Questions tagged [geology]

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

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3
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1answer
80 views

Could Volcanism Provide a Large “Heat Oasis” in a Polar Desert?

So there is an Antarctic like continent in my setting; and just like Antarctica it is the largest and most inhospitable desert in the planet due to how absolutely cold it is. But what if there was a ...
3
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1answer
107 views

Could a Greater Relative Abundance of Tin Extend a Bronze Age?

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and copper is a significantly more abundant metal in the Earth’s Crust, at about 70 PPM compared to tin at 2 PPM. Because tin was the limiting factor in bronze ...
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2answers
104 views

What geologic processes would create an unstable cliff on which a city is built?

I have a city which will be completely submerged in water due to a catastrophic earthquake. It is placed on a cliff side, so that it will drop directly into the ocean. Technology is similar to the ...
3
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1answer
107 views

How feasible is a mobile city that sails across a salt flat?

Imagine a huge salt flat like Bonneville or Salar de Uyuni. Due to other logistical concerns, commerce between the economic powers on either side of the flat is forced travel across it. This has ...
3
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6answers
177 views

What Else Could Reduce Global Sea Levels?

Anyone who has studied ice ages would know that during the last two-and-a-half million years of Earth's history, there have been periods where there was enough ice to suck up a lot of water. As a ...
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3answers
305 views

What would the geologic record look like on a planet in the galactic halo?

Imagine an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star in the inner halo of the Milky Way. As a halo star, it will likely be somewhat metal-poor, having formed early in the life of the galaxy, but ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Is an extinct volcanic tube marketplace possible

Could people with Iron Age technology possibly dig large holes in volcanic rock on the edges of a lave tube system. Would this be an effective way to run a trade business or to live in an underground ...
5
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1answer
117 views

Factors that determine the geology of a planet (what factors determine the elemental composition of the planet)

This is my first world and I want to build in a way that is physically possible (if this is possible, otherwise make the necessary changes) for my civilization (which is mostly fleshed out) but I don'...
13
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1answer
322 views

Where do hydrothermal vents form inside icy ocean worlds?

Context: In a near-future version of our solar system, humans have established multiple underwater colonies on Jupiter's moon Europa. Many of these outposts are situated next to hydrothermal vents ...
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2answers
146 views

“Fantastical” Geology in Sci-Fi? [closed]

For a story of mine, I wanted to include the kind of "unnatural" - at least for Earth - geology that you sometimes see in sci-fi. Meaning in this case massive stone spires or land bridges spanning the ...
5
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1answer
135 views

Rock layers in Procedural Map Creation

I've been working on a procedural map generator for a strategy game (if I ever get to gameplay). My general development philosophy is "believable but not necessarily realistic", in other words I don't ...
4
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2answers
100 views

How to Renew Old Mountain Ranges

Conventionally, there are two ways to build mountains--direct collision (as is the case with the Himalayas) and one side sinking beneath the other (which explains why the Pacific Ring of Fire is ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Possible for a large enough structure to survive plate tectonics?

Is it possible for a large enough structure built near a small enough subduction zone to become lodged in it or buried very slowly as opposed to taken underground? If so, how big would the structure ...
7
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3answers
190 views

If you melted Europa's ice would there be any land?

First question: if you melted Europa's ice, would there be any land? Second question (assuming the answer to the first question is no), how much water would you have to remove after that in order to ...
14
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4answers
4k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
101 views

How do i worldbuild planetary regolith

The planet needs to be able to support life but initially ve devoid of it. Which I would think would make it's Soil like that of a desert. The regolith may be important for early agriculture. It can ...
3
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1answer
55 views

plausibility of this double planet system? [duplicate]

So, I'm about to start a new worldbuilding project for a fantasy world, but I want to try to make the basic world at least somewhat plausible; the magic in the setting is going to be pretty low-key, ...
18
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6answers
3k views

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 ...
3
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4answers
474 views

Are two Pangeas possible?

As we know, the Earth had one super continent at one point in the history of our planet, which eventually broke apart to become what we have today. Assuming we're talking about a planet near ...
9
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4answers
302 views

If we dug a really big hole on Mars, how long would it last?

How long will a 400 km wide 30 km deep pit (trench or crater) with a relatively shallow (for stability) gradient of slope of 20 degrees from the edge to the surface of the planets crust be expected to ...
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7answers
2k views

what kind of natural disaster can affect earth on a planetary scale?

Our world is surrounded by a metaphysical barrier that separates us from other dimensions and the things which inhabit them. This barrier is made up of 7 layers, with the last one being the closest to ...
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1answer
92 views

How would a submerged continent quickly rising to the surface affect the geography of its surrounding lamdmass? [closed]

Long ao, a philosopher wrote about a city called atlantis. This nation was a dominant force in the world until it lost a war with Athens, sinking into the sea. However, the simple minded buffoon got ...
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3answers
190 views

Could a carbon based lifeform use the mineral olivine in its structure? Why would it?

Have a creature from a dream. It's a carbon based humanoid creature partly made of the mineral olivine. Could there be any reason it might contain this mineral? Perhaps a show of health - the more ...
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7answers
1k views

How big could a meteor crater be without causing significant secondary effects?

I need to wipe out a city. Not a huge one (I won't let them grow beyond a certain limit), but big enough to need to do some pretty serious damage. Let's say something similar in size to Pompeii. (yes.....
4
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3answers
134 views

How Would Organic Material Erode If Petrified

So in my world, the main Antagonist has the ability to drain the life from things around her, turning them to stone in the process. That made me wonder how organic material would erode if it were ...
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4answers
545 views

How could a volcanic island last for 100 million years?

Some islands can survive for very long. Madagascar, for example, has been around for 80-100 million years and is likely to remain isolated for hundreds of millions of years more. Volcanic islands, ...
8
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2answers
645 views

What's the largest igneous province an impact event could create on Earth?

With the potential for an impact event to trigger volcanic activity on the opposite side of the planet, what is the largest plateau of flood basalt physically capable of forming on Earth, post-impact?
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9answers
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What evidence would there be if radioactive decay changed 7,000 years ago?

I know we generally operate - or religiously operate - on the principle that fundamental things don't change over time. It's the bedrock of geology - Uniformitarianism. I also believe it is unprovable ...
7
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2answers
721 views

Can a planet's magnetic field be generated by non-ferromagnetic metals?

I am trying to construct a terrestrial planet that is almost entirely made of silicates but with a core that's able to generate a magnetic field. I really don't want to use iron, nickel, or cobalt, ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Is it possible for an impact event to render the Earth's surface unrecognizable while still forming a large complex crater?

Is it physically possible for a complex crater to form and remain stable after an impact event large enough to deform the Earth's crust globally, insofar that the surface of the planet becomes ...
3
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7answers
253 views

How to trap medieval humans in a land using geology?

These humans must never see the ocean and should still be able to survive. They can only get out of the land if they improve the technology level. Is it even possible? The lakes or seas should ...
3
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5answers
221 views

How to tackle one or multiple submerged continents

A part of the story I am writing involves two continents that centuries before the story takes place sunk into the sea. I want to have a way to explain this that does not come down to just the sea ...
3
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1answer
93 views

How to form a huge natural plateau with a slope?

I need a huge natural plateau to form but with a slope. There can be some variation, a few hills or even mountains here and there, but the ground needs to be mostly gently sloping north to south. It ...
2
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3answers
200 views

What Animals Could Live in a Glass Ocean?

So I had this idea of a world with an ocean sized pool of super hard glass that formed millions of years ago on this planet. I started to think of the implications of something like that: In some ...
3
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3answers
188 views

Does or could a collection of regions like this exist on Earth?

I initially assumed my world was going to be pure fantasy, but the more I think about it, the more I consider having the story take place somewhere on Earth, either as alternate history or the far ...
8
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2answers
82 views

Plausibility check: heat emission from extinct volcanoes

There's an important aspect of my headworld involving volcanoes which I planned many years ago. Recently I revisited this concept to refine it further, only to run into a few questions that I've been ...
6
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4answers
2k views

How big would the ice ball have to be to deliver all the water at once?

One popular theory to explain how Earth got its water is that it was delivered by asteroid/comet/etc. The form this theory usually takes is that many small impacts occured over a long time, each ...
5
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6answers
488 views

Giant, Periodic Geysers?

My world has giant geysers. The height of these geysers oscillates over a cycle of 3 or so days. Things you need to know: 1. There is an unknown force in the core of the planet, which exerts ...
3
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3answers
154 views

Would an exoplanet highly rich in Iron (and other metallic properties) have any effects on technology?

Im working on a story about a new exoplanet discovery and its subsequent "Near Future" colonization. The planet is close to its parent star. As such, I have decided to give it a sizeable molten iron ...
8
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3answers
271 views

How Can I Explain a Giant Equatorial Gash?

I have a moon in my story that has a thin, deep gash or canyon that lies on its equator and spans the entire moon. My original idea involved the sudden orbital decay of a ring system, caused by a ...
24
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5answers
3k views

How To Make Earth's Oceans as Brackish as Lyr's

Allow me to present Lyr, one of a handful of worlds crafted by artist Chris Wayan: The one detail among a vast many that is important to this question is that its salinity is about 1.5%, roughly half ...
3
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1answer
184 views

How would a slip-strike fault develop in my terrain?

I am designing a fictitious continent, and as part of this I am also designing the prehistoric development of the continent up to the present day. A particular tricky part of this has been that, in ...
7
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2answers
158 views

What geological processes could form the Crystal Desert on the planet Thra in the Dark Crystal?

The Crystal Desert is a Sahara-like expanse of sand, dotted with numerous large clusters of crystal, and containing numerous monolithic sandstones. What would we expect Thra geologists to determine ...
6
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2answers
136 views

Longest “linear” natural formations

In an effort to gain inspiration for planetary formation and, at the same time, inspiration for governmental/territorial boundaries between residents of said formed planets, I've recently encountered ...
3
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3answers
132 views

what would be needed for a sword that glows? [duplicate]

how would it be possible for a sword that glows a very dim light at all times. What materials would be needed to do this? would this hamper the effectiveness of the blade?
6
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4answers
146 views

Identifying minerals without sight

Properly ventilating a deep mine is a significant engineering challenge. Ergo, you don't want to be carrying around torches that use up some of your precious breathing oxygen if you don't absolutely ...
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4answers
428 views

How deep could dwarves actually delve?

Given an arbitrarily long time to do so, what is the maximum depth too which a dwarven civilization could practically extend their mines / cities? And what would be the final limiting factor ...
5
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2answers
178 views

Appropriate Material for a Red Moon

I have some ideas regarding this, but thought I would check to see what you guys can come up with, as I found some of the ideas here often trump mine in originality and/or plausibility. So, I have a ...
9
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4answers
208 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 ...
3
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3answers
179 views

Plausibility of (large) continents on a world with hundreds of tectonic plates

Suppose an earth-like world with roughly 500 major tectonic plates. Question What is the plausibility of such a world to sustain (large) continents? Why? Further clarifications: speed of plates: ...

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