Deep Ocean Worlds
|Pacifica has been modified into a bathypelagic gaian world; here it can be seen without its cloud covering|
Gaian Type world in which there are deep oceans covering 85-100% of the surface. On these worlds, continents never formed or, if there were any small ones, they have long since been subducted back into the mantle. Any land area that is present will be in the form of volcanic islands or small and isolated tectonic rafts. Land life, even vegetation, will almost never be present.
Most often, these planet wide oceans are the result of low continental topography and the lack of any surface ice, both conditions which conspire to raise ocean levels. As such, some of the richest biomes may be flooded continental shelves. Rarely do these worlds have no land whatsoever; an active planetary geology almost guarantees that there will be volcanic islands or small tectonic rafts. At the low end of the extreme, small and isolated continents will be the norm. An example is Pacifica.
Text by John Dollan
Initially published on 08 October 2001.