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View Full Version : An Experiment in Tectonics

Edward Protera
07-30-2008, 08:04 PM
First off, I used this tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2238) to do this.
It's not much, no, but I've completed the first step of the process, mapping out the tectonic plates of my world and their directions of movement. Please, tell me what you think.

...yes, I know there's not much there to critique. You can always criticise my linework itself, if you like. :3 Anyway, here it is.

...

you know, now that I look at that thumbnail in the post preview... the whole thing kinda looks like a jigsaw buffalo, don'tcha think? *tilts his head to one side*

EDIT: Okay, I've encountered my first snag. This is really what gets me most of the time... I'm not sure how I ought to deal with the complex contours of a coastline.

Midgardsormr
07-31-2008, 09:52 PM
My approach is to not worry about it too much. A hand-drawn world map isn't likely to show a whole lot of coastal detail. Get your landform shapes right, and just squiggle the line to get what you need. Consider, for instance, this map:

HandsomeRob
08-02-2008, 07:08 PM
First off, I used this tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2238) to do this.
It's not much, no, but I've completed the first step of the process, mapping out the tectonic plates of my world and their directions of movement. Please, tell me what you think.

It looks like you've just added an arrow to each plate. That's not really how things work. Plates don't move in one direction, they rotate with respect to a pole. This means the only motion you need to concern yourself with is the relative motion across each boundary. If plate A is moving west with respect to plate B, it is perfectly acceptable to say that plate A is going east with respect to plate C.
Velocity space analysis is a useful tool here.

-Rob

Karro
08-02-2008, 09:15 PM
It looks like you've just added an arrow to each plate. That's not really how things work. Plates don't move in one direction, they rotate with respect to a pole. This means the only motion you need to concern yourself with is the relative motion across each boundary. If plate A is moving west with respect to plate B, it is perfectly acceptable to say that plate A is going east with respect to plate C.
Velocity space analysis is a useful tool here.

-Rob

I'd noticed that plates tended to rotate rather than move in a particular uniform direction. I'm curious about this rotation, and what the center of this rotation is.

To your knowledge, are the plates essentially floating on the magma sea below the crusts? And do the magma seas flow along something resembling the coriolis effect? Understanding plate movements a little more thorougly would help in making this stuff a little more accurate (at least speaking for myself).

HandsomeRob
08-02-2008, 10:13 PM
I'd noticed that plates tended to rotate rather than move in a particular uniform direction. I'm curious about this rotation, and what the center of this rotation is.

To your knowledge, are the plates essentially floating on the magma sea below the crusts? And do the magma seas flow along something resembling the coriolis effect? Understanding plate movements a little more thorougly would help in making this stuff a little more accurate (at least speaking for myself).

It's simpler than that, actually. Because plates are segments of a spherical shell moving about the surface of a sphere, their motion can only be described as rotation. The center of rotation for any plate can be any point on the earth's surface.

Edward Protera
08-05-2008, 05:33 PM
The tutorial does simplify things a bit unrealistically, yes, but then again, most fractal terrain generators don't really even bother with tectonics, so something simple is better than nothing, I figure. ^^;