Monday, December 16, 2013

Unnatural Histories: The Lonely Mountain - Part 6

If you've missed the other bits, be sure to check the rest of the series:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:

Okay, so far I've proposed that the Lonely Mountain is the eroded remnant of the intrusive igneous and hydrothermal component of an ancient arc-volcanic system. Going back to the earlier part about the Misty Mountains, we can now look at this mountain system with a slightly different view. The Misty Mountains is our currently active collisional tectonic feature. The Ered Mithrin could be made of reactivated sutures (from various accreted terranes as Forodwaith and Rhovanion converged on each other) plus erosional highs of more resistant rocks formed through earlier tectonic activities.

What I like about this model is that it doesn't require plate tectonics to be "active" everywhere all at once. Not every feature we see on earth is a result of currently active tectonic processes. Many features are the remnants of past activity. Think of them as a kind of of tectonic "fossil" that has survived simply by not being completely eroded away.

So that has me wondering: do Dwarves or Dragons use a tectonic model of economic geology to decide where they want to live?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, nice idea. Sounds the most plausible way they could find tons of ore and gems without going miles down. :D The Celduin spring has always troubled me though. How likely is such a strong spring in a big pointy chunk of plutonic intrusion? :o If it's coming from above, the pluton cluster must be fractured and laced with softer igneous, yeah? If it's somehow pushed up from below, it's not by current hot action. Tolkein does describe the spring as "boiling out" of a dark crack, but I'm sure that wasn't literal. :D Either way, the dwarves had to dig carefully so the water didn't just seep into their basements instead of out the fissure they made into the front gate.

    OH, maybe the dwarves actually CAUSED the Celduin by building massive sump pumps to empty out the deep natural caverns where all the local water settles. Too bad, Smaug would not have settled in the deep basement if it was still an indoor pool! I have to remember that for my next dwarven fortress! :D