Questions tagged [geology]

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

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18
votes
3answers
2k views

Could ancient seeds buried deep in subsoil sprout given the right conditions?

A friend of mine was telling me about a story where a man clear cut a diverse ecosystem of plants in an area similar to size and shape of a small caldera (not necessarily a caldera itself). ...
8
votes
1answer
393 views

How do I form a location like the Ethiopian highlands?

I'm continuing to work on my map, and one thing that's giving me difficulty is figuring out the geology of a region that I wanted to be similar to the Ethiopian highlands and African rift valley. This ...
0
votes
2answers
140 views

Could there be a plausible description for a kind of radioactive ore that can amplify the energy of a host or object, or potentially destroy it? [closed]

This kind of ore should be rare (maybe from meteorites?), dangerous (radioactive?), but potentially very useful in a world where people have augmented abilities, cybernetic attachments, that sort of ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

What would happen if the earth was thrown into the interstellar medium? [closed]

So, for some reason the sun has randomly disappeared. The earth, along with the rest of the solar system, have been thrown out into interstellar space. Obviously, temperatures will plunge to levels ...
5
votes
2answers
484 views

Could I get some guidance on this map in progress?

BACKGROUND So I was working on a map, when I suddenly realized that despite the many helpful tutorials on this site I have very little idea what I'm doing. I thought it might be a good idea to put on ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Would an island where the majority of the rock is lapis lazuli be feasible?

While the reasons for it's existence do not matter as it is part of an artificially created planet, I am curious if a lapis lazuli island would be able to survive erosion and support Earth-like life? ...
19
votes
9answers
6k views

Can an earth-like world lack mineable iron?

This question is pretty straightforward. I would like to build an earth-like world in which humans don't have access to iron, or at least can't mine any prior to full scale industrialization. They can ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Questions related to a newly created landmass [closed]

As a continuation for my previous island I decided to work on it some more. I've got something I quite like, but once more I'm overwhelmed by the questions that arise. This is my freshly created ...
7
votes
4answers
656 views

How to keep an Island civilization secret from the rest of the world? (Modern Age)

If there was an island civilization, somewhere deep in the Atlantic, how would this society prevent the outside world from discovering it? This society has been around since the Roman Empire, and is ...
71
votes
17answers
12k views

How could a natural road form across a sea?

BACKGROUND I'd like my earth-like world to have a naturally formed narrow strip of land that bridges a major sea. Now, before anyone rushes off to comment about island chains and land bridges, I'll ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this coral lagoon geologically possible?

BACKGOUND I’m working on a region for my world, and I have a very distinct idea of what I want the physical landscape to look like. Below is a description of what I'd like for the land, and an ...
3
votes
5answers
756 views

Long term effects of erosion

What could be the effects of erosion on a rocky Earth-sized planet on a universal time scale (in the order of $10^{40}$ years)? Let's assume that: The source of sunlight is endless and almost ...
1
vote
2answers
405 views

How close to Impossible can Navigation be on a Jungle Planet (for a Stone Age Civilization)?

Premise I would like to create a world that is rendered nearly impossible to navigate by natural circumstances. In my particular world, a thick jungle covers the whole planet from pole to pole; this ...
2
votes
6answers
572 views

What could cause a continent to go below sea levels rapidly? [closed]

Could someone give me an explanation – realistic or magical – as to what could cause a continent the size of, let's say Europe, to go rapidly underwater in a matter of 100-500 years?
1
vote
0answers
95 views

How do I create a northern continent in my world? [closed]

Basically I want to create a large land-mass in my world that is located in the northern hemisphere (I'm not sure whether to make it arctic or more Finland-like or what) I'm having a really hard time ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

By what mechanism can lasers destroy an entire planet?

What circumstances must be met in order to destroy a planet with just a single laser beam hit? If this is possible at all then, please, try to provide some possible details: an approximate energy of ...
-3
votes
1answer
114 views

What happens if Iceland disappears? [closed]

In 2018, as if by magic, the entire island of Iceland suddenly disappears, along with all ground and sea down to 1km below sea level, all air up to 1km above sea level, and everything in or on the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Rock formations & islands on a moon with megamareal tides

This concerns a habitable, earthlike moon orbiting a gas giant, which is not tidal locked, and has an elliptical orbit eccentric enough to avoid frequent deep winter freezes (the freezes do happen, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the highest possible mountain on an Earth-like world?

My friend is writing a book, and I volunteered to create a planet for him, one with an epic mountain extending far above the clouds. The planet features lush jungles in the lower elevations and ...
1
vote
3answers
152 views

Would the ground actually shake due to the steps of a large quadruped machine? [closed]

Let's say there is this a very large industrial-era quadruped machine, somewhere on the order of magnitude of the Bagger 288. Construction is probably similar the Eiffel Tower. For more scale ...
36
votes
3answers
24k views

What size would a diamond made from a human be?

I am writing a science fiction novel where dead humans are turned into diamonds by compacting cremated remains. What size of diamond would the amount of carbon in a human body form? I know that the ...
-4
votes
1answer
123 views

supermetal formation [closed]

How would the supermetal known as Ledrine form under natural conditions? Any environment within our solar system is eligible for this purpose. Ledrine has the following properties: withstand ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Effects of rapid (geological timescale) cooling of the Earths mantle

I am trying to figure out the geological effects that would happen if earths upper mantle was drained of heat. I am sure there are many ways that this could happen but the method that I am asking ...
15
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17answers
3k views

I need a source of a psychoactive drug or substance in a fantasy world (no magic)?

I'm creating a city in a fantasy setting that has no magic in a medieval earth-like world. The city is located near a huge mountain range. It used to be a small city but grew large with relative ...
1
vote
7answers
576 views

How can an ultra-deep hole or canyon form naturally on an earth like world? [duplicate]

How can an ultra-deep hole or canyon form naturally on an earth like world? By ultra-deep I’m thinking something like the Marianas Trench but on land and not filled with water. If it’s not possible ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Lethal Low Pressure Fronts

On a giant 50 mile high volcano, created and sustained by magic, there is extreme weather. Storms, high winds, snow, everything you'd find at the flanks of exceedingly high mountain. Explorers have ...
16
votes
11answers
6k views

How to harness electricity from crystals?

One of the features in my world is a crystal cave. The crystal is mined to be used as a source of electricity. I want this electricity to power up simple electric devices, some sort of light bulb. I ...
6
votes
3answers
431 views

Can a 25 mile high volcano form naturally on a desiccated desert earth planet?

The enormous shield volcano that this question was based on was held up by magic or God. It presented some very interesting conditions for alternate worlds so I thought I would develop that train of ...
9
votes
3answers
768 views

How to craze the surface of a planet?

I want to generate a world with a surface that has the same sort of patterning is seen in the surface of a dried lake bed when the mud cracks, but greatly scaled up. Each individual plate/fragment of ...
10
votes
3answers
753 views

Volcanoes in Orbit!

Building on this question about space exploration on the slopes of a 50 mile high volcano, I'm curious what would happen when the volcano erupts. The volcano is: 50 miles high, just on the edge of ...
3
votes
3answers
212 views

What would the geology and climate of a supposed landmass near the pole be like, assuming a thoroughly warmer planet?

I am designing a fantasy setting for pen-and-paper role-playing purposes. I have decided that a continent be situated right on a Pole of some imaginary planet with axial tilt comparable to Earth. My ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

How could a Great Chasm be created?

As one of the feature in my world, I want to create a very deep chasm, as deep as possible. If it can touch the core, it will be perfect. Size does not actually matters, although I think the ...
9
votes
4answers
386 views

How do I create a geologically realistic series of mountain valleys cutoff from the world?

How do I create an absolutely isolated series of mountain alpine valleys cutoff from the world in a geologically realistic way? I am trying to create an absolutely isolated series of alpine mountain ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

How to increase the availability and quantity of Mercury on an Earth-like planet?

According to this list mercury only makes up 6.7×10-6 % of the Earth's crust (by mass, I believe; though even if it's by number of atoms it's still tiny). I'd like to make mercury sufficiently ...
4
votes
3answers
138 views

Methods to Stabilize Geology in Large Artificial Space Environments

Everyone loves a Dyson Sphere or a Ring World, so much more room to enjoy than a traditional round planetoid, it's all about space efficiency for the advanced civilizations. There are however a ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What would produce the most uneven but earthlike planetary surface?

What planetary parameters such as plate tectonics and volcanism etc would best encourage the most uneven planetary surface on an earth like planet? I want a world to be covered in very uneven terrain,...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Would a river running through a large salt deposit turn red?

I’ve heard that bodies of water boasting high salinities tend to turn red due to seasonal algae blooms. I have a river in a fantasy setting I’m working on that’s blood red year-round, and I want to ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

Physics of a metal-poor world

I've read the other answers relating to this area (and discovered to my disappointment that my great ideas have been done before... hey ho). But I'd like to get the science right. I have a nation of ...
1
vote
4answers
521 views

What kind of gas would allow a rock to float? And what kind of rock would it be?

Scenario + question: So for the purposes of this question lets so that there is a canyon much like the grand canyon but about 50 miles deeper, so the bottom is always in shadow and it has no ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

A continent formed entirely by volcanism, possible or not?

Could a continent roughly the size of Europe, Africa and North-America combined be formed almost entirely due to volcanic action? Something with a similar formation to this. From a chain of ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

Exoplanets geology [closed]

Science fiction sometimes plays with the concept of a planet with different geological structure than earth (for instance traveling through liquid water core in Star Wars) yet such imaginations often ...
-3
votes
2answers
705 views

What to name a race of rock people? [closed]

I'm looking for a good name for my race of crystalline/rock people. Preferably a fancy/sciency sounding one, as "rockulon" & "bouldera" don't really fit the tone of the story.
6
votes
4answers
752 views

Sugarite: can it form?

Halite, or rock salt, is a rock formed by salt deposited in past and then undergone geological processes. My question is: provided that enough (how to get that much sugar is not in scope of this ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

What happens when aliens vaporize the Panama Canal?

On January 1, 2018 angry aliens decide to show humanity just who's boss. So they vaporize an area of land 1 mile deep and 10 wide, centered around the Panama Canal. Some preliminary facts that we ...
6
votes
2answers
280 views

How to form a world with steep sided very high plateaus and very deep depressions

I need to create a world with some very high plateaus and some very deep depressions. The sides of these structures should be very steep and unclimbable. They need to provide an obstacle sufficient to ...
7
votes
3answers
599 views

How would a 30-kilometer tall mountain on an Earthlike planet look?

Let us take an earthlike planet. Approximately same radius, atmosphere and climate. Now let us create an approximately circular, paleovolcanic mountain approximately 30 kilometers in height and 150 ...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

How could an earth like planet increase the amount of oxygen in the air

How could the amount (total mass) of oxygen be increased on a planet like Earth (with a similar atmospheric composition), preferably by natural processes? For the sake of having a ballpark number, ...
1
vote
4answers
285 views

How could I have massive subterannean space on my world?

I would like a world with a big LOT of subterranean space to explore, colonize, and trap ancient evil beings. Now, while the questions about food and ventilation are well adressed on Worldbuilding, I ...
1
vote
4answers
744 views

A lone mountain without volcanism?

A lone mountain on a plain is powerful visual setup and one I would like to use in my world. My concern at this point is that I don't want this location to be volcanically active, now or in the past. ...
4
votes
1answer
293 views

What would cause a deep vertical gorge in a mountainside, on Earth?

I'd like earthquakes to cause deep gullies along some mountainsides of my planet. Here on earth, vertical fault scarps can form from earthquakes, but the examples I see online tend to be less gully - ...

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