Questions tagged [geography]

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

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What kind of effect would low gravity have on geography? [closed]

What kind of effect would lower-than-Earth gravity have on the geography of a smaller-than-Earth terrestrial planet? The Gravity is lower because the planet is smaller, the core must be large enough ...
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455 views

The really really big mountain

So in many a fantasy world mountains, or in some cases a particular mountain that play an important role in the story. Maybe it's the seat of the gods or hosts a hidden Shangri La, you get the idea....
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What natural or artificial geographical structures that could allow a large-scale true “water going down the drain” whirlpool?

As a child, I was always fascinated by the propensity of water going down a drain to form a vortex. I created a world with a global ocean where there was a narrow body of land running north-south ...
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How would a hollow, layered lattice planet work?

I had the idea to make an artificially constructed planet which is terrestrial, but has the diameter of Jupiter. Instead of being a solid sphere, it would be five spherical layers, with land on the ...
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3answers
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How can I wipe out life in oceans?

Imagine you're on vacation in Greece. It's a nice sunny day, so you decide to go for a swim. The bottom of the sea is full of some greenish-brown ugly seaweed, every stone is covered by some fuzz and ...
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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 ...
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Where are the wettest and driest places in this world and why

I have created a world map for a story I'm making. And it has been too long since I studied geography and geology. Assuming earth-like conditions, and a normal distribution of climate based on (...
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214 views

Moving mountains

In our world, mountains generally only move up (while forming) or down (while eroding or sinking). Otherwise they follow the tectonic plates they happen to be on. In island chains like the Hawaiian ...
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5answers
191 views

Mechanism for high geographical change but not killing everything

Premise: Earth has a magical cataclysm that pulls up new mountains, pushes down parts of landmasses, and generally reshapes Europe enough to make it unrecognizable (to the average person looking at a ...
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3answers
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Underground Terrain Types / Biomes / Agriculture

I'm creating a fantasy-world generator. So far I've got it generating a reasonably good surface map, complete with terrain, cities, and borders. Here's a link for anybody who wants to try it: https://...
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314 views

Could a permanent storm system circle a planet's equatorial zone?

I'm thinking of using this as a method of separating a planet's technological and cultural evolution, then having a sudden clash as the more advanced one becoming able to cross the storm belt. This ...
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How to manage water in a city 2500 feet below sea level?

In my Pathfinder RPG campaign setting I have two continents separated by an isthmus. An artificial canyon carved through the isthmus from one ocean to another divides the continents. The canyon is ...
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No oceans but not deserts?

I'm picturing a world without oceans. I'm not after Arrakis; I want a quite lush surface. I'd like no surface water at all, but I'm concerned that makes evolution impossible. (I imagined using ...
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384 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
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7answers
692 views

In a world where two enormous cities are built one on top of the other, what would weather be like in between?

Aliens build their city on Earth in such a way that it covers the entire planet but leaves the surface of the planet (including human cities) intact. This is possible since they built their alien ...
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314 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. ...
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A Swamp Valley reality check

I'm making a continent with a large valley, "the Great Valley is like a wound in the continent". Swamps are the dominant biome in this valley. It is surrounded by cliffs and inside of it I want there ...
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561 views

Resolving Environmental Implications of an Extremely Massive Mountain

I am doing some work within the setting of the Exalted tabletop role-playing game. In broad brush strokes, the defining feature of the world is the five elemental poles: Water (west), Wood (east), Air ...
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1answer
158 views

Climate in an ice age

Creating a map of Koppen climate zones for a very Earth-like world is quite easy, with the right instructions. However, what if the climate is several degrees cooler? Do I simply shift all the ...
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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 ...
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10answers
655 views

Forming the “useless coast” — i.e. no shipping allowed

How would you form an extended stretch of coastline that is effectively useless for overwater trade -- i.e. there are no sheltered areas to serve as ports, or trade routes that can reach all the way ...
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5answers
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What types of valuable resources would be available in a fictional swamp?

After doing some research to find natural resources in a swamp, I found that a swamp wasn't really able to do anything beyond it being good for fish growth, as a sort of natural water and air filter, ...
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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. ...
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Could a medieval planet industrialize/modernize if it was conquered by a more advanced culture for 19 years?

In my book series (link here), Aurea (a planet based on Byzantine Anatolia) is conquered by a group called the Tatians, who have access to technology that would not be out of place in Star Wars (...
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2answers
377 views

Trade city on a lagoon?

Is it possible to have a major trade city built on the edges of a lagoon? For a city I'm designing it is situated on a lagoon but if there is a small strait/canal so that ships can move in and out of ...
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3answers
353 views

Impacts of a moon falling on an Earth-like planet?

In the world my friend and I are making, the dark lord makes one of the planets uninhabitable by causing a moon, about the size of our own, to fall on it. About 7000 years later, it is unnaturally ...
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488 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 ...
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3answers
474 views

Giant rock spikes sticking out of the ground

Would it be possible for huge, hundreds-of-metres-long spikes of rock, ideally slanting at an angle, to arise under natural processes? For clarity, I mean like this: Copyright Joe Jesus There are ...
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Tips for Improving a Fictional Map's Coastlines

So I've created a map of a fictional world using the guidelines established in the Creating a Realistic World Series. However, like all creative endeavors, the first few (hundred) maps are not going ...
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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 ...
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Is this a realistic set of world maps?

I want to start by thanking everybody in this community as your posts have been instrumental in helping me to build my world. All I am asking for is a final review of the maps that I have created thus ...
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Aside from low gravity, what conditions favor dramatic terrain?

Fantasy and sci-fi works often are set in worlds of dramatic terrain, because, well... it's dramatic. A few examples of the kind of thing I'm talking about: I understand that Earth has some ...
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High Mountains in High Gravity

What would cause/allow a planet with very high gravity to have tall, sharp mountains? Mountain height is generally capped off by gravity, erosion, and the mountains composition. On a higher gravity ...
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I'm going to have to redraw most of my rivers - what do I need to know to make them true to life?

I'm new here but I've been a worldbuilder for the last decade or so. I'm pretty late to the 'mapping out your country' party and I've only been at it for about 8 months, but I'm starting to see some ...
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3answers
592 views

Would it be possible to have a planet with no land masses larger than Australia?

Would it be possible to have a planet made up of about 60-70% water with no landmasses larger than Australia? I would like this planet to be as earth like as possible, but I'm open to changing aspects ...
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Can tectonic plates have any shape and size or are there limitations?

I would like to create a map with the help of tectonic plates. I didn't really care before. Can tectonic plates have all possible sizes and shapes? As an extreme example, could a continent the size of ...
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4answers
519 views

Would a salt flat be near a river?

Would a salt flat be near a river? I have a world with a Nile River-like region and within a few miles, perhaps 10-20, I have a massive salt flat. The arable land of the river brushes up against ...
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The language of Duckburg: Calisota German

My Calisota, which is located in the north of what we know as California and largely resembles the universe seen in German-language Disney comics (Lustiges Taschenbuch), except for the absence of ...
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5answers
565 views

How could state borders equal major watersheds?

How can I explain, in a believable way of course, that country borders closely resemble drainage divides? They don’t always match mountain ridges, which are natural borders – as are the rivers ...
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4answers
245 views

How would the absence of tides influence the geography of a tidally-locked moon?

On Earth, the presence of tides due to the Sun and Moon influence certain currents and other movements of water. This in turn leads to different forms of erosion, which can transform a landscape. I'm ...
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283 views

How could the example map from geography books come to exist, and what would it be like to live there?

Randall Munroe humorously proclaims that he'd want to live in an example map in a geography book; That means that the geography varies wildly in a small area. Assuming the following: This is on ...
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1answer
234 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 ...
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What could cause the sea level to massively decrease?

I'm trying to find a justification to the sea level on Earth decreasing by a large amount (in the range of 1000 / 2000 m). The change would begin during the Modern Era or in the future, and last long ...
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4answers
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How common is it for a river to enter a valley from a flatter plain?

before I get into my question I wanted to thank everyone for their input in my first thread about the general principles of river drawing. I have taken your comments under consideration and began ...
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932 views

How would a half-steppeland, half-desert kingdom with only a single river function?

On one of the continents in one of my fantasy worlds, I have a kingdom. The kingdom is comprised of two different geographical regions, a steppeland area in the kingdom's north and a desert region in ...
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What city (or cities) in the U.S. would be a good sanctuary after apocalypse? [closed]

After an apocalyptic event (worldwide weaponized plague knocks out 90% of the population, say), what city in the U.S. would make a good sanctuary for survivors and the new capital for the remnant ...
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How do I calculate sea level on a planet with no seas?

On one (of many) of the planets that I am planning out, there are no seas. The planet is mainly composed of enormous mountains, with some deserts in between. There are no seas or large bodies of ...
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6answers
402 views

How to hinder the development of sea travel until the industrial age?

Instead of Earth as we know it, humans evolved on a slightly smaller, habitable earthlike planet with different geography. Due to the plot reasons, I would like to keep them confined to one (large) ...
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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 ...
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4answers
258 views

Natural uncovering of desert ruins

My world has a semi-nomadic people that inhabit a vast sandy desert. Underneath this desert lie the ruins of an enormous metropolis -- a city that was abandoned tens of thousands of years ago. In the ...

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