Questions tagged [geography]

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

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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 ...
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9answers
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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-...
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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 ...
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6answers
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Can mountains ever transition abruptly to plains?

I'm trying to write a story where the main characters discover the wreckage of a spaceship in the fields that border their town to the west. To the east, there's the end of a large mountain range. ...
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3answers
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How cold does it have to be to freeze a waterfall

I have designed a group of medieval towns located on a valley, all of them connected by a navigable river wich ends on a big waterfall. There are some elevators at the side of the waterfall that ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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The Reality of a River World

In a setting I am presently working on, I have envisioned a world similar to Star Wars' Takodana, in that its water is mainly in the form of large rivers, or smaller seas (I generally picture it ...
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10answers
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How large can a volcano be?

A key part of the plot in a story I'm working on revolves around the main region being on top of volcano that is set to erupt. The trouble is that the region in question in my setting is roughly the ...
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6answers
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Which geographical features would work best to make a plausible natural labyrinth?

In my world, the main "evil" race lives in a labyrinth like rock formation. They use a method of magic that gives them a hive mind advantage, so they all know how to move around within it. My question ...
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7answers
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Would it be possible for a planet to form so it has all of the landmass in only one hemisphere?

Would it be possible for a planet to form so it has all of the landmass in only one hemisphere? By landmass, I mean all landmass that is above sea level. And human-habitability is encouraged...
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4answers
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Could terrain like this form on Earth? If so, how?

I am creating an RPG and came across an image that I wanted to base my landscape on. It is shown above. Is it possible for terrain like that to form on Earth (ignore the wildlife)? If it is, how could ...
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4answers
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Would a river running through a large salt deposit turn red?

I’ve heard that bodies of water boasting high salinities tend to turn red due to seasonal algae blooms. I have a river in a fantasy setting I’m working on that’s blood red year-round, and I want to ...
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14answers
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Designing a river which does not overflow

... And if it absolutely has to, then such river should overflow in predictable matter. I have a city idea in mind, where such the city has a river contained in an artificial tunnel beneath such city....
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3answers
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Closest Proximity of Oceans to Freshwater Springs

I am trying to wrap my head around the geography of a settlement in my world. The settlement is situated along the coast, along a river roughly 500m wide with temperate mixed forests surrounding it, ...
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3answers
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New York to Los Angeles using no fuel

In my very lengthy story in the near future, there are some great 'Modern Marvels'. The next one I'm going to introduce might not be feasible, but if it is, I'd like to attach some numbers to it. ...
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6answers
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Permanent river of lava

Rivers of lava are a staple of fantasy. But in the real world, lava flows are usually very short-lived phenomenons caused by volcanic eruptions. Is there some plausible way on an otherwise earth-like ...
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5answers
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Understanding which materials can be found on planets

I am making a science fiction computer game where you can travel between planets. I would like the planets all to have some kind of differing materials. Now I have no idea about which kind of "...
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5answers
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Could Inuits survive in Antarctica?

Imagine that a group of Inuits from Greenland settled in Antarctica; let's say on the Antarctic peninsula, if there is no better place in Antarctica. Could they survive there with their traditional ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Is It Possible to Have Different Sea Levels, Eventually Causing New Landforms to Appear?

I'm trying to explain a large continent-sized archipelago that doesn't run in any particular direction. As such, plate tectonics cannot possibly explain its existence. This is an Earth-like planet. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
485 views

What would be the immediate climatic effects of having a continent appear out of nowhere?

I am writing a story where a freak magical accident causes a fully-formed landmass to pop into existence like it was there all along. For the purposes of this question, let's assume: the continent ...
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11answers
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Is this map realistic/believeable?

I'm working on this map right now. Is this map realistic/believable? The continent would be about 5 million km² and lies in the temperate climate zone. (I intended it to be smaller than Australia; my ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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5answers
645 views

Balancing science and history when building a world

When building a world, I use one of two approaches: Either figure out the geography or write down the societal history. I can then use the one to influence the other and then move on to the rest of ...
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2answers
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Creating a realistic world map - Underwater geography

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Creating a realistic world map - Erosion covered the various factors that govern the topography of a world. Rivers, wind, heat, and plants ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Where in the world could one get access to land without risking government interference in operations, while allowing travel to and from the USA?

I'm writing a story about a villain (as some would call him) or antihero (as he would prefer to be called), somewhat similar to Adrian Veidt, who needs to buy a few hundred acres of land to set up ...
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8answers
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What sort of geological features or weather patterns would create a region with the same temperature year-round?

Given an Earth-like planet, what sort of geological features or weather systems are required for a place to have the same average day and night temperatures throughout the whole year? Is such a thing ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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How can I tell I've travelled 20 million years into the future?

Story starts out about 100 years from now. While in orbit around Earth preparing for an interstellar mission, our spacecraft encounters some hand-wavey spacetime anomaly such that we're still in ...
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3answers
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Can humans live on an Earth-like planet where the only difference is that the surface is ~50% water, instead of the ~75% of now?

Can humans live on an Earth-like planet where the only difference is that the surface is ~50% water, instead of the ~75% of now? That is, paleolithic humans... And the new land area hosts the same ...
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6answers
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What determines distribution of natural resources?

I am currently creating a world from scratch, and while I have a map, I still need to figure out distribution of natural resources. For resources like fossil fuels, while many do appear in deserts, I ...
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4answers
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Which Natural Resources Go Where? (Medieval Fantasy Setting)

I am creating a fictional fantasy (Medieval-ish era) world. The area covered by my map is fairly large, and contains an ocean, mountains, plains, lakes, forests, swamps, etc. It's pretty much all ...
15
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1answer
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Creating a realistic world map - Waterways

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. 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, ...
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3answers
801 views

Could a habitable planet form with no major bodies of water?

In the book Dune by Frank Herbert. Arrakis is a desolate planet composed entirely of deserts. Water is a precious commodity due to its rarity. The Fremen have found ways to live on its surface, ...
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4answers
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Where should I place my fictional continent in the South Pacific?

Rather than creating an entire world for my worldbuilding project, I was planning on adding an additional continent to Earth. Since the largest “empty spot” is in the South Pacific and one of my goals ...
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9answers
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How closely correlated is culture to geography?

I am working on a story where I will take the geography of our world but install new peoples, cultures and histories. This will likely include fantastical elements as well as mundane. In working ...
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5answers
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Could the Missouri River be running while Lake Michigan was frozen several meters deep?

During an ice age, would it be possible for a great lake to be frozen while a relatively nearby river was still running? To help illustrate my point: Would it be possible for Lake Michigan (or parts ...
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5answers
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Unsettled continent

In my world, I would like to have a certain configuration and I wonder if it's plausible or not. There is a continent with a climate similar to the Amazonian basin, covered by a very dense forest. ...
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6answers
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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,...
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3answers
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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 agree ...
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5answers
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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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6answers
659 views

How can I create an enormous crater?

My world has a huge crater (4400 miles in diameter) on a world that's roughly earth equivalent (so a circumference of 25000 miles). The native population doesn't need to know how it was formed but it ...
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2answers
513 views

Where do I put diamond mines on my map?

I've got a home-brewed D&D setting. Diamonds, in D&D, are needed for resurrection magic, so access to diamonds is literally life and death for any country with clerics capable of casting such ...
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5answers
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How might a landlocked lake become a complete ecosystem?

Let's assume that there is a lake that has formed from snowmelt and rainfall. The lake has never been in contact with other bodies of water. How might this lake become a complete ecosystem?
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8answers
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Towers to Low Earth Orbit - How to make them usable for navigation

In a world I'm constructing the sun, the moon, and the stars are not visible but there are tower that stretch from the ground to, roughly, low earth orbit. Each one is around 200 meters in diameter ...
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5answers
465 views

Where to Keep Your Dinosaur?

Let's say I'm a secretive organization who's recently come into possession of two individuals of the genus, Giraffatitan (a sauropod similar to the more famous Brachiosaurus for those unfamiliar with ...
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6answers
737 views

Ringstadt: Can my mountains be what I need them to?

When the old mining town was founded, nobody did think of this ever growing into much more than a coal-mining town. The deposits of iron-ore, aside from the already developed peat bog to the north, ...

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