AreanLacustric Type

Arean worlds are typically dead worlds, frozen and in a state of biological and geological stasis.  However, there may be circumstances in which these worlds effectively thaw.  Depending on the amount of water already present, locked beneath the surface, the planets can become quite wet indeed, with mature weather systems and fully active erosional cycles.

Life on these worlds tends to vary greatly.  Many Arean worlds already harbor simple microbial forms, relics of their wetter and more habitable youth.  If these forms continue to exist, then they almost certainly will spread out into the newly habitable environment and thrive.  Indeed, even in the small space of a few hundred million years, the planet could experience an event similar to Earth's Cambrian explosion.  If the planet remains habitable long enough (and some may remain viable for hundreds of millions, even billions of years), biosphere's similar to a true Gaian world may develop.  It is also possible for life to not develop, leaving behind a wet but biologically barren planet.

The causes for the thawing of Arean worlds, and their development into AreanLacustric worlds, are quite varied.  Many times, increased stellar output, such as when the local sun begins to move off of the main sequence and become a subgiant, can revive these planets.  Gravitational stresses may also reinvigorate the geological processes, which could effectively lead to a thickening atmosphere, global warming, and the flooding of these planets.  Many worlds may exist in this manner for a very long time.  Others may experience this state for only a few million years before freezing once again, only to thaw out once more millions of years hence.  Such cycles are termed "Sisyphusian Cycles" because of their perpetual swings back and forth.

Every few tens of millions of years, Mars thaws and becomes an AreanLacustric Type world.

Sparkling waters lap against an eroded shore, waters that may or may not be teaming with life.

Quick Facts

AreanLacustric of Note:  Despite its current disposition, Mars is locked within a Sisyphean cycle of wet and dry climates.  Mars' slow geology eventually creates an atmosphere thick enough to initiate global warming;  a threshold is reached, and the planet thaws.  However, the geology is of such a low level that this atmosphere is eventually eroded by solar wind and meteoric impacts.  The planet then returns to its frozen Arean state.


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ArcBuilder Universe concept John M. and Margo L. Dollan 2002-2004
This Page first uploaded June 17, 2004
Most recent update for this page June 17, 2004