - Waterways

My rivers and streams are just about as good as my waterways - that is, not too good. I do know that their paths are impacted by elevation, so I generally determine the elevation of an area before ...
10
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3answers
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How much TNT do you need to blow up Mount Everest?

How much TNT do you need to blow up Mount Everest? Is this even possible and can mankind survive a huge explosion like this? Or would the whole world be covered with dust? And if you can survive ...
7
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2answers
684 views

The Desert of Ore, how is it different from a desert of sand

So, within my setting, I would like to also have a kingdom based in a special desert. Absolutely all of the sand in the desert would be ore sand. Ores of any and all kinds that you could traditionally ...
28
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11answers
23k views

Explaining uphill rivers scientifically?

I see this in so many maps. Normally, the water flows downhill because of gravity but here it is the opposite, rivers will go above the hills. When you mention this incoherence, the authors refuse to ...
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12answers
6k views

Creating a realistic world map - Countries Borders

From previous questions, I made a nice mass of land, which was enriched up until the drawing of precise coastlines. But all that nice lands looks a bit empty. In my world, I want to make it alive, ...
101
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18answers
21k views

What would make scientists realize they were on a flat world?

Scenario: While poking around in an alien ruin, scientists discover a gateway which offers instant transportation to an Earth-like world. The Observed World: The gateway leads to an area that is ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Tool to simulate climate & weather effects

I am looking for a tool that can be used to create worlds with a realistic (= physically plausible) climate and surface given general terrain shape, or can at least assist in such a task. My ideal ...
48
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23answers
11k views

What scientifically would make it possible that certain large bodies of water be impassable?

What scientifically would make it possible that certain large bodies of water be impassable while others that seem very similar are able to be navigated? This is not what I am attempting to do, but ...
14
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5answers
415 views

What are some possible reasons for people not taking long journeys to “other lands”?

If you've read Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, you might get the reference. In that story, the protagonists, after fulfilling their duty, decide to journey over a large mountain chain to explore the ...
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3answers
1k views

How to name places that have multiple names?

When designing a world it is convenient to decide how places will be named : Elements like the continents and the oceans. However, it is likely that the different cultures of the world will not ...
8
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4answers
216 views

Can there be a planet for which orbit and precession take the same time?

Is there a necessary relation between orbital period and the time of precession? In the case of Earth, the orbital period is one year, while a complete precession cycle takes thousands of years. Is a ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Can you help me design a realistic climate map for my world (alternate Earth)? [closed]

The setting is a sci-fi/fantasy future Earth ( ~5 million of years in the future) so mountain chains and general elevation is more or less the same of our own Earth, just out of position due to a ...
15
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7answers
2k views

A continent lost underwater?

So I've been trying to create a world and I've been planning on the continents being drowned out almost completely in water from a terrible tsunami, storm, earthquake or an act of one the gods or ...
9
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3answers
275 views

What would the effects be of two tidal locked planets have on each other's geography?

I've heard a lot of people say that having two tidally locked planets close together would have adverse affects on both planets. I have two tidally locked planets at a distance of 16,550 miles apart. ...
7
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5answers
931 views

Constructing a desert area

I'm trying to construct a most realistic desert possible. I've made a continent with my little knowledge and may ask further questions about climate and similar stuff, but now I want to center on a ...
17
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6answers
695 views

Ringstadt: How sensible is my topography?

Look at you all sitting here. Quite some of you have probably never ventured beyond the outskirts of this city, mayhaps not even past the wall? You've spent your whole lives in this place, but what do ...
4
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1answer
466 views

The Monstrosities of the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Lake (No Plural “S”) [closed]

Back home, the Appalachian Mountains are no wider than 100-300 miles, no longer than 1500 miles and no taller than 6,683 feet above sea level, and the Great Lakes are five separate lakes totaling to ...
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vote
4answers
289 views

Changing the Danger Zone of Tornado Alley

I am currently at the end of my wits. No matter what change I do to the North American geography, northeastern Nebraska (42.4649° North, 96.4131° West), is still in the danger zone called Tornado ...
-3
votes
1answer
314 views

More Land to India, More Height to Tibet [closed]

This is sub-Himalayan Asia back home. As one can see, it's pretty much India, Bangladesh and Pakistan surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. And this is Everest, the world's highest peak,...
63
votes
16answers
6k views

Ultimate Australian Canal

First of all, yes I'm Australian, and yes I am using a kangaroo to type this up. If you take a look at Australia, it's a pretty sad place geographically. Very flat, very dry, mostly desert and for ...
35
votes
13answers
7k views

Can a river be put under enough pressure to jet straight up for a mile?

I've been mulling over an idea for my preferred RPG setting, and I wanted to check if anyone knows the following: Is it possible for a river to flow underground for miles, and then suddenly be put ...
6
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3answers
939 views

How can I do programmatic generation of fantasy maps?

I found this twitter bot https://twitter.com/unchartedatlas posting maps that look like they came from a pulp fantasy novel. Any idea on how they are done?
3
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3answers
478 views

What vegetation/biome could I expect in a tropical region at an average temperature of 8-9 degrees Celsius?

So, my climates are extreme due to a 31.1 degree axial tilt. The maps provided show a climate classification system based on prevailing winds and elevation. Based on Reddit user u/shagomir's Planet ...
36
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16answers
6k views

A realistic option for enclosing a geographic area

So in many games you have regions that are bordered on all sides by impassible geography of some sort or another. This has always bothered me as necessary but also acts as a reminder to pull you out ...
17
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9answers
6k views

How large can a world be in fantasy? [closed]

As far as I read books, I met various worlds. Each of them has own size. Middle-earth is very large and partially not limited (some parts are only mentioned). Discworld is very large, but quite ...
37
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4answers
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How (un)likely is a split of one major river into two others?

I inherited a worldbuilding project, and the former authors liked some things that seem unrealistic. One of them is that one of the world's biggests rivers splits into two other rivers some 300-400 ...
17
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6answers
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How could 1BC Earth speed up communication across vast distances?

Tech level is early Rome, China, Ethiopia, etc. ~ first century BC. Unlike history, there's peace and cooperation among all the benign monarchies of the whole Earth. But it's hard to get daily ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What would the world be like after 10,000 years if we all suddenly disappeared?

My story involves everyone in the year 2015 suddenly disappearing. What would visitors to Earth find if they arrived in the year 12015, or 10,000 years after we all disappeared? Assume none of our ...
9
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4answers
773 views

Cauldron of Storms: Geography to create and isolate localized mega-storms

Welcome to the Black Cauldron. The Cauldron of Storms, even. It's a sunny day now, perfect for fishing. Just not here. There's no boats on the water. The weather can go bad, quickly. And anything on ...
7
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5answers
2k views

Culturally Correct Ideal City Location

On an Earth-like planet, with the technological and cultural level of ancient Rome: What kind of terrain would be statistically best suited for a powerful city to be located?. The most important ...
11
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5answers
2k views

A water cycle in an underground setting

The ozone layer depleted beyond reasonable levels and life on the surface has become impossible and life migrated underground in giant caves connected together by tunnels. Some of those caves have ...
11
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10answers
3k views

She Can Move Mountains (Literally)

Imagine we're in a world where massive, outrageous amounts of energy are available at our fingertips. Perhaps one of those crazy cold fusion ideas panned out, or we eventually built ourselves a --...
8
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4answers
1k views

How realistic is the geography of my map?

I was told to post this question separately, so here it is. I need help with the geography and climate of my map. Blue circles are ports Gray circles are cities That one brown circle is a town The ...
7
votes
3answers
424 views

How would a 30-kilometer tall mountain on an Earthlike planet look?

Let us take an earthlike planet. Approximately same radius, atmosphere and climate. Now let us create an approximately circular, paleovolcanic mountain approximately 30 kilometers in height and 150 ...
22
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18answers
7k views

What would be a reason that two superpowers at war would not claim a perfectly good island?

I'm writing a story that involves two superpowers at war. The main character has made a base on a large, unoccupied island that is easily accessible by both superpowers. Would there be a good reason ...
11
votes
3answers
704 views

Natural subterranean cave formations on Mars

Is it possible that subterranean caves do/have existed on Mars? We know of the past existence of water on Mars. Which region (if any) of Mars would we likely find/expect to find a cave system below ...
7
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4answers
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How to have high tides in the tropics?

The Bay of Fundy sees the world's highest tides, with ocean water advancing and withdrawing as much as 20 meters or more within a single day. Here is a list of the 50 tidal stations around the world ...
7
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3answers
331 views

Vanishing/appearing moons

In Dungeons and Dragons lore, there exists a construct called the cosmos used to define a variety of planes of existence. One of these is the Material Plane, on which our normal reality is found. ...
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2answers
845 views

How to drain out the entire Mediterranean?

So, the Mediterranean Empire has succeeded in separating the entire Mediterranean Sea from the rest of the world's oceans. See this question for background and premise. There are now dams making sure ...
6
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3answers
987 views

Is it feasible to separate the Mediterranean from the rest of the world's oceans using dams?

In my world, Southern Europe, Northern Africa and all the territories surrounding the Mediterranean belong to a single empire. The Emperor and his Council have decided that they are going to drain ...