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Thread: Mapping an Earthlike planet

  1. #21
      Akubra is offline
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    Wip Ocean currents

    OK, let's see what Rautah's ocean currents have in store.

    I prepared two maps. The first one shows just the continents and ocean currents. The second one is somewhat cluttered with a few big red "egg-like features" showing the areas I'm not sure about.

    But first this: to avoid things to become too complicated, I placed the equatorial counter currents at 0°, the equatorial currents at 10° N/S, and the currents on their opposing sides (the ones that make the gyre circles complete) at 50° N/S. Rautah has the same rotation/spin as the Earth, with a comparable tilt and duration. I didn't take into account the coriolis effect (you'll see that some of the currents have long straight lines). Re-reading this makes me wonder if I didn't make it too uncomplicated...

    Anyway, here are the maps (and the inevitable questions):

    Mapping an Earthlike planet-ocurrents.jpg Mapping an Earthlike planet-ocurrents2.jpg

    1. [See the red egg labeled A on the map] Is this current possible? It seems weird because it is going clockwise while all other gyres go anticlockwise. If it should go anticlockwise too the incoming and outgoing currents will cross, and that doesn't feel right either. Or perhaps it should not make a loop, but continue southward and squeeze itself through the strait connecting it with the ocean around the South Pole. I suspect this strait is between 100 and 150 km wide. Is that wide enough to let a major current through? Which brings me to another question: is the northern strait wide enough (it's about 1000 km wide) to let both the incoming and outgoing currents pass? If not, should there be a separate circular current in area A, disconnected from all other currents? Or maybe none at all? To be honest, I'm quite confused about that area.
    2. [See egg B] Is it possible for an equatorial counter current to pass through these straits and feed one of the southern gyres?
    3. [See eggs C1 to C6] As I don't have any continent at the poles, could the northern and southern gyres connect through currents flowing near the poles, as drawn?
    4. Any other issues that seem impossible?



    Thanks for having a look!

    Cheers - Akubra

  2. #22
      groovey is online now
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    It's VERY visually appealing, even without terrain, just as it is now. I longingly stare at it for a while each time I stumble upon it.

    Forgot if I told you, but I love the land masses, and the quantity and placement of the islands looks really natural to me. I love your long chain of islands around the central area of the map, they'd be so useful for early migrations and exploration purposes.


    I'll be checking your work on the ocean currents with interest, as I did with Pixie's, as I hope someday to get the hang of it, but I'm afraid I won't be able to give you any input on that, because it's like Chinese to me. I guess that's the "bad" side of being too science nerdy as we try to be with our maps, not too many fellow guild members will know enough about it to help others.

    Let me end telling you I really like how neat and polished your technique for everything is, the land masses, the tectonic map, now the currents... it's not as simple as you make it seem to get such appealing visuals.
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  3. #23
      Pixie is offline
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    ... very nice.

    I'm on a tight schedule, so I'll quickly try to answer your "egg-questions", (as much as I can)

    A: I think it should swirl the other way around. Surface currents are wind-driven, mostly. Winds at the bottom of that area are westerlies (east-bound), winds at the top of that area are equatorial (west-bound). I'd say the water gets sucked into that closed area from the cold current on the west coast of the continent.

    B: I have no clue but, personally, I would have drawn it the other way around.

    C: You forgot the polar circulation (same direction as equatorial circulation, roughly at 60/70 degrees) - that will solve all your problems.
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  4. #24
    Guild Member AlexSchacher's Avatar
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    Default Mapping an Earthlike planet

    Ill give you my opinion on these but i am no expert.

    1. I would either leave it as it is, or make it have its own secluded circular counterclockwise current. I definately wouldnt try to cross tge currents as it wouldnt make much sense, and i wouldnt see a current squeezing its way through that small strait to the south either. I would assume that you wouldnt even have a continental shelf drop in that strait anyways.

    2. I see no reason why it wouldnt, as the current is moving forcefully in that direction and theres nothing in the way to stop it, seems to make sense to me.

    3. I would assume those currents are fine aswell, as they are up againdt one landmass most of the time just like your other currents. Not so different from earths north pole current i think.
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  5. #25
      Akubra is offline
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    Thanks a lot for all this positive input! To me this is also an important motivation to improve on the maps.

    @groovey: Thanks a lot for all the praise, but let me tell you that I can be a bit of a pedant and a nit-picker in some areas! Even if those traits are not looked upon very favourably most of the times, they do have their merits, as they help me to work with an eye for detail somewhat above average. It's probably this nit-picking that shows in my maps...

    @Pixie: Thanks a lot too for replying even when you don't have much time. I really appreciate it (but never feel obliged to respond to my questions). I think I'm going with all your suggestions. If the current is entering area A by making a bend around the small continent then the direction of rotation will be the same as the main gyres. Now that you mention it, it does seem more natural to have the current in area B go the other way. And of course I'll include both polar circulations and see how it influences the rest. I didn't draw them because I was unsure how I had to position them, having no continent to circle around.

    @AlexSchacher: Thanks for your input too, Alex. Indeed, crossing currents felt completely wrong. I'm still working on the continental shelves (should have done that first, before starting with the currents), and indeed, the continental shelf will connect the large and small landmasses there. Oh, and great I could borrow your arrows idea!

    As soon as I have the continental shelf and the updated currents map ready, I'll post them.

    Cheers - Akubra
    Last edited by Akubra; 06-03-2014 at 06:45 AM.

  6. #26
      Akubra is offline
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    Wip A great big waterslide

    Time for some updated maps.

    The first is a slightly adapted tectonic map, this time also showing continental shelves.

    The second one is an update of my ocean currents map, also with continental shelves. I think I included all of Pixie's suggestions. The main changes are:
    • The inclusion of a north and south polar current (I hope I have my arrows right...)
    • The reversal of the current between Nohhon, the big continent in the west and Tabinoth, the island/continent to its south.
    • The reversal of the current between Ranineo and Ghaon, the two big continents in the east.

    I can't help feeling that it looks like one giant waterslide.

    Mapping an Earthlike planet-rautah_tectonicplates.png Mapping an Earthlike planet-rautah_oceancurrents.png

    Feel free to comment, wether you like the maps or think they're rubbish.

    Cheers - Akubra
    Last edited by Akubra; 06-04-2014 at 02:28 PM. Reason: correct spelling mistake
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  7. #27
      Pixie is offline
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    I have only positives to say. I really like the outcome of your work on this, and it looks like, climate wise, it's ready for the next step. Pretty impressive worldbuilding so far
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  8. #28
      groovey is online now
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    Pretty impressive, I agree, and it's happening so fast for you, you might be the first of us to be finished at this rate.

    One silly thing though, is it only me or the new tectonic map posted it's a bit blurry? Specially on the green lines. Is it because of the change of projection? No biggie though, just curious.
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  9. #29
      Akubra is offline
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    Thanks Pixie and groovey!

    Yes, I too like the overall results I've been able to produce this far. Not that some things can't be improved, though!

    @Pixie: Indeed, the next one will be a climate map. Strangely I feel more daunted to tackle that than the previous maps. I'll see how it turns out... I'm sure Geoff's Climate Cookbook will come in very handy!

    @groovey: Yes, I'm not very happy with the shades/crispness on these maps either. I'm not sure what it is, but I suspect it has something to do with the layers. When I used G.Projector to produce a Winkel Tripel projection, as I normally do, the results were even worse. That's why I uploaded the equirectangular maps I work on. As for the speed I'm working at, that has something to do with the amount of free time I currently have. It won't always be like that, I assure you!

    Cheers - Akubra
    Last edited by Akubra; 06-05-2014 at 06:36 AM. Reason: correct spelling mistake

  10. #30
      groovey is online now
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    Just noticed, again in the tectonic map with the continental shelves, that when subduction happens on oceanic boundaries, you actually had in mind the trenches that are created on the side getting subducted, so you leave said side as deep ocean, and even when no islands have met the surface yet on those subduction zones, you indicate the shelves. I love that, really, really nice detail that I need to keep in mind when I do my selves.
    Last edited by groovey; 06-05-2014 at 04:36 AM.
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