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Questions tagged [geology]

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

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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 ...
ermatveit's user avatar
  • 201
1 vote
1 answer
116 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 ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.7k
6 votes
4 answers
263 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 ...
Lorry Laurence mcLarry's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
65 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?
thatonefriend61's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
111 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 ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
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 ...
Kiteration's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
334 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 ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
2 votes
2 answers
139 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 (...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
152 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 ...
Postlim Fort's user avatar
  • 1,609
6 votes
3 answers
957 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 ...
villain_l's user avatar
  • 227
3 votes
2 answers
163 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 ...
DAVID RICKS's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
183 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
3 votes
1 answer
251 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 ...
Jarren_Takar's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
204 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 ...
Itschotsch's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
141 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 ...
Jacob West's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
361 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 (...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
3 votes
3 answers
486 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 ...
Axion's user avatar
  • 1,154
14 votes
14 answers
5k 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 ...
FluidCode's user avatar
  • 3,783
46 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
WordyBirdy's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
325 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 ...
Boo Radley's user avatar
  • 1,196
18 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 ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
6 votes
1 answer
256 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 ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
5 votes
1 answer
156 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 ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
2 votes
1 answer
179 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 ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
2 votes
1 answer
122 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 ...
Thunderhammer's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
139 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 ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
169 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 ...
Jacob West's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
279 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 ...
Pipi Caca's user avatar
  • 344
5 votes
5 answers
269 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 ...
Darth Biomech's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
275 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
3 votes
4 answers
375 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 ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 45.6k
0 votes
1 answer
116 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 ...
Khalid's user avatar
  • 543
2 votes
1 answer
583 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 ...
Arvex's user avatar
  • 3,034
6 votes
6 answers
432 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 ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
3 votes
1 answer
84 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
163 views

Would my gas giant have rings?

The gas giant in question is about 3 times the mass of jupiter with a density of 3.58 grams per cubic centimeter. It formed naturally beyond the system's forstline and then migrated into the habitable ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
300 views

How many tectonic plates should my moon have?

I have been wondering, what factors influence the number of tectonic plates a planet would have? Are there criteria to choose the number? Case in point, for my habitable moon project, here is the ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
291 views

If a lightspeed impactor "clipped" the Earth, would the resultant valley remain stable for geological timespans?

Let's say that some aliens fling a hyper-super-duper-lightspeed impactor at the Earth. They barely hit it. Instead of a direct hit through the center of mass, the impactor "clips" the Earth ,...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
-1 votes
7 answers
284 views

Is water recycling really necessary in space?

Solar panels = energy Mineral harvesting machines= materials 3D printers that print solar panels= infinite energy So we got the energy part out of the way for space travel, just build more satelites ...
user avatar
13 votes
9 answers
4k views

How does a species of animal dig through rock instead of dirt?

What would animals that dig through solid rock look like? How would they differ from animals that dig through dirt? So basically I am trying to populate ravines and canyons with fauna that digs ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
7 answers
263 views

How to plausibly justify a species growing mineral-based protrusions that resemble horns or spikes?

I'm currently designing a sapient species for a science fantasy setting that's supposed to be a herbivorous, physically resilient, and bulky sort. They currently bear some resemblance to boars or ...
Cross's user avatar
  • 59
3 votes
1 answer
144 views

What are some non-military reasons for a country wanting to control an impact crater where the Strait of Gibraltar used to be?

Let's say that there's a 2-million-year-old impact crater where the Strait of Gibraltar used to be, and that there's an impact peak or a series of impact peaks in the middle that are far enough above ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Would a gigantic meteor impact in the Strait of Gibraltar create a peak-ring crater, or at least a complex one?

Background: A peak-ring crater is a sub-type of complex crater (an impact crater in which the impact wave rebounded from the rim of the crater and pushed up a mountain in the middle) where, instead ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
0 votes
1 answer
159 views

Would a meteor blowing up the Strait of Gibraltar 2 million years ago kill all of humanity's ancestor species?

Let's say that, 2 million years prior to the present day, a meteor impacts roughly in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. It is large enough and strikes at sufficient velocity to create an impact ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
32 votes
12 answers
6k views

The erosion problem on floating islands

Even the tallest mountains will be ground to dust with time. Given, of course, nothing sustains them (like tectonic activity which prevents mount Everest from eroding away too quickly, even making it ...
El Nitromante's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
484 views

Any advice on what is a realistic way to use plate tectonics to create landmasses and barriers?

Recently I've taken it upon myself to create a brand new fantasy world. I created fantasy settings in the past but this is the first one with such a strong emphasis on realism and staying true to our ...
Patrick's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
5 answers
498 views

What kind of rock could I use in my mountains?

in my world there is a mountain system where most of the rock is some kind of material or mineral that conducts heat very well. So much so that there is no snow on the peaks as it melts quite quickly ...
rperezz's user avatar
  • 39
5 votes
5 answers
777 views

Gargoyle Safety 101: Choice of statue material

In my setting, among various other magical creatures, gargoyles exist. They're winged, horned, tailed humanoids (if you picture the Disney show, you'll have an accurate enough mental image to work ...
Cyrus Drake's user avatar
  • 8,165
8 votes
10 answers
984 views

How can I justify that dunes keep drifting and cannot be stabilised?

I have the idea of a fantasy civilization based around shifting dunes. The idea is that the land is largely uninhabitable except for the coasts, but there are large dunes that function as habitable &...
Claus Appel's user avatar
  • 1,040
5 votes
4 answers
352 views

How would a corrosive sea not erode the foundations for islands?

My world consists of a large number of islands laid out in a hexagonal pattern, each one circular and large enough to support a small community. At the center of each island an obelisk sticks out of ...
Grollo's user avatar
  • 4,147

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