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Thread: Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer

  1. #11
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    That could work - what sort of effect would higher-altitude winds have on the rest of the world?

  2. #12
      Schyzm is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    Not really, it's just that everyone is taking a look at this from a earth perspective, who is to say this planets trade winds and clouds aren't higher?
    Physics. In order for them to be higher, you'd need either lighter gravity or a denser atmosphere. Both of those changes would really mess with any earth-based archetypes when it comes to body shape/size of people, plants, animals, etc....

  3. #13
      Schyzm is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeLions View Post
    Unfortunately it's a low-fantasy setting so I can't throw magic at all my problems, and the original settlers would have died before any sort of engineering feat could have been made workable.

    I appear to have painted myself into a corner here, haven't I?
    In a lot of ways you're in a corner, but only if you want to isolate this area geographically in this specific way.
    for low-magic, low technology worlds, mountains on some sides, impassible deserts and extremely rough/northern (iceberg choked) seas would do the trick, and still allow for a legitimate hydrological cycle.

  4. #14
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    This is getting increasingly tricky. I may have to do some overhauling.

    How about the things I suggested earlier, an inland sea creating a water cycle in miniature, or earthquakes bringing deep groundwater flowing underground from the south to the surface?
    Last edited by HereBeLions; 04-23-2013 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Blah typo

  5. #15
      Schyzm is offline
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    so, if you look at inland seas on earth, you'll notice that they either all have connections out - a connection out means a pass low enough that water can flow through it (which would break the isolation you're looking for), or they're of the extremely salty variety (because they don't have inflow matching their evaporation - think the dead sea). Afraid that one is out. As to earthquakes bringing up water - sure.. but not in great quantities.

    One possibility to consider is that deep wells (not sure how your people would get them, but hey, that's a society/tech thing) might tap an older water table that could be used for irrigation purposes. They would need to be deep, and the water table wouldn't refill due to the overall lack of precipitation, but it might hold agriculture for a while...

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      waldronate is offline
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    The higher mountains around the edge will likely be topped with substantial glaciers. While the glaciers will probably be larger on the outside surface of the mountains, there is a high likelihood that the glaciers will flow down BOTH sides of the mountains. That means meltwater streams on both sides.

    Take a look at the Taklimakan desert in China. It's a deep, dry basin with a few rivers that flow down into it. In your case, add more glaciers to the mountain ranges and you'll have enough water inside to do something with.

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      Lingon is offline
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    I'd just like to chip in that you could probably get away without explaining how this whole thing works; if the story is good, very few readers will notice that something's off geologically. Personally, had I read a book about this setting without reading this thread, I would have assumed that there was enough rain coming over the mountains and enough drainage through the ground to let everything work. And even if there is a possible way, chances are you are never going to find a way to include it in the story; it has happened to me many times that I've thought really hard about how something would function and then ended up leaving it all to the reader's imagination, and it always turned out better that way.

    That said, you seem determined to work this out, and I won't try to stop you And (without any advanced knowledge) I think Waldronate's suggestion seems plausible; it's what I would go with if I had to have a scientific explanation.

  8. #18
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    Thanks everyone for your input!

    Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer-map_ice.png

    Okay, so it's less an inland sea and more a gigantic fjord, but you get where I'm coming from. The mouth will be icebound all year round, but water will still flow in underneath the ice, so even though the water's salty it'll still be able to contribute to the water cycle. I also like Waldronate's glacial meltwater idea, so that'll probably go in as well.

    And Lingon, I know I really ought to leave it to the reader's suspension of disbelief, but unfortunately I'm one of those people who will be haunted by the knowledge that the science is wrong.

  9. #19
      Anthem is offline
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    Maybe the reason they DID settle there is because the ancient technology was already in place and rediscovered... or, here is a thought for you: evapotransporation. In english: plant sweat. You could have a micro climate inside the bowl that feeds itself. This is a common occurrence in jungles: banana farms can cause their own daily thunderstorms... thus watering the area.
    Problem: how did the plants get here in the first place? No one remembers or knows... we just found it this way.

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    Evapotransporation is my new second-favourite word*. Maybe a semi-aquatic forest living off the water from the fjord, 'sweating' the water, adding to the amount of water in the air, and finally - finally - giving me the excuse for extremely northerly mangrove-esque forests I've always wanted.

    *My favourite word is, and shall always be, flammenwerfer.

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