Questions tagged [tectonics]

For questions about the tectonics of your fictional world, such as about how mountains are created or how plates would be affected by changes to the Earth's mass.

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Questions about my binary planet system

I’ve recently designed a star system containing a habitable double planetary system, but I still have several questions to fill in I need answered. My binary planet is a Venus sized (mostly) Earth-...
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5 votes
3 answers
533 views

Geyser as drinkable water source in arid climate

My world is a life-bearing moon orbiting a gas giant. There will be plenty of geysers due to gravitational tectonic activity. Is it possible for geysers to happen in the middle of hot and arid biomes? ...
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Advice to start creating a plausible fantasy map with plate tectonics

Well hello! So im going to create a fantasy map for a speculative biology project, i had created some but this time i want to create a map with these characteristics: A supercontinent with 2 smaller ...
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4 votes
3 answers
158 views

A continent sized land formation on a water planet with impassable mountains all around the edges and a salty sea in the middle

In order for the plot and character development I have planned to work the people need to be living on an island continent about 200,000km (England/New Zealand/Japan size, but oval/round shaped) with ...
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4 votes
3 answers
174 views

Reasonable placement of tectonic plates

Im working on this little hobby project and i've come to the stage where i want an actual world map. So id decided to use one of the mapgens out there untill i found one i was happy with: Now i have ...
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3 votes
4 answers
318 views

Construction and architecture in a world with regular earthquakes?

I'm working on a fantasy story that takes place on a moon that orbits a gas giant, but is not tidally locked. I've worked through a lot of the other considerations of this already—the wider astronomy ...
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5 votes
3 answers
160 views

For my alternate earth, what could cause the position of the axis to change?

Long ago, when the dinosaurs roamed the world, something happened.... In this alternate universe, something happens that shifts the axis of the Earth from its original position during the Mesozoic Era ...
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4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Draft 2: Are my tectonic plate formations plausible?

Ignore the biomes and stuff, I’m going to change that later. The world is spherical, and this is a map of the whole world. A quick note: Fennalore, the continent in the middle of the bottom row, is ...
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4 votes
2 answers
196 views

Mountain ranges and tectonic plates -- how can I make my world map more plausible?

This is the first world map I’ve ever made. I tried a smaller one a while ago, but now I’m attempting a map of a full planet. As always, this world is Earth-like, etc. I also have yet to finish it, ...
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  • 227
3 votes
2 answers
136 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
121 views

What effect would a perpetual cold zone in the tropics have on the global climate?

In my fantasy world, there is a peninsula around the size of mexico almost entirely surrounded by mountains about the size of the himalayas which go directly into the ocean. How they got there is ...
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1 answer
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Does this world sound realistic? (more tectonic activity)

Essentially, I want some characteristics for my world, and I want to have some amount of realism, so that I can use that realism to guide my writing. My world, Treyidal, is an about earth sized planet,...
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3 votes
4 answers
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How to create an immobile continent?

For my fantasy world, there is an artificially created continent (created by magic, but an important note is that the continent itself is ENTIRELY non-magical.) The continent is nearly 20,000 years ...
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8 votes
4 answers
835 views

How do I work backwards from a political map to writing out my world's geographic history?

Background: this universe has the same physics as our universe. The planet is the same as Earth. I've drawn out the map of a singular continent and it has all the political modern day boundaries ...
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3 votes
4 answers
168 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
149 views

How habitable and different would an habitable stagnant-lid (no tectonics) world be?

Recently I was informed of the possibility of having an habitable world lacking tectonic plates, specifically of something called heat-pipe tectonics. Which is essentially the same tectonic system ...
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4 votes
3 answers
246 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
108 views

Maintaining tectonic activity without oceans?

It is commonly assumed that terrestrial plate tectonics are a product of our oceans, and tectonic activity would not happen without oceans. The question is, how can an ocean-less world maintain ...
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13 votes
5 answers
717 views

What is a plausible way to maximize the amount of NATIVE silver deposits in a given area?

I have a region on a 'Eurasia' style continent that is surrounded by large mountains. The reason that I came up with was a very dense and volcanically active microplate that was being compressed on ...
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2 votes
1 answer
176 views

How Small Can a Planet be with 1G Gravity and Tectonics?

Without resorting to solid osmium inner cores that we couldn't give an origin story for, what's a cosmologically plausible lower bound of a planet's radius that also maintains 1G gravity and the sort ...
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14 votes
7 answers
3k views

Reasons for a very small but very high mountain range in an area with no plate boundaries?

One of the cities in my world, known as Kerkapeze, is situated in a location I just realized I'd have to be very creative to justify: it lies on a narrow plateau between two high but very small ...
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2 votes
3 answers
420 views

Is This Realistic Physical Geography for my World?

One of the planets in my science-fantasy series is small (around the size of Earth's moon). The gravity implications of this are the one part of this the magical origins of my universe are able to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
295 views

Can a fast planetary rotation create a planet with an equatorial continent, preferably with very high mountains and two polar oceans?

I’m trying to create a planet with two small polar oceans with equatorial supercontinent in the middle. The land is in turn divided in two by high mountains that act as barrier and a source of water ...
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  • 546
6 votes
2 answers
138 views

Would it be possible to have predictable, repeating volcanic eruptions on an inhabited island?

So, suppose we have a very large island. Exactly how big it is doesn't matter too much, but it must be big enough to support a small country. This is a volcanic island, and the volcanoes on this ...
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4 votes
1 answer
123 views

How would different factors increase the speed of tectonic plate movement

The movement of the tectonic plates in the Earth's crust is quite a small amount, at only a few centimetres a year. How fast could the movements of a tectonic plate get up to if an earth-like planet: ...
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5 votes
4 answers
443 views

What environmental conditions would result in Crude oil being far easier to access than coal?

So, A bit of a long winded explanation: I am designing a world that is meant to be both nostalgic and alien; A world that is familiar enough at first glance, but has many differences to ours. One ...
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3 votes
1 answer
65 views

Craggy coastline due to divergent plate tectonics

I wanted to create a landscape in which a coastline is lined with a cliff in the following arrangement (the image below is a transversal cross section): I also wanted this arrangement to be achieved ...
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2 votes
1 answer
266 views

Valles - a world of deep canyons, could it work?

I’m developing Valles - a world of deep canyons, and I need some opinion on geology, hydrology and climate. Valles has earthlike mass and density (for simplicity sake). Planet’s surface is a desert. ...
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  • 546
2 votes
2 answers
144 views

Continental drift of a planet over 900 million years

Over the past 2 weeks, I've been attempting to create a planet with a plausible continental drift. I was really hoping to get some kind of response to my work. I'll stick up my hand and admit it right ...
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2 votes
3 answers
87 views

What happens if continental crust overrides a divergent boundary?

I'm wondering what would happen in this hypothetical scenario. Enjoy these super high-graphic visual representations - Figure 1 - Figure 2 - Figure 3 - Figure 4 - What happens to the plate ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
133 views

In This Comparison, Are the Continents Moving Too Quickly?

This is a map of one of my alternate Earths from 233 million years ago in comparison to a map of our Earth today: And this is a map of the same alternate Earth, this time from 100 million years ago, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
198 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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6 votes
4 answers
750 views

Is it possible to have a several hundred mile long sea joining two oceans that's similar in width to the English Channel?

I've got two landmasses that are each situated on either side of a 20-50 mile wide sea (with the width varying along its length) where the sea runs for several hundred miles before opening out into ...
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2 votes
2 answers
317 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
253 views

What needs to be changed about the plate tectonics of my world?

So, after trying to make a few different world maps and not really feeling satisfied with them, I decided to attempt making a world a bit more from scratch, by adding in plate tectonics. Now, I did ...
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1 vote
3 answers
129 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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3 votes
3 answers
373 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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4 votes
1 answer
101 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
332 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
146 views

What would we need to have 1km deep fissures spanning out across the planet?

Art by Sylvain sarrailh What kind of event would we need to have 1km deep fissures spanning out across the planet. I can work with a hypothetical scenario where the planet might have had some sort ...
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3 votes
5 answers
327 views

How to tackle one or multiple submerged continents

A part of the story I am writing involves two continents that centuries before the story takes place sunk into the sea. I want to have a way to explain this that does not come down to just the sea ...
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5 votes
1 answer
485 views

Can Someone Help Me Determine Plate Divisions?

I have a world designed called Ser. I want to place tectonic plates so that they can explain how the current landmasses formed. Below shows the 6 major continents of the world. As continents are ...
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3 votes
1 answer
205 views

How would a slip-strike fault develop in my terrain?

I am designing a fictitious continent, and as part of this I am also designing the prehistoric development of the continent up to the present day. A particular tricky part of this has been that, in ...
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11 votes
6 answers
4k views

Can a continent naturally split into two distant parts within a week?

If a great division occurs, sealing two warring cultures apart for many generations, my only explanation so far is a tectonic shift. I imagine water flooding between a long split. But as I understand ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How much surface water do I need for plate-tectonics on a planet?

I want to build a habitable desert gas-giant moon and I´m not sure how little water I can give it and still get plate-tectonics instead of an Io-like lid-tectonic setup. I want plate tectonics because ...
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6 votes
1 answer
437 views

What's wrong (if anything) with the tectonic plates on my fictional planet?

I'm trying to find someone (s) with enough geology knowledge to help me figure out some of the specifics of the world I'm building. (Earth-like in age, distance from star, size, tilt) I'm doing my ...
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8 votes
3 answers
250 views

Catastrophic geology

What would happen to an earth-like planet where an event caused a large (think, the size of the Caribbean tectonic plate) section of the crust to get peeled away, exposing the upper mantle for a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
363 views

How Would Plate Tectonics on an Inverted World Work?

Recently, I came across an inverted world map on the MapPorn Reddit made by MChainsaw. "Inverted" as in, the "continents" are now below sea level and the "ocean floors" are high and dry. (...
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5 votes
2 answers
240 views

Would a geologically ancient world be habitable?

Assuming an earth-like planet, but with several billion more years of cooling and settling (and with no moon to create tides). I'm imagining this planet would be geographically and tectonically ...
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