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Questions tagged [geophysics]

For questions relating to geophysics: the study, behavior, consequences, and technologies involving the physical properties of the Earth.

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What is the minimum level of technology needed to explore a large flood volcanism event?

The world in question has had this flood volcanism event going on for longer than humanity has been around. It is comparable in size to the one that created the Columbia River Basalt Group and is ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do rivers work in a hyperbolic world?

So, I want to write a story set mostly in a world using hyperbolic geometry (except brief beginning and end bits with the main characters coming from/returning to our world), but I'm a little confused ...
David Monroe's user avatar
7 votes
9 answers
5k views

An atmosphere that gets denser with increasing altitude, to support these flying creatures

I'm thinking about implementing a race of flying creatures in my current setting: an earth-like planet with a breathable (enough) atmosphere. The easiest way to do this is just creating a race of bird-...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,222
0 votes
1 answer
129 views

What would happen to an Earth-like planet if it had a more magnetically permeable inner core?

I was contemplating the impact of doping an Earth-like planet's core with a substance that alters its magnetic permeability. Specifically, I considered a scenario where the planet has an improved ...
riotopsys's user avatar
  • 101
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a material lightning does not strike?

I was imagining the possibilities of creating a ship mast which could not get struck by lightning. Is there a material it could be made of that would never get struck by lightning?
worldbuilder's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
138 views

Feasible? A natural geothermal water pump the scale of multiple Mississippi rivers

I want a continent of waterfalls: a place on the scale of South America where the land is broken terraces from mountain heights to sea level. And I want massive waterfalls to be ubiquitous, like ...
SRM's user avatar
  • 25.5k
-3 votes
1 answer
82 views

Uses for a planet-wide computer system [closed]

In the near(ish) future, (two or three centuries away) it has become possible to create enormous planetary computing systems known as geocomputers. These are made by injecting nanites 10km down in a ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,605
12 votes
6 answers
2k views

Under what conditions could a gold planet form?

So, I am imagining a draconic alien species which, (don’t laugh) inhabit a planetary system that is particularly rich in heavy elements such as platinum, silver, and yes, gold. (I said don’t laugh!) ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,605
5 votes
2 answers
500 views

How far would a shaft of light penetrate a hollow earth?

Imagine if all of earth's interior were suddenly replaced with a volume of atmosphere (78% N, 21%O, etc), and by some fantastic force the crust remained perfectly rigid and stable. My question is: if ...
BbJug's user avatar
  • 53
5 votes
2 answers
286 views

Is colonization through underground tunnels possible? [duplicate]

I am thinking of a scenario in which a tunnel linking Hungary to Morocco is built around the 1500s by the King of Hungary in an attempt to colonize Morocco to get a border with the Atlantic ocean. ...
Bangerblade's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
85 views

Channels of fluid heat interchange in the endless underground dimension

Note: I'm asking a science-based question yet I'm doing a lot of handwaving for certain counter-scientific aspects of the world. Please don't be snappy and remark that I should just handwave this ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
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13 votes
8 answers
5k views

Scientifically plausible way to sink a landmass

I'm writing a novel with real-world-style settings and minimal magic. Minimal magic... how can I explain this? The magic in the world is only as good as epoxy to a leaking pipe. The magic can't just ...
veir's user avatar
  • 327
4 votes
1 answer
202 views

Can Logoworld - the planet in the worldbuilding SE logo - exist as depicted?

I really like the logo at Worldbuilding SE; it features a polyhedral planet and a beautiful city with a flying whale ship. That planet is particularly neat. Light glances off its facets, resulting in ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
146 views

How do I determine the locations and strength of earthquakes using a fictional tectonic plate arrangement?

I've got a world that I made using a combination of star system and plate tectonics simulations via a variety of programs. I've used this to build plenty of overlays for my world map—plate boundaries, ...
Meep the Changeling's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
345 views

What kind of atmospheric composition would make the sky look green and still be breathable?

In my story scientists discovered a planet that look green from the telescope and they used a advanced starship to go there and the y found out that the planet is habitable with a breathable ...
Sabrine Crystal's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
262 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 ...
Alexander The 1st's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
145 views

Is there a metric for how far underground a nuclear bomb needs to be to safely be tested?

I'm running a one-shot cold war campaign where the PCs are going to sabotage a prototype Soviet giga-ton bomb. Realistically, how far underground would a giga-ton bomb have to be buried to be safely ...
Adam Kabbeke's user avatar
  • 1,973
6 votes
4 answers
331 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
  • 12.8k
3 votes
1 answer
78 views

Given the parameters of this planetary system, what would the practical effects be on its surface?

I have a planetary system consisting of an oceanic world [7% Land] with a large precious metal moon [extremely dense with valuable alloys]. The planet has 110% earth mass, with a size of 1.4 Earth ...
Viable_Beret's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
100 views

What are the implications of this given planetary situation?

My planetary set up is a single planet with 110% Earth density, and a planetary radius of 1.4 Earths. It is a continental world composed of 89% Liquid water oceans, stretching up to 13 km at the ...
Viable_Beret's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
354 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
  • 12.8k
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
  • 12.8k
2 votes
1 answer
178 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
  • 12.8k
40 votes
10 answers
5k views

Could an underground civilisation deduce the size and shape of their planet?

Not sure if this still falls under worldbuilding. Let's assume a civilization living with the following restrictions: No access to the surface or ability to observe it (no sky, no atmospheric samples ...
Katai's user avatar
  • 957
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
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
  • 12.8k
4 votes
2 answers
146 views

What are some means of subjecting Earth to a constant magnetic field imbalance capable of damaging or shutting down unshielded electronics?

I'm trying to make an alt-history in which electronics are constantly effected by higher-than-normal background magnetic effects - think a constant geomagnetic storm, except not necessarily caused by ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
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
2 votes
3 answers
78 views

Would there be a point to windfarms in a country surrounding a bay and is also almost fully surrounded by mountain ranges?

To better demonstrate my question, here's a very shoddily made image I made in Photoshop in under five minutes. Essentially this country is an almost full ring of land with a natural barrier of ...
Niobium_Sage's user avatar
  • 2,071
5 votes
1 answer
316 views

Mountain heights - theoretical limits

I have a country bounded on three sides by fold mountains. Due to a magical plot device, the force acting to drive the upward motion of the mountains persists indefinitely, acting on the plates ...
Hukk2010's user avatar
  • 1,302
6 votes
1 answer
127 views

Would an asteroid colliding with a terrestrial planet result in the creation of extensive caves nearby the crater?

I just did some research on the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, which is the crater from the asteroid responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Yucatán itself does have ...
Niobium_Sage's user avatar
  • 2,071
2 votes
2 answers
398 views

How long would it take for earth to dry up?

At current global warming rates, the sea levels are rising because the ice caps are melting. But once the ice caps are all melted, the sea would stay the same. In my world, humanity's money revolves ...
violetorigin's user avatar
4 votes
15 answers
2k views

Is there any scientific way a ship could fall off the edge of the world? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story about falling off the edge of he earth during a sea voyage and would like to incorporate as much as detailed and accurate physics as possible. For this to work, I know ...
Vulgar Mechanick's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

What pressure, temperature and atmospheric challenges exist for human habitation 1 mile beneath the surface of the earth?

Would air pressure be demonstrably greater in a subterranean city at a depth of 1 mile? Lava tubes leading into a dormant magma chamber -- this would have challenging gasses that would need to be ...
Ceci B's user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Black hole at the center of the planet

Okay, picture a planet so massive, a black hole has formed in its center. The minimum mass of a black hole is 22 micrograms, or the Planck mass, and whatever the core is made of, it needs to be ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
2 votes
1 answer
159 views

Planet covered in non-Newtonian fluid

Basically, I watched that horrible holiday special. The animated short that introduced our friend Boba Fett, and there’s a planet that’s apparently covered completely by a non-Newtonian fluid. What ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
2 votes
2 answers
383 views

Could ants thrive on mars if they stayed underground? [closed]

Lets say humans would want to populate Mars with ants. Would it be possible for an ant colony to create a self sustaining ecosystem underground on Mars, by for example farming fungi, like some ants do?...
user2741831's user avatar
  • 1,023
3 votes
1 answer
93 views

How to get Rodinia/Pangaea to now in a year?

I was reading this article, and noticed this section: At the opposite end of the plates, the presence of water underground changes how easy or hard it is for one plate to subduct beneath another in a ...
Christian Sirolli's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

How Would the Mountains Form in This Supercontinent?

Here is a supercontinent map generated randomly from the Donjon website: Now, hold on just a minute. Something looks wrong. The mountains in brown and white are too far inland to be caused by ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
7 votes
3 answers
498 views

Does extreme atmospheric pressure increase or decrease the power of weather?

The world I have imagined is much like Venus, with an atmosphere at "sea level" 70 times that of Earth, and temperatures at the same altitude approaching 377 degrees Celsius - with much more ...
DehLeprechaun's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
750 views

Inverted Everest world

I want to make a world with a great deal of variation in habitability in terms of temperature and pressure. Some areas would be habitable; others less so, some would require protective clothing and ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.6k
25 votes
8 answers
4k views

Can the Little Prince's planet actually exist in our universe?

This is a drawing by my daughter which inspired one of the elements in my story/world: The perspective is a little bit mixed here (certainly I don't have a 15 meter-high volcano in this world), but ...
trejder's user avatar
  • 2,393
3 votes
7 answers
640 views

I need a possible way to flood a man-made lake located higher than sea level

I have a scenario where I need a man-made lake to overflow. It’s located higher than sea-level. There are underground streams which could be feeding it. It could have a channel to drain it into the ...
JBM's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
3 answers
154 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 ...
Blue Devil's user avatar
  • 1,881
2 votes
2 answers
445 views

Can Florida become an island?

I've been building a world set in the near future (decades/centuries) that includes Florida as an island. My intent was for a manmade or natural event to occur at or near the South Georgia Rift, but I ...
Wax's user avatar
  • 655
2 votes
3 answers
346 views

Could an enormous structure be used to attract rain by acting as an artificial mountain?

If it were possible to build a giant geodesic dome tens of miles in diameter, what effect would it have on nearby weather? If built in an arid climate like the Sahara or Australia, would it be ...
Stonecraft's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could a robot that can survive at the center of the Earth also survive a nuclear explosion?

The robot in question is a very large, worm-like mining robot with a huge drill on its front end, built to survive staggering levels of heat and pressure. It's so resiliant, in fact, that it can ...
Cobbington's user avatar
  • 2,733
8 votes
3 answers
414 views

Impacts of a moon falling on an Earth-like planet?

In the world my friend and I are making, the dark lord makes one of the planets uninhabitable by causing a moon, about the size of our own, to fall on it. About 7000 years later, it is unnaturally ...
skout's user avatar
  • 2,058
5 votes
5 answers
731 views

Need method to eliminate all life on planet [duplicate]

Space faring advanced species needs to 'disinfect' planets in habitual zones around stars. That's all life. They can wait a few thousand years to come back and seed the planet with a new ecosystem. ...
John D's user avatar
  • 164