Questions tagged [geology]

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

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2
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1answer
37 views

Coal or coal analogs without Carboniferous?

In my world, there could be no Carboniferous, during which the overwhelming majority of coal was deposited on our planet. No swamps probably exist either, cutting off that way of generating coal as ...
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1answer
86 views

How could life exist underneath a world too small for a magnetic field?

In a new documentary made by melodysheep called LIFE BEYOND II: The Museum of Alien Life, the creator proposed there could be life on a planet too small for a magnetic field beneath the surface. But ...
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4answers
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A world with extremely limited fossil fuels

So this is a slight revision of my earlier idea, of a world that entirely lacks fossil fuels. So basically the big idea I'm interested in is an industrial revolution that fully goes through with the ...
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10answers
2k views

Can a mountain range form with a very loose surface?

In my story there is a mountain range which is almost impossible to climb because it is very steep, and it has a very, very loose surface. Wherever you put your foot, the ground is liable to slip away ...
4
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2answers
144 views

How to maximize the sand depth of a desert planet

NB: There is a related question – What kind of planet could have giant sand worms? – but this one is concerned specifically with the sand. Giant sand worms would be awesome incidental. Assuming a ...
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2answers
159 views

Would Plate Tectonics Act Differently on an Earth-like Planet Where Water Makes Up the Minority of the Surface Rather Than the Majority?

My apologies for the extra long title, so let's get to the point. There is an Earth-like planet with a very dry personality. Six to ten percent of the surface is water, averaging in at 30-100 meters ...
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4answers
251 views

Where would rivers and lakes make sense on this continent?

Fellow world-builders, I need some guidance. I've been drawing a map of the continent Anai'vora, the landmass where my current D&D Campaign takes place. I'm very new to world building, and this is ...
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5answers
460 views

Is it plausible for a world without fossil fuels to have developed naturally?

So the idea of worlds like this has been brought up a few times, about how human technology would have developed without fossil fuels, but the question I have is whether it is plausible for a world ...
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3answers
133 views

Giant rift with lava at the bottom

I’d like to consider continental rifts on massive scales. I’m trying to imagine one about the length of California that is so deep, a long “river” of lava flows along its length. The rift walls ...
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1answer
69 views

Can post-glacial (icesheet) landforms be present on the warm desert (BWh/BWc)?

How realistic would it be to have moraines and dried lakes on deserts? I plan to have a salt lake with a few rivers flowing in - how much time would they have to erode canyons? Natural disasters ...
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3answers
405 views

How to make drooping mountains?

In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the town of Whoville is situated between a few drooping mountains. Here's an example taken from the movie: The tip droops, and the mountains can rise either ...
3
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1answer
129 views

What kinds of rock formations might hint at terraformed mountains?

I'm working on a concept for a terraformed world with artificial mountain ranges/plateaus that stretch higher than a natural formation possibly can. I picture them like extremely tall table-top ...
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4answers
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A company offers fossilization as funeral option, how could it be credible?

A very powerful funeral company offers fossilization as burial options to very rich clients. Of course, no one can check if it would actually work in a few million years, but the company shows great ...
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2answers
163 views

Are my plate tectonics/land masses realistic?

I'm building a new planet up from scratch, and wanted to get a sanity check on my plate tectonics and land masses. It doesn't have to be 100% realistic, but I'd like it to be plausible to someone who ...
2
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1answer
73 views

How to create a volcano?

In the near future, humanity as a whole decides they need a new volcano at unspecified location X. The bigger, the better, short of a cataclysmic world-ending scenario. The reason behind this desire ...
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5answers
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What locations in a galaxy would be best for stone carvings to remain undamaged or worn down for as long as possible?

I want a species of alien to leave their mark throughout the galaxy with stone carvings and temples. Taking influence from ancient religious stone carvings and decoratively sculptured temples carved ...
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14answers
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What resources (especially mineral) can you find on terrestrial planets but not asteroids?

I'm writing about people living in space who can mine asteroids and I'm wondering what minerals or other resources, if any, they might need access to larger planets for. Since planets and asteroids ...
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2answers
212 views

What would happen to an indestructible meteorite?

A meteorite lands on our Earth. It is made of a rigid, indestructible material (containing a payload). When the meteorite strikes, its kinetic energy will cause a blast of stones, dirt, heat, etc. ...
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3answers
167 views

Where else would mountains be on this continent?

Okay fellow nerds, I am in need of assistance. I am making a fan-made map for a book series and I have run into a problem. The problem being while I love making maps (fun hobby) I am trying to ...
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6answers
316 views

world with a lot of plateaus and very little plains [closed]

I want to create a gimmick world, that is ALMOST entirely covered up with massive mesa/canyon-like structures : flat-topped elevation ridges or hills bounded by steep escarpments. The space in between ...
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2answers
331 views

Would this be a plausible coastline + river combo?

So, for an area of my world, I'm imagining three cities situated along the stretch of a river, running from a lake in the mountains onto relatively flat terrain (though still a bit above sea level) ...
6
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2answers
134 views

What is the crust of a habitable planet with Io-like heat-pipe tectonics made of?

The Jovian moon Io is geologically active like Earth, yet it experiences heat pipe tectonics instead of plate tectonics. Heat-pipe tectonics is a cooling mode of terrestrial planets in which the ...
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3answers
183 views

Easiest to acquire solid element with high purity?

The goal is to create the Great Wall of China out of Titanium - which is to say you need a lot of material. Transmutation magic exists which can turn anything into a pure element (Titanium in this ...
11
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1answer
172 views

How deep can the oceans be while still alowing some land?

Many alien worlds will most likely be water worlds. I was wondering what the deepest possible global ocean dept is where land is still possible. I think that volcanic islands will still have a chance ...
4
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1answer
236 views

Mountain Destruction by mining

I have a mountain in a story that basically needs to be taken down (inadvertently) by human action in a world with premodern (so mediëval/ early renaissance at best) tech levels. I have been thinking ...
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3answers
98 views

(Semi) Believable way to quickly submerge a large landmass

I once before asked a question on how to quickly submerge a large landmass/continent. The answers there basically concluded that literally ''Sinking'' (a la Atlantis) is pretty much impossible to do ...
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4answers
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Could terrain like this form on Earth? If so, how?

I am creating an RPG and came across an image that I wanted to base my landscape on. It is shown above. Is it possible for terrain like that to form on Earth (ignore the wildlife)? If it is, how could ...
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3answers
252 views

Could an island on Earth with these climate types exist?

I am creating an RPG and I created a continent in which it is set on. I want to make sure that the climate types in it are realistic as well as the continent. This island is called Lartess. Lartess ...
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1answer
63 views

Plate tectonics required to create a area where the land “grows” very rapidly, very often?

From what I understand, Mount Everest grows about 2.4 inches per year. I am trying to create an area of land that grows very often, often around 1 inch per day. As I'm not very good with plate ...
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2answers
166 views

Is it possible for a planet to have an area saturated with lava but at the same time is still habitable to humans and other lifeforms?

An area of my planet is very saturated with lava. Being quite similar to the Siberian Lava Traps, it is essentially a lava sea. This lava “sea” area isn’t necessarily all lava however, as there are ...
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3answers
88 views

What aquatic life would utterly deplete the soil of a specific nutrient?

In my story an area was formerly beneath an ocean or lake. Some form of life leeched the soil of a specific mineral or substance. Technology level is that of ~1700 Spain. Now that the water has ...
7
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1answer
99 views

Temple fell down sinkhole in mining area, toxic gases

My temple was built near a kaolin surface mine, which is itself topping an old deep mine (where they used to mine radioactive metals, rare earths and possibly other miscellaneous, if need be). This ...
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3answers
113 views

Would these processes be probable on this planet?

Background This planet, located somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy, orbits a M5V star about 0.682764 AU away from its star. The planet is volcanically active due to the gravitational field of the ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Consequences of hitting a Pluto-like planet with a highly luminiferous meteorite?

While the intended end state is that this planet can support space-faring lifeforms, the solution under question needs a sanity check. I cannot commit to many numbers with how speculative this all is ...
5
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1answer
132 views

How Would a Continental Landmass Sink?

Atlantis is real. It's just that there's more than one of them, and none of them are actually called "Atlantis". Instead, they consist from the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean to Zealandia, a ...
3
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1answer
79 views

UHT Ceramic Geology

Earth rocks are largely silicates, combinations of silicon, oxygen, and various other trace elements. What would a planets geography look like if the crust was primarily composed of ceramics like ...
4
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1answer
108 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
147 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
113 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
138 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 ...
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6answers
190 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
320 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
96 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
139 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
369 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
161 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
169 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 ...
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2answers
109 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
86 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 ...
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3answers
214 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 ...

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