Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27
Like Tree3Likes

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

  1. #1
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    28

    Help Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer

    Hello, everyone! I'm in the process of making a map for a story I'm writing, and I find myself in a bit of a pickle regarding the geography and climate. The main nation the story follows is an isolated kingdom trapped within a cage of impassable mountain ranges. The mountains are ridiculously huge - Olympus Mons would be on the smaller end of average - and they're stalked by big gribbly monsters with no compunctions about eating you. Here are my rather scruffy plans, or at least what I have so far. The final will be much nicer than this, I promise!

    The grey areas are mountains, white is water, and yellow indicates man-made stuff.

    Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer-continent-map-first-pass.png

    Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer-continent-map-man-made-stuff.png

    Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer-continent-map-notes.png
    Here are my notes; I really hope you can read my handwriting. I won't be offended if you ask for translations.

    Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer-continent-map-you-here.png
    You Are Here - there are more continents than this, but they won't show up in the story so they don't matter.

    Dangit, Jim, I'm an Artist, Not a Geographer-continent-map-plates.png
    The Cage is made up of a very small tectonic plate that's in the process of being crushed by two bigger ones.

    What I'd like to know is, how would being completely mountain-locked affect the climate and weather both inside the 'cage' and outside? Any other comments or critique on what I've got so far would also be very welcome. Suggestions for what could be in that empty third of the continent are much appreciated too.

  2. #2
      Schyzm is offline
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default

    offhand, with that latitude and those very high mountains... you're looking at:

    weather: Dry. Sunny. dry. Cold. Oh, and dry.

    clouds tend to rain on the windward side of the mountains - so since it's completely surrounded by high mountains, and the trade winds would still impact the mountains, you're looking at not a lot of moisture from the oceans getting in. You'll get some... but not a lot.

  3. #3
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Thanks Shcyzm! I figured it would be dry, but didn't quite extrapolate that to sunny as well. There would be plenty of fresh water coming up from the mountains, though, and the area's probably volcanic, so would the combination of plenty of rivers and fertile soil be able to sustain agriculture, even with very little rainfall?

  4. #4
      Schyzm is offline
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeLions View Post
    Thanks Shcyzm! I figured it would be dry, but didn't quite extrapolate that to sunny as well. There would be plenty of fresh water coming up from the mountains, though, and the area's probably volcanic, so would the combination of plenty of rivers and fertile soil be able to sustain agriculture, even with very little rainfall?
    so, you know the old adage about water flowing down hill? if all the water is falling on the outside of the ring, the rivers (which are made due to rain fall) wouldn't be particularly large.. and wouldn't provide much. Also, since it's completely surrounded, the water doesn't have many places to go - so you might get a lake or bog in the middle - without serious outflow or rainfall though, it'd be a rather nasty, salty kind of place. Fraught with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (those crushing tectonic plates do the trick).

    given the scale, you might get some limited water cycle going on northeastern inner side of the ring of mountains - maybe enough to support some agriculture. but not a lot. to give you an idea of the kind problems that arise when dealing with high mountains and precipitation, check out this wikipedia article on eastern washington state. Now imagine that no where in your great basin of mountains does it rain more than 7 inches per year....

    In any case, what I'm getting at is that areas completely surrounded by mountains are extremely arid.

  5. #5
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Ah, yeah, that makes sense. Any ideas on how to make the area liveable?

    What would happen if there were an inland sea inside the basin? Would that just make things even saltier, or would it be able to create a microcosmic water cycle?

  6. #6
      Anthem is offline
    Guild Applicant
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I'm with Schyzm... and pretty sure it wouldn't be livable; depending on the height of the mountains... (check out this RW example: Google Maps for one of the driest places on earth). So, that leaves you with... MAGIC! Or something tapping deep into the earth for natural springs, etc. it would have to be something that intervenes with the natural order of things if you want water there.

  7. #7
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Hm... would regular earthquakes allow for underground water to reach the surface, d'you think?

  8. #8
      Larb is offline
    Guild Artisan Larb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    958

    Default

    An alternative to "LOL MAGIC!" is some kind of great engineering feat to make the area livable and bring water to it. Either some (fairly) recent thing or perhaps something of ANCIENT CONSTRUCTION that all have come to rely on (a bit of a cliche I suppose but it could make for a good plot point and any cliche can work if done well enough).

  9. #9
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    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?

  10. #10
    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    905

    Default

    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?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •