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 80-100% of the surface, and oceans less than 50km deep. Waterworlds with oceans more than 50km dep are classified as Panthalassic worlds.
On Bathypelagic worlds large continental landmasses do not exist; they may not yet have formed, or the ocean layer is so deep that they hardly break the surface. 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 rarely 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. On some worlds small isolated continents can be found.
Example world: Pacifica.
Text by John Dollan
Initially published on 08 October 2001.