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Questions tagged [geography]

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

165
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23answers
36k views

If everyone in the world disappeared except 35 random people, how long would it take for one of them to realize they're not alone?

Everyone suddenly disappears from earth except 35 people randomly scattered wherever they were before everyone disappeared. How long would it take on average for 2 or more people to meet? What other ...
4
votes
3answers
380 views

Determination of reasonable volcanic island height from area?

My islands (in the world I'm building) were formed from a volcanic hotspot. I want to build realistic islands, so I was wondering how tall volcanic islands are generally in relation to their area. ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

What would it take for an island to sink and rise yearly and naturally

So I'm writing a book and need help to better explain this island that sinks, more on that in a moment as I give you the basic build of the planet... First, its a world on a very tilted angle. the ...
17
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

How would we overcome the sinking problem as sediment builds up around urban areas? [closed]

As sediment builds up over the earth, it is compacted into layers of rock, which can be seen in the geological record. However, urban areas typically have good maintenance which washes away any ...
18
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9answers
5k views

Why build underwater outposts, rather than ocean-surface settlements?

Suppose we've colonized a planet with 99% of the surface area covered by oceans. It has submerged continental crusts, averaging 200-500m underwater, with the average depth of open ocean being 1000-...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

Can tablelands produce a rain shadow like mountains do?

In my world I have a region of desert, bordered on the east by the steep cliffs of a tableland or plateau. The plateau slopes gradually down to the east coast of the continent, a distance comparable ...
-1
votes
1answer
122 views

What rules govern which biomes can neighbor one another?

I'm working on a map of a single continent or large island, and I want it to have some distinct biomes. What are some simple rules to determine which biomes could possibly be near/adjacent to one ...
5
votes
7answers
285 views

Natural barriers around medieval towns

I have a town, the capital of an empire. It covers 560 Hectares. What kind of natural barrier conforms to the following requirements: Is both heavily defensible and does not hinder trade all too ...
0
votes
6answers
190 views

Reasons for going through a standard mountain path and not around/beside it [closed]

I am designing a Mountain Dungeon for a story in a video-game style. For those who are not familiar with what is a dungeon in a video game terminology, simply put: A dungeon is a series of monster-...
1
vote
3answers
162 views

Would that be too big for an island?

It was thought that the "island" has the size of 5,000,000 km². After reading a bit about geography, I'm unsure. My island would be far bigger than even the largest islands on Earth. But it would ...
5
votes
2answers
209 views

Need feedback on my fictional map's coastline

Redoing an old map from scratch, want to get any problems with the coastline/placement/scaling of the land before I get to work on it. I am looking to make it as believable as possible. Here is the ...
-2
votes
2answers
81 views

How to trigger controlled continental drift

I'm writing a story, and in the story the protagonist designs a way to trigger artificial continental drift that takes place in 50 years, for all the continents to drift in the places he plans. Are ...
-1
votes
3answers
123 views

5x5 Biome Scale possibility?

My world has a conlang that heavily emphasizes words in 'grades' of 5. For example the words for issues are grouped as: Danger-Threat-Risk-Hazard-Situation. Usually it isn't hard to find a set of ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

Starting with a map of current landforms, how can I write the geographic history of my planet?

The current worldbuilding project I have is going to be detailed - very detailed. It's about the life of an alien planet called Nemo 4, and I want to chronicle the evolutionary history of that life, ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Does a rain shadow automatically create a desert?

So there is a mountain range. It is about 3000 miles long, 500 miles wide and the average height is 5,000 m. Now there is still quite a lot of land and I don't want to make everything behind the ...
8
votes
3answers
458 views

The feasibility of a top-secret naval base located on Île Pott

There's this organisation, which has a global system of secret and sensitive military bases situated in various geopolitical regions, not unlike those of the US military. One military installation is ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

How can I explain the geography and climate of my planet?

I've recently decided to revive an old project of mine involving an alien planet. Unfortunately, however, I was not as good a worldbuilder then as I am now, and that's having some consequences. Back ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Concise, formal way of describing a particular meridian of a moon

Say I have a moon orbiting a planet. Due to tidal locking, if we model the moon as a sphere, there exists an axis which passes through the center of the moon which is always pointed toward the center ...
1
vote
0answers
127 views

What are the biggest problems with the winds/currents/biomes in my world? [closed]

Here's my map: Red and blue arrows are major ocean currents, red representing warm ones and blue cool ones. Black arrows are prevailing winds. Hopefully everything else is self-explanatory! My planet ...
6
votes
3answers
205 views

Can a planet have warm or temperate climates within its polar regions?

Note: an edit has been made to the main question at the bottom A couple of years ago, I had a worldbuilding project which I have recently revived. I was relatively new to worldbuilding back then, ...
1
vote
3answers
179 views

Is it possible to build cities on Argentine and Brazilian swamps?

I'm creating a developed country in South America with its development similar to that of Canada or Australia (little behind the US) with population around 160M in 1850, growing to 346M in 1925 and ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

What are some of the global impacts of technologically converting desert biomes into grasslands? [closed]

As per the Koppen climate model, for the purposes of this question deserts are dry, non-polar climates. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_climate At a hypothetical time in near future, the human ...
11
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8answers
2k views

Does fictional geography need to be rooted in real-world geography?

If I use, say, Greece as a reference for a fictional country, do I need to write that country as mountainous and coastal also?
10
votes
3answers
285 views

Determining climate and biomes in a non-planetary setting

I'm currently playing with a geographical setting that's flat rather than round and thus doesn't follow a lot of the same rules as one modeled as a planet. I've found resources concerning climate in ...
5
votes
9answers
615 views

Is it realistic to sleep outdoors while traveling along roads

Did research on map-building to get an idea of how to make a good fictional area, and get an idea of travel times. I consistently found it said that Towns are roughly a days walk apart, and villages ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

A ravine ~15 miles (~ 24 km) deep on average opens up in the Himalayas. Do we survive?

A ravine the size of the Mediterranean in area and ~15 miles (~ 24 km) deep on average opens up over the course of a few days in the Himalayas. A size comparison of the Mediterranean Sea to the U.S. ...
8
votes
2answers
230 views

Is there anything wrong with my plate tectonics map?

Here is a map I just produced of the plate tectonics of a world I'm working on. Does anyone familiar with the subject see anything wrong with it? If you can differentiate between the penciled and the ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Medieval Setting - Castles Per Capita

I'm creating an rpg medieval setting, and I want it to feel pretty real. Castles make fun locales, so I'm trying to figure out how many castles I can plausibly cram into a 5,000 mi² region. The ...
4
votes
2answers
212 views

Can Off-shore Calderas Exist?

A caldera is usually the remnant of a volcanic eruption powerful enough to collapse the structure surrounding the magma chamber. Many of our examples, like Yellowstone, Crater Lake, Toba and even ...
4
votes
3answers
387 views

Drawing rivers on a continental scale map

I created the above map using Photoshop and used Wilbur to erode the terrain a bit and calculate possible river flows. Still needs work but I need to create a river mask before I can go on. My method ...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

Can Anyone Recommend a Tool for Map Building? [duplicate]

I would like to make a map for black & white inclusion in a book. I'd like to have lines of latitude and longitude, and be able to drop cities. Could anyone recommend a good map building tool ...
1
vote
2answers
269 views

Could you hollow out a mountain and set up a headquarters inside of it?

The mountain in question is about the same height as the french alps. The headquarters in the should hold 500 people, is this possible?
7
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3answers
732 views

Coastal Mountain Ranges--In Which the Mountains are the Coast

One of the ways to create a major mountain range is a process called subduction. Here, heavy oceanic rock sinks beneath the lighter continental rock. The result--coastal mountain ranges like the ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

How to Generate World Map for Minimal Distortion? [closed]

My problem is as follows: I'm trying to write a program to generate a world map for an RPG that I GM. How should I go about converting spherical geometry to a flat map? Should I subdivide the ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Way to divide up Earth for post-apo story purposes [closed]

So, I'm basicly creating world in which most of terrain which isn't shoreline, mountain or plateu is shrouded in "Mist" (with capital "m") which renders this terrain inaccesable for people, they are ...
21
votes
17answers
6k views

What is the viability of trains on planets covered in water?

I want to write a science fiction book on a planet mostly covered by ocean, but I also want to incorporate trains into my story. However, it seems that with advances in ship and plane technology, ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

What sort of habitats could exist Pre-Zanclean Flood which formed the Mediterranean Sea?

There is a lot of information on drying up a Mediterranean sized depression. However, there is not a lot of information on drowning such a large area or what sort of habitats could exist before the ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Are the mountains and rivers on this map okay?

It's not finished yet, so it's still pretty empty. But I can't stop worrying about the rivers and mountains, so I ask for help. It's about 1100-1200 miles from north to south.
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Is there any plausible way that my fictional island could be inhabited by animals from African and Indonesian origins?

Okay, now this question is a bit random. But, I'm planning for a possible book project about a 2019 expedition to an undiscovered island. The island is near the northern tip of the Ninetyeast Ridge ...
5
votes
2answers
192 views

What kinds of animals does insular dwarfism affect and how large does an island need to be to escape it?

I've been wondering about insular dwarfism, and would like to know if it only affects certain animals (Since some animals grow larger upon colonizing an island, often due to the absence of predators.) ...
33
votes
6answers
6k views

If a patch of desert were magically displaced to the middle of a forest, what would happen to the whole forest after certain periods of time?

First of all, I am tagging this with the magic because this phenomena is not a result of something natural. What would happen to a whole forest region if a patch of desert magically appeared at its ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

What would Earth's Land look like in the year 3000? would there be any significant changes at all in 1000 years?

I've tried researching this question myself, but the only data I can find is over huge timescales, like situations where the continents have reformed back into a Neo-Pangea. I'm not looking for any ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

A big plain that remains divided?

After I reworked my map, I have a big plain (roughly 1165500 square miles). Can I still credibly divide the plain into different kingdoms and cultures or would a big empire with few cultures ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

What are the ley lines this nomadic people uses to follow the same path year after year?

In the world I'm building, there is a race of people whose main shtick is that they can detect the magnetic fields of their planet and use them to navigate. In one of their cultures, the people are ...
9
votes
2answers
214 views

How to speed up continental drift?

What could cause the continents to drift much faster than is today. I mean, much faster. Let's say it should take about 1-2 million years from this to this
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Effects of Hostile Environment on Population Distribution

In my world, humanoid races are an afterthought added by the gods only after they'd spent millennia treating the world as their personal canvas, designing it however they found most interesting. This ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What kind changes can be found on Earth if we have a red giant as our star [closed]

Let's suppose we have a red giant as our star, what kind of climate would be on Earth and will there be any change in plant, animal and human life both physically and mentally. What about the ...
6
votes
2answers
206 views

How do I realistically portray continental drift on my map?

I'm still fiddling with my map, and I got to thinking about continental drift. My world has two large large continents and a couple of other notable landmasses between the size of Iceland and ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Junkyard planet trash distribution?

So, I've got a planet that's basically a junkyard. It's just one big junkyard. People from various space-faring societies dump all the crap there that they don't want to deal with. Derelict spaceships,...