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Hypothetical Earth modification - shallow oceans


p1t1o
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Inspired by another thread.

So, the ocean is objectively terrifying, Im not ashamed to admit it scares the je-heebus out of me.

I ask myself "What can be done about that?"

I think if all the oceans had a maximum, and uniform in open water, depth of, say 50m, then it would seem far, far less terrifying.

No I know it deosnt make alot of practical sense, but thats not the question.

 

If we gave all the worlds seas and oceans a max depth of 50m, what are the connotations of that? Weather? Seismology? Travel? Energy? Go crazy with it. 

What is the worst/best that could happen?

What is the weirdest that could happen?

Edited by p1t1o
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https://www.amazon.com/Plate-Tectonics-Continental-Mountain-Building/dp/3540765034/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537890530&sr=1-2&keywords=plate+tectonics&dpID=51D62NYqxsL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

 

... then we talk again :-)

Pls. don't be mad at me, but before i do a lecture ....

---------------------

Nearly every field of geoscience plays a role here.

- ocean spreading

- wilson cycle

- eustatic equilibrium

- cooling, subsidence

- weathering

- subduction

- volcanism, stages and variations

- climate

- all of the spheres including litho-

- earth history

- internal dynamics

- astronomy, earth orbit parameters

and so on and so on. I just hope you don't insist :-)

Edited by Green Baron
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12 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

https://www.amazon.com/Plate-Tectonics-Continental-Mountain-Building/dp/3540765034/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537890530&sr=1-2&keywords=plate+tectonics&dpID=51D62NYqxsL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

... then we talk again :-)

Pls. don't be mad at me, but before i do a lecture ....

---------------------

Nearly every field of geoscience plays a role here.

- ocean spreading

- wilson cycle

...etc...

 

ALL Im asking is that you parse all of that, integrate each effect with each of the other factors and provide a simulated prediction of real-world events on a timeline, JEEZE

;)

 

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I try.

Sea floor depth is a function of time. From a middle ocean ridge where it is generated it drifts off, cooling and densifying, thus sinking into the soft layer beneath, the asthenosphere. At one time it gets so dense that rips off and dives into the mantle again.

Depth of the water column ranges from 0 in a fresh rift zone to ~5500m in the abyssal plains (*). There is nothing that can be done about it.

---------

Spreading out all the oceans in an equally deep worldwide puddle would still be enough for the lower edge of the upper lip to be under water. And it would only be possible if all processes that lead the current arrangement (which other people may find quite convenient i might say) would stop. No wilson cycles, no subduction, no mountain lifting, no weathering (after a while), ... probably easier to work on the phobia ?

Just trying to be funny :-)

 

(*) i forgot the deep see trenches !

Edited by Green Baron
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The average depth of the ocean is ~3700 m.
It occupies 70% of the Earth surface.
So, if redistribute it uniformly, the average depth of the water layer will be ~2600 m. We gain a whole kilometer.

The Earth is just an ice giant miscarriage. Just face it.

Edited by kerbiloid
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Btw. The upper limit of a mountain height/pit depth is ~10 km (for granite and 1 g).
A higher mountain/deeper pit wall would crush itself and spread around from beneath.

As water density is ~0.35..0.4 of the granite density, this means that if the ocean was just 2..3 times deeper, or the gravity was  2..3 times higher, the water should be crushing the underlying rock..

So, we are really at the very upper limit of a still-not-an-ice-giant planet.

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One thing for sure is that ecosystem will be changed drastically.

Well first of all, say bye bye to deep sea horror creatures like the Anglerfish, woop woop! 50 meters deep is shallow enough that here would be sunlight everywhere through this global ocean, and also shallow enough for large plants to support themselves. So expect there to be a giant global kelp forest. Such a giant global kelp forest would also produce more O2. And the more oxygen, the bigger the bugs

meganeura-size.jpg

arthropleura-size.jpg

I assume most humans wouldn't really enjoy living alongside giant bugs. I wouldn't care, but im a weirdo.

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I'd assume the entire arctic (and antarctic) circle would freeze over (down full 50m) and this would spread beyond that (although possibly not all the way down.

Europe would freeze: don't expect enough mass to circulate for the gulf stream, expect some serious cold.

I doubt there would be much different in the tropics, I'd expect temperature pretty much stabilizes.  Anybody know the temperature of tropical depths?

Biodiversity takes a huge hit: anything that needs to stay below 50m (day or night) goes extinct.  Mammals probably take over, with sudden increase from reptiles and other air breathers: if you need only dive 50m, then why bother with gills?  How many rivers are 50m?  Is the Nile?  The Mississippi is wide enough, but I doubt there are many parts more than half that deep.  Any sufficiently wide river that is roughly that deep should have an ecosystem roughly similar to an "ocean" only 50m deep.

The other big surprise?  I'd expect shores to turn into vast swamps.  Dropping erosion into a 50m hole should fill up in a few centuries (probably less: dams should prove this), this will lead to gradual change out to 50m, instead of the huge cliff down to km that plate techtonics gives us.

And can I say this is a really weird topic for this forum?  If you can't handle the oceans, expect to be completely freaked out sooner or later by space.

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Plate tectonics would almost completely stop, as most of it is driven by old, cold and dense oceanic crust descending down at subduction zones. Without that, say goodbye to volcanoes, and without them, you have no atmospheric recycling. Carbonate Rock formation would lock up CO2, and plants would die in a few hundred thousand years. 

Well done @p1t1o, you've doomed the entire planet! 

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1 hour ago, Green Baron said:

I try.

Sea floor depth is a function of time. From a middle ocean ridge where it is generated it drifts off, cooling and densifying, thus sinking into the soft layer beneath, the asthenosphere. At one time it gets so dense that rips off and dives into the mantle again.

Depth of the water column ranges from 0 in a fresh rift zone to ~5500m in the abyssal plains (*). There is nothing that can be done about it.

---------

Spreading out all the oceans in an equally deep worldwide puddle would still be enough for the lower edge of the upper lip to be under water. And it would only be possible if all processes that lead the current arrangement (which other people may find quite convenient i might say) would stop. No wilson cycles, no subduction, no mountain lifting, no weathering (after a while), ... probably easier to work on the phobia ?

Just trying to be funny :-)

(*) i forgot the deep see trenches !

I understand the question, average sea depth is many kilometers and life does mostly use the upper hundreds meter. 
As I understand dropping the sea level 2 km would not give seriously more land. 
Now if most of the sea level was continental shelf deep as in 2-300 meter you would not get deep ocean currents for obvious reasons, guess you would get less surface ocean currents to because of increased drag. 
You might get more nutrients, deep ocean is nutrient starved but this might be more about distance to land. 

 

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1 hour ago, wumpus said:

And can I say this is a really weird topic for this forum?  If you can't handle the oceans, expect to be completely freaked out sooner or later by space.

Space? Are you kidding? You can see for MILES in space. Whats underneath you in the sea? YOU DONT KNOW!! NOBODY KNOWS!!

(And, as far as I know, there are no highly efficient, flesh-eating, eating-machines with hundreds of pointy teeth and cold, cold, black eyes waiting for me in the depths of space. Not that I think you'll get eaten if you fall in....but you might actually...though in all likelihood, you'll just be consumed by literal darkness instead)

 

 

34 minutes ago, MinimumSky5 said:

Well done @p1t1o, you've doomed the entire planet! 

 

Thats usually a pretty good guess with any hypothetical messing with the environment on this scale!

 

1 hour ago, NSEP said:

And the more oxygen, the bigger the bugs

This...this might be a step backwards...

...the only thing that scares me more than the sea...are slugs and snails, but thats a phobia, cant explain that one.

I'd rather burn the entire world down to cinders than bring about an age of giant slugs and snails, even typing their names is unpleasant.

Frick, I mean, lets triple the depths of the oceans rather than that.

Edited by p1t1o
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36 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

I understand the question, average sea depth is many kilometers and life does mostly use the upper hundreds meter. 

Yep. And mostly close to nutrient inflow (or upwelling)

Quote

As I understand dropping the sea level 2 km would not give seriously more land. 

Dropping it by 200m would expose the continental shelves.

Raising it by 100m would enlarge these. A configuration known from the Jurassic/Cretaceous, with a different arrangement of continental mass, currents, low temperature gradients between latitudes ...

Quote

Now if most of the sea level was continental shelf deep as in 2-300 meter you would not get deep ocean currents for obvious reasons, guess you would get less surface ocean currents to because of increased drag. 

Maybe, idk. The salinity/density driven conveyor belt would surely not exist.

Shallow oceans or part of them tend to heat up and become anoxic, as seen in parts of the lower Jurassic ("Black Jurassic"). Good place to find unlucky ocean dwellers that swam below the oxygen table, suffocated and sank into the mud. Some of them are preserved together wih their skin, intestines, unborn babies, .... very delicious !

Quote

You might get more nutrients, deep ocean is nutrient starved but this might be more about distance to land.

Maybe, but see above :-)

 

In the end, it is not that interesting if somebody drowns in 5m water or 5000. But lying to in the middle of the ocean and jumping overboard into a 5000m deep tub is just cool :-)

Edited by Green Baron
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1 hour ago, p1t1o said:

(And, as far as I know, there are no highly efficient, flesh-eating, eating-machines with hundreds of pointy teeth and cold, cold, black eyes waiting for me in the depths of space. Not that I think you'll get eaten if you fall in....but you might actually...though in all likelihood, you'll just be consumed by literal darkness instead)

Methinks you forget about THE KRAKEN

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3 hours ago, wumpus said:

I'd expect shores to turn into vast swamps

Tourists would do that very quickly.

2 hours ago, p1t1o said:

And, as far as I know, there are no highly efficient, flesh-eating, eating-machines with hundreds of pointy teeth and cold, cold, black eyes waiting for me in the depths of space.

Why?!
 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by kerbiloid
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6 minutes ago, Cassel said:

Is there any free software that would allow to simulate the change in water level?

A small utility Earth3D by Adrian Lark.
Can't google it, though having on my desktop.

Upd.
Looks like it now has Mars, too. Though still can't google.
 

Spoiler

mars3d.jpg

 

Edited by kerbiloid
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14 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

A small utility Earth3D by Adrian Lark.
Can't google it, though having on my desktop.

Upd.
Looks like it now has Mars, too. Though still can't google.
 

  Hide contents

mars3d.jpg

 

Shame, I would like to check if this guy is right about that map of Africa.

 

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@Cassel

Ooooh please dont take videos that look like that too seriously...I can tell with a high degree of confidence just from the video's title, that it is going to be a horrible mishmash of tiny nuggests of truth mixed with gallons and gallons of made up hogwash. Please take some advice from someone who has been on the internet since the 90's and update your skepticism detector with the various things that describe this video and video's like it.

(Oh my god....Ive been on the internet since the 90's)

Aaaaaaaand....lo and behold - and I am never shocked by this - there are prominent links to his "donation" page so that we can "support" his "efforts" to "expose" the "truth".

If they are looking for money the chances are exceedingly high that it is BS pseudoscience - dont take my word for it, take a look around.

Not that this example isnt also steeped in piles of other red flags. Look at his list of i topics that he discusses - spirituality, lost civilisations and...corruption? Oh and "intuition" (because he just has, you know, really strong feelings that he's right)

 

If someone is really interested in the topic, actual research and fact can be found about it without having to suffer these awful videos. Good science never just turns up on youtube.

This guy is just trying to make a buck off gullible folks, mark my words.

 

Im so confident of my classification of this video that I am making these statements without watching it.

Please do correct me if Im wrong.

Im not tho ;)

 

(ok Im quite nervous about this, afraid it might turn out to be a video by a famous comedian or somesuch but hey, no guts no glory, here we go...)

**edit**

Having seen the comments related to the above video on youtube, and the related videos linked to it, my nervousness has entirely evaporated.

 

 

Edited by p1t1o
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