Questions tagged [geology]

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

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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 ...
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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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  • 435
1 vote
2 answers
68 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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
226 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 ...
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5 votes
4 answers
306 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
87 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? (...
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7 votes
0 answers
49 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’ ...
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5 votes
1 answer
137 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
143 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
116 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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  • 131
4 votes
1 answer
87 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 ...
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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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  • 546
4 votes
4 answers
190 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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  • 734
5 votes
8 answers
224 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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
174 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
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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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  • 201
1 vote
1 answer
83 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
216 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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?
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4 votes
2 answers
96 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 ...
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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 ...
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6 votes
4 answers
166 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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  • 9,628
2 votes
2 answers
65 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 (...
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0 votes
1 answer
111 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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  • 1,201
6 votes
3 answers
845 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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  • 227
3 votes
2 answers
132 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
164 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
169 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
154 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
126 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
262 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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2 votes
3 answers
159 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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45 votes
3 answers
8k views

How much damage to the US would a Yellowstone eruption cause?

I posted this question: How would the United States survive and adapt in the decades following a Yellowstone eruption? What things would need to change as the world recovers? and it was closed due to ...
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3 votes
3 answers
123 views

Could an asteroid impact permanently reduce water content on a planet?

I am building a world that used to be almost entirely covered in water but was struck by a large metallic asteroid (roughly the same mass as the one that killed off the dinosaurs) which boiled off ...
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15 votes
5 answers
4k views

How powerful would a volcanic eruption need to be to blast debris to the height of the ISS?

I'm trying to write a scene in which a supervolcanic eruption destroys the ISS by blasting a shower of tephra to the ISS's orbital height. The ISS is about 400 kilometers up. Let's assume the ...
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  • 9,628
6 votes
1 answer
198 views

If Yellowstone goes up, how far away could a person be without being immediately injured?

Let's say that the Yellowstone supervolcano has a (for it, quite small; some of Yellowstone's past eruptions are ~5 times greater in volume than this) VEI-7 eruption, ejecting five hundred cubic ...
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  • 9,628
5 votes
1 answer
117 views

What minerals could carry light inside a hollow mountain for illumination?

I have this hollow mountain that has a closed ecosystem inside it. What's interesting is that vegetation thrives within the bowels of the mountain despite being almost completely closed off from the ...
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  • 8,617
2 votes
1 answer
128 views

Could a supervolcanic eruption in the Phlegraean Fields be triggered by detonating a 1-gigaton nuclear bomb and then fracking the resultant salt dome?

So. There's a group of nutcases in my setting; they are an ages-old, all-powerful secret society, yadda yadda yadda, control massive amounts of the world behind the scenes, have agents everywhere of ...
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  • 9,628
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Lava consistency under the sea? [duplicate]

I'm curious. Is it possible for lava to maintain it's molten character on the sea floor for long periods of time? I'm talking about a river of lava on the sea bed. Obviously this is really stretching ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
110 views

How Would it Affect the Galactic Economy if One Planet Controlled 99%+ of the Galaxy's Gold and Silver? [closed]

The Planet Aurea has by far the most gold and silver out of any planet of the entire galaxy (thanks to two mountain ranges it has, one around the size of the US portion of the Rocky Mountains made ...
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2 votes
3 answers
124 views

How would you use volcanic magma to create massive islands the size of Indonesia etc?

I've read an answer explaining how it could be done but I was wondering what anyone thought about creating island chains the size of continents etc. using magma under the ocean. What would be the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
161 views

How "geologically Earth-like" can my large terrestrial planet get?

So I've ran into a bit of an issue. Not knowing much about geology, I thought that I could get away with making a planet with 150% Earth radius with it still having a geology identical to that of ...
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  • 314
5 votes
5 answers
227 views

Why do my humongous cliff ledges have cultivable soil on them?

This world is basically a huge vertical cliff wall, hundreds of kilometers high. Some of the crevices and ledges in that wall are large enough to build cities on (up to kilometers in length and up to ...
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6 votes
2 answers
164 views

Consequences of a Super-Light Super-Earth?

In this scenario, there is a rocky planet that is 230% the width of our Earth, covering a total area of a billion square miles, 55% of which consists of three continents separated by a single ocean ...
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  • 14.4k
3 votes
4 answers
158 views

Can an Earth-like world of shallow, global, seas be stable over geological time?

The following existing questions Shallow sea world - plausable geology? Would a shallow ocean planet be possible? both address shallow seas on Earthlike planets but don't touch on global oceans of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
81 views

What material could be found (Mining) on this planet? What could I do to have more important materials on this planet?

The planet is Earth-like with gravity: 1.05 Earth's, an Atmosphere of N2: 94% / H2O: 1% / CO2: 1% / Ar: 3% / 1% Other gases with 1 atm pressure at sea level, 40% of the land is H2O water, there is ...
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  • 439
2 votes
1 answer
157 views

How realistic is finding ore veins in natural caves?

I used to play World of Warcraft and a few other MMOs for their crafting systems and always wondered what a fantasy RPG with a crafting system would look like with a more realistic distribution of ...
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  • 2,776
6 votes
6 answers
266 views

What would cause oceans to disappear?

I'm writing a story that happens on a dry and arid planet that has only a few oasis's where life can thrive. Life on this world either lives in the oases or lurks in the sand waiting for migrating ...
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  • 8,617
3 votes
1 answer
65 views

perpetual music geo machine

while traveling the world merchants have noticed the sound of many melodies repeating through night and days, in some regions melodies shift tone or speed based on the time of the day, and each region ...
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