Questions tagged [geology]

For questions about rocks, minerals and the physical structure and substance of the world.

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Surface Hot-springs on an Icy moon

Would it be possible that on an ice moon like Europa, except more massive, that large volcanoes/thermal vents would be able to reach the surface and create hot springs for life to survive around on ...
MrUnavailable's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
67 views

What are some plausible, long-lived geophysical planetary processes which would consistently maintain reddish skies in a human-breathable atmosphere?

Note for clarity: By reddish skies I mean being reddish in the same way Earth's skies are blue. This should apply to the skies in general (not a localized effect), and it's preferable that it's an ...
PedrohSpaceWolfy's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
140 views

Could a planet have metalloids but very few metals?

Could advanced technology be created by an intelligent species on a planet where there are very few true metals and only large amounts of metalloids? I envision a planet sparse in accessible metals, ...
Zip Zap's user avatar
  • 105
8 votes
15 answers
3k views

How to build a defensive wall that Stone Mages can't easily deconstruct?

Assume that the time period takes place at some point before cannons and other later siege equipment (medeival, antiquity, bronze age, etc.) Stone mages can affect materials that follow the geological ...
Foosic17's user avatar
  • 1,266
3 votes
1 answer
146 views

How long would it take for an area to be repopulated after experiencing a meteoric impact?

By repopulation, I refer to the time it will take until the geographic conditions in and around the impact structure are tame enough for civilization (this can be small nomadic camps, and need not be ...
Centroid's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
54 views

Crustal composition of an ammonia planet

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved water ice, ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,274
4 votes
2 answers
117 views

Could a planet composed of 70% heavy metals by mass have a plate tectonics?

It would have to be much hotter to sustain any kind of magnetosphere yes, but assuming that it could, with the remaining 30% to play around with for other kinds of elements, and the 70% heavy metal ...
Ellie Cressy's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
82 views

Could a planet with an unusually high heavy metal content sustain life? [closed]

I'm playing around with the concept of a planet containing unusually high heavy metal content, due to being born in a nebula that resulted from a neutron star merger. What conditions would this planet ...
Ellie Cressy's user avatar
14 votes
17 answers
7k views

Making nuclear weapons almost impossible to build

The Issue I am currently working on a world that is supposed to take place around the 1980s, in terms of parity with Earth, technology-wise. There is a lot of magic mixed into it as well. The real ...
Fallenspacerock's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
98 views

geology in fantasy worlds

I was wondering about how to figure out the geology of your fantasy world. For example, where would granite, limestone, sandstone, and gems (diamonds, amethyst, etc.) be placed? If a castle is made ...
user109520's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could mountains form on anhydrous planets?

The primary mechanism for mountain formation (of which I'm aware) is uplift of the crust, with rivers eroding their way through softer sediments as the crust rises to form peaks and canyons. That ...
Rabadash8820's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
268 views

How quickly can a continent split and separate without an Extinction Level Event occuring

Consider an Earth-like planet. I want a large (Europe/Africa) continent to split in half, with the halves separating in a reasonably short time (by geological standards). The halves need to separate ...
spraff's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How would the "Hardness vs Toughness" dynamic of gems apply if it were possible to make shields out of them?

From my understanding, "hardness" and "toughness" in the context of material sciences (or perhaps specifically gems?) refers to two separate properties: "hard" materials ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
2 answers
224 views

Does planet size affect mountain formation?

I just wanted to know if the size of a planet would affect the size of its mountains. For example, I know Mars has larger mountains than our own despite being 1/3 our size. Do planets that are larger ...
Tycho's user avatar
  • 103
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the strongest earthquake possible without wiping out all life?

In the story in question, an extremely powerful earthquake decimates the Earth (but does not destroy it) due to Unforeseen Consequences of Our Actions. Ideally some humans need to survive, so ...
Zona C's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
267 views

Superhabitable Earth Analog

Consider an earth analog but with different land mass distribution and shallow seas. If the seas are at just epipelagic depth, what would change energy-transport-wise? If the land mass can have ...
Meatball Princess's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

How would benthic marine organisms like shellfish and crabs adapt to a hypersaline environment? [closed]

In this world of mine, through a mysterious phenomenon called magick(tm) a God made it so all the salt in the world is either in a few location, alpine salt lakes or at the very bottom of the ocean. ...
A Shattered Day's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
179 views

Rate at which jackhammer excavates asteroid

I've got a family using a jackhammer to excavate an asteroid habitat they intend to homestead in. The jackhammer is large, and would normally need mounting on a column or tripod like this mining ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
2 votes
1 answer
132 views

What's the maximum mass for an Iron Planet to have a magnetosphere like Mercury's?

I'm designing an iron planet which migrated into its habitable zone. Basic research told me iron planets cool off too quickly to have a magnetic field, so initially I was looking for ways native life ...
Thoth's user avatar
  • 317
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Reality Check: Meteor Shower buried supermetal in the earth's crust, that is now being mined out

Centuries ago, a localized meteor shower deposited rare "supermetal" in the side of a mountain range. Due to the force of the impact, it created a pockmarked area with the metal at varied ...
LoganP98's user avatar
  • 1,270
5 votes
2 answers
140 views

How might the surface of a tectonically active planet appear without a global ocean?

I hope this is "specific" enough, and sorry I don't really know formatting rules yet. I'm trying to build a habitable desert super-Earth, where water can only exist seasonally around the ...
Pseudosapient's user avatar
1 vote
8 answers
356 views

What would be considered continents in a world of islands?

The title says it all but i'll go into detail for clarity. On earth the definition of continents and the line between those and just big islands is relatively clear (let's not get into the Europe, ...
Blue Devil's user avatar
  • 1,761
17 votes
11 answers
4k views

What could lead a large ocean on a planet's surface to recede completely only to reappear later on in a cyclical process?

I don't just mean tides or large-scale floods and droughts but a premise where one or more large bodies of water (or even every such body if that makes it easier) disappear, only to reappear one or ...
Qwokker's user avatar
  • 471
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

How would core size affect plate tectonics? [duplicate]

If, for example, the Earth had a larger core (perhaps even Mercury-ratio) what effects would this have? Would continental drift speed up, slow down, or not even happen at all? Thank you for your time.
N Francis's user avatar
  • 819
2 votes
3 answers
410 views

An ocean-planet made out of deadly, non-water chemicals

I'm currently working on a comic-series set in a solar-system that isn't ours, and i'm reworking most of my planets. One of them, a cold ocean-planet below freezing temperatures that orbits its k-...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,120
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it possible for an artesian basin to go underneath a shallow sea while still being freswater?

An artesian basin is an aquifer in which water within permeable rock is kept under pressure between 2 layers of impermeable rock. I don't know if any artesian basin exists like this in real life, but ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,426
2 votes
1 answer
176 views

Continent Formation and Volcanos

For over a year I've been writing about a fictional race of people that has taken on rather a life of its own. They live on an earth like world with similar geological processes to our own but I don't ...
Trotskisaurus's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
124 views

What would happen to an Earth-like planet if it had a more magnetically permeable inner core?

I was contemplating the impact of doping an Earth-like planet's core with a substance that alters its magnetic permeability. Specifically, I considered a scenario where the planet has an improved ...
riotopsys's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
1 answer
70 views

Possibility and sustainability of Volcanic Climate in Tropical Asia

I am looking for an answer relating to the possibility of very tall volcanoes (maybe as tall as 6km high), scattered around Tropical Asia (Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia), that spew lots of ...
Bangerblade's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
433 views

Guidance: How to Create Sensible Plate Tectonics

This is a community-wiki question Worldbuilding Stack Exchange regularly hosts questions asking either how to establish plate tectonics based on an existing planetary map or to judge the suitability ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
6 votes
2 answers
224 views

How many different mines and extraction industries would a colony need in order to be able to produce equipment similar to what we have now?

Help me, you benevolent geology nerd! This is a question I'm trying to find a workable (but not necessarily precise) answer for a colony-building sci-fi RPG game that I am GMing for some of my friends....
Jimmy Rings's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
655 views

Do the mountains formed by a divergent boundary form on either coast of the resulting channel, or on the part that has not yet separated?

The lakes and the bay are formed by the rift where the right chunk is diverging away from the main plate. I've put mountains on the land part of the rift a la Ethiopia's Great Rift Valley, but should ...
SkyDivingTortoise's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
113 views

What would the geological effects of erosion due to extreme megafauna be like on large timescales?

Whenever I see fictional biospheres with massive or otherwise extreme megafauna capable of significant short-term erosion (such as toppling large rock formations, leveling mountains, digging huge ...
Ch phorr's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
396 views

Where should my tectonic plates be?

This is my map: It was generated using tectonics.js, and I traced it in GIMP. For a while now, I've been having trouble pinning down just where exactly my tectonic plates should be. I tried sketching ...
Aisede's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
133 views

Where, on a geological timescale, would human-worked materials end up?

One day, a race of hyper-advanced aliens are on a stag weekend to Earth, and for a joke they decide to 'tag' every atom of every material that humans have 'worked' through chemical processes (eg ...
Stephen's user avatar
  • 8,692
2 votes
2 answers
139 views

Could You Use Artificial Volcanoes To Create Buildings?

For the purposes of this question the builders are incredibly wealthy, have access to cheap nukes to use for excavation, and everyone in this world is immune to radiation. The technology is decades ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,528
2 votes
1 answer
346 views

Geology and tidal forces on moon with Earth-life surface, but very unstable underground

I am writing a story set on a mining colony moon with some very odd geological conditions, and while this idea is admittedly likely impossible to fully make geologically plausible but I wanted to see ...
TheyMightBeGiantSquids's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
429 views

Would a diamond mountain floating in the mantle cause a supervolcano or lava pool in the crust above it?

I was looking for ways to make gigantic mountains, and found Willk's answer to such a quandary, where a giant diamondberg forms in an ice giant and is incorporated into a terrestrial planet's crust, ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
3 votes
2 answers
296 views

If humans were killed out in the Great Oxidation Event, would they leave behind any evidence?

I was thinking about the Great Oxidation Event - how, when they evolved and starting dumping a ton of oxygen into the atmosphere through photosynthesis, they accidentally killed off almost all life on ...
Arcaeca's user avatar
  • 215
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Methods of releasing nitrogen from martian regolith

One important step in the proposed terraforming Mars would be to give the planet a nitrogen atmosphere. Now, most assume that nitrogen, (along with water and other luxuries of the sort) would have to ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
6 votes
4 answers
626 views

How long is a terraformed mars likely to remain habitable without plate tectonics?

Whilst considering the terraforming Mars in my science fiction project, I realised something rather important: Mars has no plate tectonics. That means that, assuming the humans in my project manage to ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do I get a giant equatorial continent for my planet?

In my sci-fi universe, I have an earth-sized planet orbiting a K-type star. This planet (which has life) has about 0.6 G of surface gravity, an atmospheric pressure of 0.8 bars, and no continents. ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
3 votes
1 answer
108 views

Geological activity and of superearth - cannonball moon system

I understand that this situation is hypothetical -- I just need a piece of advice to make it more realistic. In my story, there is a superearth of 4,5 Earth masses and 1,35 Earth's radius, rotating ...
JustOstrava's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
83 views

What's stopping other rock layers from creating a karst-like landscape?

Context I've reread a part of a book about geochemistry and it reminded me that just about any element can dissolve in water if the pH is right. Later an examples of aluminium or iron dissolving en ...
Yulian's user avatar
  • 452
4 votes
1 answer
100 views

How would about a dozen 50 ft to 1,400 ft (approx. 15 m to 430 m) giants wandering around a continent affect seismic activity?

8 of the giants would be around 50-100 ft (15-30 m) and only one would be 1,400 ft (430 m), the other three would be about 500-800 ft (152-243 m). Let's say that they are somehow remarkably light for ...
Sannaco's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
5 answers
494 views

How could an iron planet be geologically active?

So I have an iron planet, and its name is Randall. Since Randall is an iron planet, he is basically the core of a planet with no crust/mantle, and very few silicates. Now, I, the creator outside of ...
KaffeeByte's user avatar
  • 1,702
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the maximum amount of land (percentage-wise) a habitable planet can have?

Earth is our only example of a habitable planet. The surface of Earth is 29% land and 71% ocean. I am wondering what other land ratios can create a habitable planet. Half a billion years ago, Earth ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
  • 3,563
4 votes
5 answers
966 views

Turning possible a gigantic rock in the sky (sci-fi and magic)

Ok, we have magic to solve all my problems but I want to find if I can solve this "the most cientific possible". I have a world that turns out to be the earth but in a post-apocalyptic ...
RyukeiMidori's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
174 views

How large of a magma chamber do I need to geothermally power a small city?

I have a fictional civilization that lives on a continent (or world) with a perpetually cold, wintry climate. The continent does have a large number of volcanoes of varying sizes and levels of ...
AustinZ's user avatar
  • 216
2 votes
1 answer
337 views

What biomes would Atlantis (mythical land in the Atlantic Ocean) have? [closed]

Atlantis is a mythical continent from Plato's writings. It was an advanced island that rivaled Athens. It lost favor with the Greek gods and as a result it fell beneath the waves. Neat story but I'm ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
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