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piraterobotninjaofdeath
08-30-2009, 03:42 PM
I have an idea for a city that's gained importance due to its location between two rivers that empty into seas on the north and south of a continent. This would make it an important crossroads for trade into the north or south sea, or further up the river to either the west or east.

My question is, would this be possible? Would two rivers be able to travel this closely in opposite directions?

I've attached an image that roughly describes what I mean...and by rough I mean drawn on a trackpad in paint rough :P sorry for the poor quality.

Gamerprinter
08-30-2009, 03:54 PM
No, not geologically possible. Crossroads are roads, not rivers. Rivers do not make cross roads. Two rivers can merge together from two different sources, but they can not split apart and go to the sea in two different directions. Rivers can't do that.

GP

töff
08-30-2009, 03:55 PM
I'm not on the River Police, but ...

It'd be possible across one particular geological era if you were to get your bedrock elevations right. It's all just a matter of gravity. Rivers flow downhill. Just make sure the elevation of the terrain runs from high to low along the length of each river, and make sure the elevations are equal where the city is. Simple!

Eventually, erosion would alter the system, given enough time and lack of interference by terrain engineers.

töff
08-30-2009, 03:56 PM
Eeep, the River Police say no. I won't argue. I'm scared of incarceration.

Coyotemax
08-30-2009, 03:58 PM
I think what he means is that the city is considered a crossroads for trade. the picture shows the river bends coming close to each other but not touching.

It looks like the question is more along the lines of wether it's possible for two separate rivers to come close enough without merging that a city could be built so it touched the banks of each one.

Sounds geologically unlikely, but I've seen some pretty strange things on google earth :)

Gamerprinter
08-30-2009, 04:03 PM
Is it possible if the rivers do not touch, as Coyotemax suggests its possible, but as Toff suggests, unless you constantly engineer otherwise, that geologic situation is temporary at best. A crossroads location wouldn't last more than a century.

Interesting idea, perhaps you could have the rivers further apart and nearly connected via a canal, but naturally rivers could not do this for very long.

GP

waldronate
08-30-2009, 04:26 PM
It's possible, just not likely or stable in geological terms. Here in the USA there are two rivers that touch and then diverge (the Mississippi and Atchafalaya). However, the junction isn't stable and requires lots of human intervention to keep them apart. This might be the case in your map. Or the distance between the rivers might be a couple of miles (still not stable geologically) and the river controls the ridge between them.

The attached images show one possible landscape configuration. It would have required two intersecting faults, one down each of the major river segments. A major earthquake would force up that final ridge that forces the rivers down each side. Note that the larger the map, the easier it is to justify the river configuration (that is, 100 feet between the rivers is highly unlikely, while 10 miles is no problem at all).

Coyotemax
08-30-2009, 04:32 PM
10 miles between banks isn't too bad, if there was a landing point at the bend of each, it's not so far from the city that it coulnd't be used as a central location for goods beng shipped overland at that point between the two rivers. (ok, i know there are grammar problems with that sentence, heh)

Depending on how active either of the faults are, that could add some interesting challenges to the region too :)

piraterobotninjaofdeath
08-30-2009, 05:00 PM
Thanks for all the quick responses guys, all comments have been helpful


10 miles between banks isn't too bad, if there was a landing point at the bend of each, it's not so far from the city that it coulnd't be used as a central location for goods beng shipped overland at that point between the two rivers. (ok, i know there are grammar problems with that sentence, heh)

Depending on how active either of the faults are, that could add some interesting challenges to the region too :)

This is pretty much what I was thinking. The city is meant to be a parallel to the city of Rome, and is the centre of a similar empire. A distance of say 10 miles between rivers makes it reasonable that settlements would form to take advantage of the proximity between the rivers, and could form a city important enough to form the keystone for a continent-spanning empire.

I also figured that any such formation would be unstable, and as such would require constant human intervention (which would be an understandable endeavor to protect such an important feature).

What sort of landscape would be most reasonable in this situation though? I was thinking a hilly landscape, with the city built on a series of hills that hold the two rivers apart. The city would have initially been two cities, one built on the bank of each river and connected by roads, that have since grown together and become a single entity.

Gandwarf
08-30-2009, 05:28 PM
If there was some very strong rock, this situation could last a while though? I am thinking thousands of years. Maybe more. It takes a long time for a river to wear down stone and carve a path through it I think.
So throw some strong rock into the hills and you are golden :D

Gandwarf
08-30-2009, 05:30 PM
Your nick is too large by the way and messing up the layout of the forum. Can we shorten it?

Coyotemax
08-30-2009, 05:54 PM
Seeing as there are at least 2 fault lines in the area, i don't think it's unreasonable to have a ridge of upthrust granite in the middle of all the nicely topsoiled farmland :)

Flaterectomy
08-30-2009, 06:12 PM
(...) The city would have initially been two cities, one built on the bank of each river and connected by roads, that have since grown together and become a single entity.

What popped into my mind when I saw this concept was a town on the bank of one river, with a kind of satelite village / industrial outpost on the bank of the other, which over time grew together into one city. This would probably divide the city into a richer half (the former main town) and a poorer half (the former outpost) surrounding the river-based industry, and could more easily guide placement of city elements if you aim to have a city map as well. Could work just as easily with two cities, of course, by the asynchronicity of town + outpost appealed to me when it popped up in my mind. :D

Ghostman
08-31-2009, 08:27 AM
I think it more likely that there'd be a third town (or just a fortress) occupying the high ground between the river-port towns. It would be able to control all the traffic passing between those two, and probably also become militarily dominant due to it's secure location. As it's political influences grows, it'll be able to attract more people to it and become ever larger and more prosperous, untill it eventually links with and absorbs the other two towns.

A city formed in this manner could have an interesting layout. It would probably be long and thin in overall shape, having grown around the road connecting the rivers. It would also have a bulge at the center, one that would be distorted by the shapes of the hills/ridge. The ends that hug the rivers would also be wider, possibly spreading quite a distance along the riverbanks, perhaps even extending across the rivers via bridges.

Coyotemax
08-31-2009, 09:01 AM
Oooh, now you have me wanting to do a city map showing the growth of the area :P

Flaterectomy
08-31-2009, 02:18 PM
Ghostman: Ooh, I like! I hadn't even considered a hilltop in between the two and what kind of impact its strategic location would have.

This city map must be made! :D

Lucas_Adorn
08-31-2009, 03:02 PM
How about a large plateau area where one river is actually much higher up than the other but each side tilts down to the respective seas. the sketch is exaggerated (oh and please don't comment my superb drawing skills :P ) the the main City would be on the top side with a mining town on the lower side (poor side as was mentioned earlier) and perhaps several dwelling in the cliff side which was accessed by rope and pulley also used for shipping goods between the mines and the village. perhaps the whole lower plateau is poor country, wasteland, workers, farmers, nomads etc. with the higher plateau being inhabited by the upper class, priests, nobles, merchants etc. there you could have your 'GOLDEN' (notice the use of the word GOLD *wink *wink) cities build upon the highest ridge stretching towards the gods, ruled by the priesthood....

ok I'll stop now. just an idea :)

could be fun to map...

töff
08-31-2009, 03:14 PM
I love split-level cities :)

Gandwarf
08-31-2009, 03:34 PM
Very cool idea Lucas...

Coyotemax
08-31-2009, 04:11 PM
That's actually really neat!

*ponders juggling time between existing projects to make room...*

Garanth
08-31-2009, 04:12 PM
Wow loving all the ideas guys


I think it more likely that there'd be a third town (or just a fortress) occupying the high ground between the river-port towns. It would be able to control all the traffic passing between those two, and probably also become militarily dominant due to it's secure location. As it's political influences grows, it'll be able to attract more people to it and become ever larger and more prosperous, untill it eventually links with and absorbs the other two towns.

A city formed in this manner could have an interesting layout. It would probably be long and thin in overall shape, having grown around the road connecting the rivers. It would also have a bulge at the center, one that would be distorted by the shapes of the hills/ridge. The ends that hug the rivers would also be wider, possibly spreading quite a distance along the riverbanks, perhaps even extending across the rivers via bridges.

This is a cool sounding idea. The fortress would work as becoming the eventual seat for the Emperor, as this city is to be the capital of a Roman-themed Empire. The city's name could mean "the twins" in the old language, referring to both the twin rivers as well as the twin cities it formed into.

The city would have initially been long, with walls built out from the central castle to protect the road link between the two river settlements, as well as protecting the harbours from incursions over land. As the cities grow together, markets would have slowly consolidated to closer to the imperial palace, as would the bulk of the settlement.

The walls would form an old city/new city barrier, and noble houses pop up in the old city, with hovels built against the walls transforming into a sprawling town to then get walled in themselves.


Here's what I'm thinking so far, forgive my ridiculously poor artwork (again, trackpad + paint does not an artist make. Shame I'm mid move otherwise i'd bust out PS+wacom tablet and make something more presentable)

Garanth
08-31-2009, 04:14 PM
shoot, meant to add some canals in there, and extend the harbour down the river each way a bit, but i guess you can get the gist from those.


edit: Also just noticed that my nickname got the nerfbat. Taking a bit of time out to have a little cry right now.

Lucas_Adorn
08-31-2009, 04:29 PM
Very cool idea Lucas...

thanks.

might give it a try once I get better. hmm that would probably need to be drawn from several angles to do it justice. (future project noted down)

Ascension
08-31-2009, 05:53 PM
Sounds like a great challenge idea ;)