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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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Could these Tectonic Plates produce my map's landforms?

Using a Fractal Generator, I generated the attached map. I really like the shapes of the Continents & Islands, and want to preserve as much as possible. But, I also want realism, and realize I ...
James Baxter's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
330 views

Where would mountains make sense on those land masses?

I created landmasses thanks to Azgaars Fantasy Map generator. It was not based on any consideration so far, like tectonic plates due to lack of expertise. It was done purely based on a personal ...
Cogadit's user avatar
  • 29
-3 votes
1 answer
163 views

How would a supernatural boiling sea in the Southern Ocean affect Earth's climate? [closed]

How would a boiling sea in the southern ocean near Antarctica affect Earth's climate? This boiling sea was caused by supernatural forces providing the energy to boil the water while also keeping it ...
TheGoldenBoy2188 The Coolest G's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
144 views

How might the surface of a tectonically active planet appear without a global ocean?

I hope this is "specific" enough, and sorry I don't really know formatting rules yet. I'm trying to build a habitable desert super-Earth, where water can only exist seasonally around the ...
Pseudosapient's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

How would core size affect plate tectonics? [duplicate]

If, for example, the Earth had a larger core (perhaps even Mercury-ratio) what effects would this have? Would continental drift speed up, slow down, or not even happen at all? Thank you for your time.
N Francis's user avatar
  • 819
2 votes
3 answers
195 views

Is it plausible for a landmass to shatter in a tectonic/volcanic cataclysm?

In George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the land of Valyria was transformed from peninsula to archipelago by a volcanic cataclysm followed by earthquakes, tidal waves, a miasma of smoke ...
Fictotum's user avatar
  • 319
9 votes
1 answer
529 views

Guidance: How to Create Sensible Plate Tectonics

This is a community-wiki question Worldbuilding Stack Exchange regularly hosts questions asking either how to establish plate tectonics based on an existing planetary map or to judge the suitability ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 124k
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Given a planet map, can plate tectonics be determined?

I have designed a planet's landmasses and now am wondering where the tectonic plates would be. I understand this is backwards to the popular method of tectonics-first, but I wanted to design how the ...
Ylahris's user avatar
  • 487
4 votes
5 answers
501 views

How do I explain volcanos and plate tectonics on a hollow world?

The world my setting takes place on is an artificial shell world set into the FAR future (somewhere between several hundred million and nearly a billion years) after a cataclysmic event wiped out it's ...
icewar1908's user avatar
  • 6,885
0 votes
2 answers
395 views

Are these tectonic plates believable?

I am in the beginning stages of creating another imaginary world and would like other Worldbuilders feedback on my planet’s tectonic plates. I have done a fair bit of research. I have watched videos, ...
Martamo's user avatar
  • 966
4 votes
2 answers
450 views

Where should my tectonic plates be?

This is my map: It was generated using tectonics.js, and I traced it in GIMP. For a while now, I've been having trouble pinning down just where exactly my tectonic plates should be. I tried sketching ...
Aisede's user avatar
  • 41
13 votes
2 answers
430 views

Would a diamond mountain floating in the mantle cause a supervolcano or lava pool in the crust above it?

I was looking for ways to make gigantic mountains, and found Willk's answer to such a quandary, where a giant diamondberg forms in an ice giant and is incorporated into a terrestrial planet's crust, ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
5 votes
2 answers
416 views

If you hypothetically drained the ocean, would the crust remain thick enough to have violent volcanic activity?

Suppose you drained the ocean without any repercussions caused by the transport and allocation of that much water. Looking at land like the ring of fire or deep sea thermal sites, would the crust ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
1 vote
2 answers
190 views

How would a Larger Planet with a Thicker Crust than Earth affect Tectonic Activity

The basics are the planet is larger in both mass and size, but lower in density than the Earth. In a previous question I asked about methods of reducing said Density which involved thickening the ...
Rexotec's user avatar
  • 391
7 votes
5 answers
495 views

How could an iron planet be geologically active?

So I have an iron planet, and its name is Randall. Since Randall is an iron planet, he is basically the core of a planet with no crust/mantle, and very few silicates. Now, I, the creator outside of ...
KaffeeByte's user avatar
  • 1,702
2 votes
5 answers
402 views

Could humans possibly survive on a shallow ocean planet with scarce, but large, volcanic islands?

[edited after feedback in comments] I've had an idea for a story that takes place on a planet that is primarily shallow oceans (average depth of no more than 100m or so, max depth of no more than ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 946
4 votes
1 answer
215 views

The “rock cycle” of an Alderson Disk

In my world, human civilization would live on an Alderson Disk. An Alderson disk (named after Dan Alderson, its originator) is a hypothetical artificial astronomical megastructure, like Larry Niven's ...
Cubelite'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
  • 25.4k
0 votes
2 answers
203 views

What would happen to enormous indestructible ruins after 400 million years? [closed]

Suppose you had ruins (and I use the term lightly) that could survive nearly any disaster and any erosion. How likely are they to be buried, subsumed into the mantle, or end up at the bottom of the ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
6 votes
2 answers
580 views

Could a planet have ocean basins if it did not have an ocean?

If a planet, lets call her Shiloh, had no oceans or liquid water on the surface; Could it still have deep, vast ocean basins? Or would a dry ocean basin level out over time?
KaffeeByte's user avatar
  • 1,702
16 votes
10 answers
5k views

Suppose dragons spewed volcanic ash instead of fire. How much more deadly would they be?

In my setting I have monsters that breathe elemental clouds/blasts of certain substances, assume them to basically be dragons. Among the largest (and I mean, Godzilla sized) are some that spit hot ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
3 votes
2 answers
153 views

Major underground caverns on a world with considerable geologic activity?

The world I designed, while habitable and capable of hosting carbon based life is characterized by a considerable volcanic and seismic activity caused by the tidal heating of the gas giant it orbits. ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
95 views

Questions about my binary planet system [closed]

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-...
Sean Holm's user avatar
  • 611
5 votes
3 answers
561 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? ...
Veknor's user avatar
  • 632
3 votes
1 answer
490 views

Advice to start creating a plausible fantasy map with plate tectonics

I'm going to create a fantasy map for a speculative biology project, I had created some before, but this time I want to create a map with these characteristics: A supercontinent with 2 smaller ...
Carlos Samuel Ariza's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
221 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 ...
jedielfqueen's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
471 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 ...
Gixen's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
4 answers
368 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 ...
morningknight's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
194 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 ...
4.12.22.4.18.0.'s user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
112 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 ...
villain_l's user avatar
  • 227
4 votes
2 answers
539 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, ...
villain_l's user avatar
  • 227
3 votes
2 answers
162 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
5 votes
1 answer
172 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 ...
Photino's user avatar
  • 103
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

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,...
WasatchWind's user avatar
  • 3,207
3 votes
4 answers
209 views

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 ...
Firedestroyer's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
900 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 ...
alcyone's user avatar
  • 81
3 votes
4 answers
364 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
  • 44.8k
4 votes
2 answers
214 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 ...
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
2 votes
1 answer
135 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 ...
Khalid's user avatar
  • 543
13 votes
5 answers
857 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 ...
Viable_Beret's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
260 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 ...
MaximalDestrier's user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
556 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 ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
359 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 ...
Zjerzy's user avatar
  • 616
6 votes
2 answers
161 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 ...
Globin347's user avatar
  • 5,797
4 votes
1 answer
263 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: ...
P C I A's user avatar
  • 71
5 votes
4 answers
497 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 ...
Globin347's user avatar
  • 5,797
3 votes
1 answer
90 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 ...
Pedro Gabriel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
390 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. ...
Zjerzy's user avatar
  • 616