Questions tagged [rivers]

For questions about large streams of water (or other liquids) flowing in a channel to other bodies of water on planetary scales.

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37 votes
12 answers
7k views

What characteristics does my deadly river need so people can't find the bodies of those who drown in it?

My story is set in a small Idaho town called Serpent's Yard, named after the cryptid they believe lives in the lake up in the mountains above the town. The town is built around a river, known as ...
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3 votes
4 answers
225 views

Any natural way that a River can "move" by hundreds of kilometers seasonally

I'm designing a Nomadic culture and I had an interesting concept. One of the reasons for nomadism is to find resources that "move" annually. In the case of pastoral nomads, it is to find new ...
6 votes
2 answers
192 views

Where could a family live in seclusion and operate a mill year-round?

Where could this be? I'd like to have a small family (2 parents, 3-4 kids) living completely off-the-grid in some remote forest in the US. The story takes place in modern times. They have a well-...
6 votes
1 answer
95 views

Evaporation Pans by Filling Lake Makgadikgdi with water from the Zambezi [closed]

I have Macro question, and have enquired and discussed this topic with numerous people. My background is more in Economics and Finance, but I have a small little plot in the Waterberg Limpopo (Pecan ...
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Are the rivers in my fantasy map accurate?

Color legend: The brown shapes are hills, the darker the brown the higher the mountains and the highest peaks I've made white. They are mostly clustered on the east and west edges. The green shows ...
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6 votes
2 answers
288 views

Could a Massive Freshwater Lake and River System Exist in a Desert Environment?

In my book series, there is this lake called Lake Pheron. Lake Pheron's surface is located about 2,200 feet above sea level in a mostly flat, inland area called the Tangolian Desert. This desert is ...
16 votes
14 answers
4k views

How to Supply a City on top of a Vertical Cliff?

In my fantasy series, there’s this city called Pharcos situated on top of nearly vertical 3,500ish foot high sandstone cliffs above the river it uses for water. This river, called the Clazelis, along ...
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a river civilization develop in a cold desert climate?

There seems to be a trend with the oldest civilizations (Civilizations being urbanized societies with a government and social heirarchy) starting around river valleys surrounded by desert; the ...
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6 votes
2 answers
156 views

Permantly Fog-Filled Canyon

I have a canyon, with similar size and shape to the Grand Canyon. The canyon is carved by a large river, similar to the Colorado river. I want this canyon to be filled with fog so thick that, if you ...
3 votes
4 answers
229 views

are my rivers and map little realistic

This is my first world map so I just need to know if said rivers are realistically flowing from point to point. And if you have other tips those would be helpful as well. Rivers flow from the ...
3 votes
2 answers
85 views

What would the purgatorial lake be like?

The purgatorial lake in an artificial lake formed from the five rivers of heaven and hell. These rivers are: The syrup river of heaven, a river of golden syrup The seed river of heaven, a river of ...
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3 votes
4 answers
640 views

Do rivers pass through a mountain range?

So I have just begun with world-building, and this is my first map. As you can see on the map, a small range of mountains splits from the main mountains. What I wish to have is a long river that goes ...
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4 votes
2 answers
351 views

Long-term, what does my magical 2x2 mile raining deathtrap do to the surrounding land?

Earlier I asked a few questions about one particular part of my setting, which is an Earth in the immediate aftermath of a supernatural apocalypse that made the world a gridded globe of 2x2 mile "...
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7 votes
2 answers
262 views

Civilization in a giant Flood plain continent?

Basically, in my world, there is a continent bigger than the whole of Eurasia, it is extremely flat (a 50 meter hill would be considered an important landmark), and its whole surface is a flood plain. ...
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3 votes
4 answers
808 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 ...
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to create a realistic river without knowing the whole map beforehand?

Intro I'm developing a real time game that have dynamically generated map and I'd like to add rivers going from mountains to the sea. Brief info about the map In my game, when a player moves to the ...
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6 votes
9 answers
1k views

Can a naturally occurring milk river exist?

Is it possible without magic? Just like our world's rivers, but instead it's a river made out of milk.
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3 votes
2 answers
393 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) ...
  • 113
19 votes
4 answers
5k views

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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2 votes
1 answer
167 views

Could a river be gravitating around a planet? [duplicate]

I am building a sort of space odyssey and I was wondering about something... In a DnD game I used to DM, Starfinder I believe it was called, there was this asteroids belt and in it was some sort of ...
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3 votes
3 answers
347 views

Is a confluence of more than two rivers plausible?

Two rivers converging into one is obviously extremely common, most often when one is clearly dominant over the other (whereby the lesser one is the 'tributary' of the greater) but also sometimes where ...
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0 votes
4 answers
500 views

How significantly would the course of rivers change over 10,000 years?

This one is rather straightforward. A character falls into a magically-induced coma for about 10,000 years and then wakes up to find the world around him different in quite a few ways. There's not a ...
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the requirements for a river delta to form?

I know that when some rivers (such as the Nile) flow out to sea, they break up into several smaller channels. But I was wondering about the necessary features of the land and water for it to occur.
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14 votes
13 answers
2k views

Rivers without rain

On Earth, rivers are possible because rain and snow deposit water in high places. That water then forms rivers when flowing to lower places. Would it be possible to have the phenomena of rivers ...
17 votes
6 answers
6k views

What is the steepest gradient that a canal can be traversable without locks?

For a civilization that depends heavily on canals for transportation, what limits are there on how steep canals can before they flow too fast to traverse? I know that barges were normally pulled by ...
6 votes
5 answers
405 views

Salty or fresh or brackish waters?

So this is a small map of all the continents on the small planet of Parsas Decem. As far as most of the rivers go, I’ve got it figured out. What I’m wondering is, can salt water flowing in from the ...
8 votes
4 answers
801 views

How common is it for a river to enter a valley from a flatter plain?

before I get into my question I wanted to thank everyone for their input in my first thread about the general principles of river drawing. I have taken your comments under consideration and began ...
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8 votes
4 answers
392 views

I'm going to have to redraw most of my rivers - what do I need to know to make them true to life?

I'm new here but I've been a worldbuilder for the last decade or so. I'm pretty late to the 'mapping out your country' party and I've only been at it for about 8 months, but I'm starting to see some ...
  • 163
18 votes
14 answers
6k views

Designing a river which does not overflow

... And if it absolutely has to, then such river should overflow in predictable matter. I have a city idea in mind, where such the city has a river contained in an artificial tunnel beneath such city....
6 votes
10 answers
1k views

Is it possible for a river to flow in a spiral pattern?

The question This question has a few parts: 1. Is it possible for a river to naturally form in the shape of a spiral? 2. If not, would an artificially-formed river, in the shape of a spiral, ...
1 vote
1 answer
126 views

Volcano near river mouth

When a volcano is under the sea, but close to the coastline, it creates islands. I have a volcanic island near (less than 20km away) a river mouth. Is this feasible? I couldn't find any real example. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
140 views

If a lake feeding a large river system was suddenly drained, how would it impact the area? [closed]

In my book series, there is a very small planet (slightly smaller than Earth's moon). This is called Planet Squid, and it has a climate and group of cultures very similar to those of sub-saharan ...
8 votes
3 answers
498 views

Could a river on Earth be made of a liquid other than water?

So far as I can research, all rivers on Earth are flowing water. There are other substances that are liquid at room temperature. Are there any natural processes that could create a river of something ...
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24 votes
23 answers
5k views

Why would robots settle at a river?

In this settings, robots are a humanoid looking personal device that try to mimic the owners traits and behavior, even though they 'realize' they are not their owner, but rather a helping robot. The ...
1 vote
0 answers
104 views

Effect of source of river and its flow pattern on a budding civilization [closed]

Rivers can either be rain-fed or snow-fed. And most of the bigger civilizations of the past were located on the river banks. The climate of the region is temperate, but nearby there is a mountain ...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Drawing rivers on a continental scale map

I created the above map using Photoshop and used Wilbur to erode the terrain a bit and calculate possible river flows. Still needs work but I need to create a river mask before I can go on. My method ...
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6 votes
6 answers
3k views

Are the mountains and rivers on this map okay?

It's not finished yet, so it's still pretty empty. But I can't stop worrying about the rivers and mountains, so I ask for help. It's about 1100-1200 miles from north to south.
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Would a "city on a bridge" be friendlier to the environment than a more typical city on land? [closed]

The "city on a bridge" that I'm envisioning has the entire population living their entire lives on a habitable bridge or a series of such bridges over major rivers, only going on land for recreation ...
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7 votes
1 answer
376 views

How could a mammal develop that has long legs but lives in a semi aquatic area?

This probably sounds fairly ridiculous- I know, but in short I've been developing a sort of future earth. It's not extraordinarily accurate, but I've been trying to at least keep the obvious in check. ...
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22 votes
6 answers
9k views

Is my world map unrealistic?

Just to say this first, the map is intentionally on a slant, and so the Northern cold areas are displayed at more of a North-West Angle, for example. I am designing the world from scratch, and am ...
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37 votes
13 answers
9k views

How to stop a massive canal system from silting up?

Based on the desert world from this question I need to transport around 500 cubic kilometres of water / year across a desert. Using this calculator. this can be achieved if the main feeder canal is ...
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2 votes
4 answers
633 views

Roughly how much water would my desert civilization need every year?

In my desert canal world all water is supplied from the poles to the temperate zones via a canal network. I want to work out the amount of water that that is needed, so that I can work out the ...
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3 votes
4 answers
388 views

How fast a current can ancient water way travel overcome?

This question has similarities to this one but concerns canal travel in more ancient times and is aimed at finding an approximate speed of flow not variables. Background Assume an Earth-like world ...
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0 votes
5 answers
524 views

Reason to not use boats when there is a is river [closed]

In my fantasy world, there is a massive river that flows through the heart of the empire. This river is used for obtaining potable water as well as feeding crops, however, boating is strictly ...
2 votes
2 answers
215 views

Argyria and Dwarven Industrial Runoff

The two stereotypes that I've seen the most about Dwarves are that they live in mountains and mine for precious metals and the like. Recently, I've been thinking of an interesting place to take that. ...
0 votes
1 answer
963 views

How loud is a river at 100 foot distance? [closed]

The river is 60 feet across and flowing about 10 feet per second at its fastest point. It has boulders but no real whitewater. It is too deep and strong to cross by foot. So, it looks pleasant, but ...
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5 votes
3 answers
217 views

With medieval technology and governance, what advantages would a long tunnel have over river travel? [closed]

Background I'm working on a high-fantasy setting with the ANSI standard complement of fantasy races. I'm using a map of Earth, since all the geological work has been done for me. Here, the dwarves ...
  • 387
6 votes
4 answers
569 views

Almost tidally locked to moon and the tides it would create

I have a world with a moon, much like Earth and the Moon, except that the planet is almost tidally locked to the moon. The moon therefore appears to move only very slowly through the sky, and takes, ...
8 votes
6 answers
1k views

How would a half-steppeland, half-desert kingdom with only a single river function?

On one of the continents in one of my fantasy worlds, I have a kingdom. The kingdom is comprised of two different geographical regions, a steppeland area in the kingdom's north and a desert region in ...
3 votes
1 answer
181 views

Building a Covert Network Backbone up the Mississippi

Many of the world's internet backbone cables are underwater. But most of these cross deep oceans; how far could you bury cable up the Mississippi without anyone noticing? Could you reach St. Louis? ...
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