GEOLOGY  OF  PLANET  ARIDA 

ARIDA FORMS 

The planet Arida emerged from the swirling nebula of gas and dust that formed the planetary system around the star Venda nearly 7 billion years ago. As heavy metals were introduced into the swirling disc the process of planetary formation was kicked into high gear. It is thought that as the nebular cloud was spinning and collapsing, additional matter from the explosion of a nearby star might have entered the nebula. The exploded star, or supernova, introduced heavy elements into the nebula, producing the composition required for the planets to emerge - and eventually life. 


As the matter clumped together miniature planets called “planetesimals” formed, the planetismals further clumped together to form early planets known as “protoplanets.”  When the protostar that has become Venda began to release energy, the solar wind stripped away much of the gaseous atmosphere of the inner planets but the gas remained intact on the outer planets.  Arida with its large size and considerable gravity retained a significant atmosphere. 
 

THE RING OF FIRE 

Perhaps  the most unique feature of the planet Arida formed during this time.  Arida has no moon but instead is encircled by an asteroid belt.  The asteroid belt apparently formed as large “protomoons”began forming below the threshold levels of Roche's limit – the gravitational forces from Arida proved too strong for the clumps of matter to form large satellites – instead a ring of smaller asteroid-like shapes developed. 

These rocks, containing many metals, often fall from the sky, releasing a colorful display as they burn – being pulled by gravity through the atmosphere of Arida.  The display is an awesome sight; the formation is known as “The Ring of Fire.”  
 

ARIDA COOLS 

The planet Arida slowly cooled and its features formed.  Like most planets Arida is thought to have an inner and outer core of molten and solidified metal surrounded by a hot rock mantle layer and a rocky outer layer known as a crust.  The inner core of Arida is thought to be proportionately larger than many planets’ core area, which helps account for its high gravitational field.  The mantle of Arida has been found to be rich in silicon, oxygen, iron and magnesium, much like Earth’s mantle, but Arida’s mantle also has a higher proportion of metals that are much more rare on Earth.  The planet has rich mineral deposits. The crust of Arida also contains a high proportion of common and rare metals and elements due in large part to the near constant bombardment of meteorites falling from The Ring of Fire. 

Planetesimal meteorites and comets impacted Arida during its early formation, helping to warm the planet and bringing large amounts of water and other compounds to Arida.  The ice from comets was quickly turned to water vapor due to the early molten character of the forming planet.  Carbon Dioxide and other gases were also released from the planet to help form its early atmosphere.  The bombardments also caused some of the atmosphere to be blasted back into space, but enough gases remained to form a viable atmosphere.  As Arida cooled further volcanic activity contributed to an increase in Carbon Dioxide gases as well as Chlorine, Nitrogen, Sulfur, and other essential elements.  Comets continued to bring water to the planet. 

A “primordial soup” containing the needed molecular constituents for the formation of early life collected on the surface in the shallows of the early oceans of Arida.  The organic solution was formed with the help of UV light splitting molecules apart in the atmosphere and the washing of these molecules and other elements to the seas where they eventually collected – protected from further degradation by their cover of water. 

ARIDA TODAY 

The oceans, which brought life to Arida, have slowly dissipated and receded as the planet aged.  Present day Arida is characterized by its large masses of land and its singular ocean.  The Unola Ocean covers approximately 40 percent of the surface of the planet.  Large freshwater lakes located in the upper portion of the northern hemisphere and in the lower portion of the southern hemisphere contain vast amounts of water.  The Upper Mammoth and Lower Mammoth Lakes add another 10 percent to the total water surface of the planet.  The Mammoth Lakes are very deep, particularly The Upper Mammoth Lakes, and contain extraordinary amounts of fresh water.  The poles of the planet have minimum amounts of ice coverage, but the frozen ground does hold water – much like the tundra of planet Earth.  The areas surrounding the poles are known as The Northern Badlands and The Southern Badlands. 

The Chieftain Mountains and the Devil’s Ear range are the planet’s notable mountain formations.  The Chieftains extend from high in the northern hemisphere to well below the equator.  The range contains the tallest mountains of Arida including its highest elevation.  The peak of Dagger Mountain pierces the sky a full 11500 meters above sea level.  Many other peaks approach the 10000 meter barrier as well.  The Chieftain Mountains are formed by the convergence of the Unola and Omega lithospheric plates, two of the largest tectonic plates on Arida.  The Devil’s Ear range reaches heights of nearly 8000 meters above sea level.  The Devil’s Ear range is caused by the subduction of the Unola lithospheric plate under the Beta plate.  The Devil's Ear Range is home to some of the most peculiar geology on the planet.  The area is extremely rich in mineral and gemstone deposits.  Canyons and monumental plateaus have been magnificently carved and sculpted by ancient waters.  

Between the shores of The Unola Ocean and The Chieftain Mountains a lush zone of forests is located.  The forest receives considerable rain as warm air currents pick up water vapor from The Unola Ocean and deposit it on the western slopes of the Chieftain Mountains.  The area can receive up to 40 inches of rain each year.  Arida’s year is almost twice as long as a year on Earth, and its rainy season is lengthy.  The Evita, Chopin, and Red Lizard Rivers originate in The Chieftains.  The Evita and Chopin Rivers flow back to the ocean, while The Red Lizard River meanders its way all the way to The Upper Mammoth Lakes.  The Mammoth Lakes also receive water from the periodic thawing of the polar ice fields. 

Arida contains several active volcanoes.  Located on Red Eye Island in The Eyes Islands group, Red Eye Volcano is by far the most active volcano on the planet.  The Mount Red Eye volcano is continually smoldering, releasing Carbon Dioxide and producing water vapor. The Red Eye experiences a major eruption every three or four years.  Mount Diablo is also an active volcano.Found in the dry, foreboding Devil’s Ear mountain range, Mount Diablo is extremely unpredictable.Mount Far, located in the Omega Desert has been dormant for several decades  

Much of Arida is land, and much of the land is desert.  The Omega Desert stretches clear across Arida - where it is known as the Beta Desert as it touches upon the western shore of the Unula Ocean.  The land is barren of all but the hardiest life forms in many of these  desert regions.  The deserts are often filled with rocky outcroppings, but are most usually characterized by large regions of endless sand flats and dunes. 

 CONTOUR OF ARIDA 

Arida is an arid land, but the Arida landscape is not void of features.  The maps below indicates the global elevations of Arida - they includes elevations above as well as below sea level.  A sample cutaway has has been taken across the area indicated with the red and white line. 

GLOBAL ELEVATIONS 

 

 

 CUTAWAY VIEWS


  
 

OCEAN AND LAKE  ELEVATIONS


 

 
LAND MASS ELEVATIONS

 

ARIDA'S TECTONIC PLATES
 


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created by G. Moore