Questions tagged [geology]

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

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4 votes
1 answer
56 views

What could make an exomoon sand-colored, other than just being covered in sand?

So I'm currently working on a set of scientifically plausible star systems, and I want to make one of the moons of a planet colored in patches of medium brown and pale brown dust/rock, but I can't ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Can an object become flammable by being dipped in an arsenic lake?

I have a (water) lake on a planet that has a high concentration of arsenic in its crust. As a result, the lake has an extremely high concentration of aqueous arsenic. From my research, it seems like ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What might happen to plastic after millions of years of geological activity?

I'm considering a worldbuilding exercise focusing on a "second generation" civilization, which arises after a previous civilization from millions of years ago either died off or left the ...
2 votes
2 answers
75 views

How plausible is my alien world? Effects of acidification

The theoretical world of Hēdran is the 2nd planet of a 7 planet system. It lies within its star' s (a G1.4) habitable zone, but with a hot jupiter gas giant only ~1 AU away it experiences heavy ...
2 votes
2 answers
170 views

On an alien planet, what kind of geological phenomenon can create a crystal mountains range?

Context: In my speculative evolution project, I've created a biome where the snowy tops of mountains have been replaced with crystals. The crystal should come from inside the planet, just like lava.
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5 votes
2 answers
255 views

Is colonization through underground tunnels possible? [duplicate]

I am thinking of a scenario in which a tunnel linking Hungary to Morocco is built around the 1500s by the King of Hungary in an attempt to colonize Morocco to get a border with the Atlantic ocean. ...
3 votes
1 answer
55 views

Acidic oceans on geologic timescales?

Lots of biochemical processes are sensitive to pH, and most (all?) organisms maintain close-to-neutral internal pH, except for specific localized excursions for specific purposes (like producing acids ...
5 votes
2 answers
147 views

How would Earth's land be different climatically if it was 50% land and 50% water?

I'm coming up with an alternate world that is far more balanced when it comes to the surface area. Real life Earth is 71% ocean and 29% land. Astronomers speculate that Earth got its big oceans by ...
13 votes
8 answers
4k views

Is it possible to make mortar without lime in a medieval-ish setting?

The world which I am working on is set in the far future on a colonized/terraformed planet that has become reduced to a medieval-like level of technology. It was not previously inhabited by any life, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
119 views

What would the terrain be like along the migratory track for a species of gigafauna?

What would the terrain look like when you have city-sized creatures regularly passing over it? The best real life analogue I could think of would be the Canadian Shield where the glaciers scraped back ...
3 votes
2 answers
85 views

Major underground caverns on a world with considerable geologic activity?

The world I designed, while habitable and capable of hosting carbon based life is characterized by a considerable volcanic and seismic activity caused by the tidal heating of the gas giant it orbits. ...
4 votes
1 answer
128 views

Can people survive at the bottom of the dry Red Sea?

In 2055, a coalition of world powers completed the Red Sea Dam, a 30-km structure spanning the Bab-el-Mandeb at the south end of the sea. Construction of the dam was initially proposed to permit the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Can you build convection currents out of hollow air?

Recently, I found this image by the Redditor "Keeperofbeesandtruth": He made it free to use, as he doesn't intend on being serious about his own project. So here's my plan: Keep the ...
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1 vote
7 answers
2k views

Can Diesel be used as a fuel for hover jets? If so, how much? And what type of diesel would you mine from the ocean floor?

I'm developing a scavenger world set in a sort of dystopian future, and one faction has a huge monopoly on Diesel. As described as any fuel used in a compression chamber, they are able to obtain their ...
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7 votes
3 answers
66 views

Ferrovolcanism on an asteroid caused by rotating induction heating

I found out about Ferrovolcanism on asteroids and its a pretty neat idea for a space sci fi setting. Moreover, I have come up with a hypothetical way that an asteroid could be heated by induction ...
0 votes
1 answer
78 views

Would the sort of tectonic activity described below shorten Earth's lifespan?

The unfortunate truth is that hundreds of millions of years in the future, Earth will have used up all of its radioactive materials. And when that happens, tectonic activity will stop and magma will ...
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7 votes
7 answers
1k views

How did the vast nexus of hollows, caves and a thriving underworld on this alien planet come to be?

I had a unique idea for an alien planet. The surface would be snow-capped mountains and glacial fields, it's cold and essentially devoid of most life. But just underneath the towering mountains ...
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4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Life on a Moon-like Earth?

Aside from being smaller, the Moon has a distinctly different bulk composition from Earth--its mantle is proportionately much larger, and its core is proportionately much smaller. Suppose that Earth ...
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would a lower gravity planet have deeper oceans and higher continents?

I'm designing a lower gravity planet that's got enough mass to hold onto an atmosphere but around 75% of Earth's gravity. I read that lower-gravity planets will have more pronounced geological ...
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1 vote
2 answers
87 views

Would a high iron content world have particular effects on its more common minerals/elements?

I have a world which has a high iron content in its core, like a more extreme version of Mercury, geologically speaking. The system only has this world and a tidally locked hot Jovian (of which the ...
5 votes
3 answers
275 views

Is there any feasible way for Antarctica have hidden oases?

Antarctica is a large barren wasteland. Located at the bottom of the world, it appears far away and forgotten. The Earth's largest desert and yet the coldest landmass. The age of exploration has come ...
5 votes
4 answers
339 views

Is it possible for a planet to have floating islands caused by the magnetism? [duplicate]

I am working on this planet that has several moons and - possibly - rings. In the planet's earliest era after its inception, it was hit by a large meteor that dislodged huge chunks of earth. I'm ...
3 votes
0 answers
104 views

Countering gravitational bead instability

I started thinking about Alderson disks. They are usually portrayed with large uninhabitable sections on either side of the habitable zone. Why not just build the habitable zone, and save materials? (...
7 votes
0 answers
55 views

How would the landscape of a gas giant's core-mantle boundary look like? [closed]

In my setting, the characters live at the bottom of a gas giant's metallic hydrogen ocean, just above the rocky core. There the dense metallic hydrogen acts as the ‘air’ and the core as the ‘ground’ ...
5 votes
1 answer
162 views

How fast can people dig in rock using primitive methods? [closed]

Considering the fire setting method (where you light a fire in front of the rock, then pour water onto the fire and rock) and digging purely with unpowered hand tools, how long would it take to dig ...
4 votes
2 answers
150 views

A world like an ice-cream sandwich?

Ice-cream sandwich is the only way to describe the world I am thinking of making. There's flat land above, flat land below and mountains all around. The light comes from stars that hover in the middle ...
3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Two planets - "exchange orbit" scenario - Does it cause earthquakes?

I have an earth-like planet with a roughly earth-like orbital period, that is in a stable co-orbital scenario with another largish body. Similar to Janus and Epimetheus but planets rather than moons. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
90 views

Geologic explanation for green volcanic eruptions

It's well-documented that copper sulfate can be introduced to certain fuels to burn green. If one was to scale up the fireworks, so to speak, then I'm not so sure how to explain the mechanics of it ...
10 votes
5 answers
1k views

Could A Planet with Fiery Rain Survive?

The Idea I'm creating a planet where rain is small drops of fire, and anything in its way will be burnt. (No idea how this happens, and the technicalities don't bother me, either) Every night the wind ...
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4 votes
4 answers
201 views

What would be the conditions to bring about an extremely mountainous planet

What would be the conditions of a planet for it to, over the years, form an extreme amount of mountains all across the planet. Not like a ball of spikes, just extremely mountainous. I still want this ...
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5 votes
8 answers
233 views

What's the clearest evidence for a planet's magnetic field being flipped relatively recently?

Assuming a human-like entity has the ability to visit a planet that is like (or is, if that makes this easier) Earth during two time periods: A time period where the planet's magnetic field is stable ...
4 votes
3 answers
212 views

How Can a High Gravity Planet Have a Magnetic Field

We all like life forms from high gravity planets, it’s a popular Sci fi trope and one that I love to play around with. It’s fascinating to try and designs creatures for an environment that would ...
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10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Would it be possible for a pre-industrial society to construct islands?

I am envisioning a scenario in which, probably for reasons of persecution or overpopulation, a people would begin to construct islands in the sea. Each island would be fairly close to the others and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
86 views

Can a habitable world function like a Tesla Coil?

I am trying to come up with a fun planet with "advanced" but primitive tech. We all know Tesla missed some critical physics when envisioning his global transmission network for power. But ...
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6 votes
4 answers
226 views

Could there be biomes inside of asteroids?

I don't mean "biome" in the strict scientific definition, but rather, in the broader geological sense that it is used by game designers to refer to unique environments. On earth, when people ...
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

How do unnatural processes compare to natural geological processes in the formation of rocks & minerals? [closed]

As in an asteroid hitting a planet to make glass & other formations. Are these considered minerals? Can a crystal structure be formed?
4 votes
2 answers
97 views

Scuba diving in the Permian Seas - effects on pre-dive calculus and commercial diving

I'm designing a scuba-diving expedition in the Permian sea Panthalassa. Pre-dive planning for the optimal gas mix and critical pressures requires factoring in gas available but also readings on the ...
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

What geological and climatic factors could result in a planet where the only biomes are oceans, deserts and wetlands? A wet OR dry world

Imagine a planet that sustains life, has oceans and continents plus an earth-like atmosphere; a planet similar to earth in most ways, but with only extremely dry and extremely wet biomes. Science ...
6 votes
4 answers
191 views

How un-dense could a super-duper-Earth be if that super-duper Earth was bigger than Neptune?

Long story short, I have an Earth-like planet, which is orbiting a mega-Earth (think a super-duper-sized version of a super-Earth), which is orbiting a K-type star, which is orbiting UY Scuti. I want ...
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2 votes
2 answers
71 views

Plausible matter cycle for rock-based life

Organic matter follows a cycle in which decomposers such as fungi and bacteria break down waste and corpses, and the byproducts of decomposition become the building blocks for all living beings (...
0 votes
1 answer
138 views

Will nature after millennia create a temperate rain-forest in my structure?

I am making a weird space that can not exist in the real world. It is made up of bubbles made from an indestructible material. The material is smooth as steel plate on the inside. One can go from one ...
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6 votes
3 answers
851 views

How could I have a mountain range that completely bisects my land mass?

I want to have a mountain range in my continent that splits it into two parts, such that it is incredibly difficult for them to communicate. How could I pull this off in a plausible way without having ...
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3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Pop-up islands on an outrageous ocean planet!

This is a question for geology people... Imagine an exoplanet with a thin crust, intense tectonic activity, but with weak, fragmented crust plates that buckle and sink as well as subduct beneath each ...
3 votes
3 answers
170 views

Can a new geological material (specifically, a metal) be formed no older than 56 million years ago?

There is an alternate Earth that I've been building and rebuilding for years. The canonized point of departure is 56 million years ago, specifically a Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum that is four to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
179 views

Figuring-out which types of ground can support Bipedal Mechs of approx. the Mass of The Iron Giant

(Edited:) I've been trying to figure-out which types of ground would allow mechs that have at least roughly the same mass as that of The Iron Giant to stand, walk, and run around on without the mechs ...
3 votes
1 answer
164 views

Is it healthy to only drink rain water?

I read that it is perfectly fine to be drinking collected rain water as long as the air and the container are not polluted. However, would it be possible for a civilization to survive and live ...
2 votes
1 answer
129 views

What kind of weathering on which kind of stones would produce fantasy style rock formations?

What kind of natural or artificial weathering would have to go on to produce fantasy-like formations, what kind of geography and geology would have to be going on? I'm talking about formations like a ...
4 votes
1 answer
273 views

How big can a whirligig/planetcake get while still maintaining human-survivable gravity at its equator?

A whirligig/planetcake/whatever punny name you want for it is a super-sized planet (we're talking about Jupiter masses here, not Earth masses) that spins so quickly that it's shaped like a pancake (...
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3 votes
3 answers
189 views

What's the darkest/lowest albedo rock that can predominate a planet's surface?

Earth has a bond albedo of 0.3, Mars (presumably because of fewer clouds) is 0.25, and the moon comes in at 0.12 (which is darker than it seems from Earth). Water has a very low albedo, but clouds ...
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14 votes
13 answers
4k views

Can a tunnel be hidden from acoustic scanners?

There is an underground vault containing something very valuable. To prevent robbers from tunnelling to it, the security personnel regularly scans the ground with sound and geophysic sensors. Some ...
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