CASE STUDIES IN PLANETARY TERRAFORMATION

Excerpts from the eighth edition of Principles of Applied Planetary Terraformation (New Zenith University Press, 2671)...


FIGURE 1.3 - TERRAFORM SEVEN (above)

Widely recognized as the first successful planetary terraform operation of the 25th century, Terraform Seven's (T7) human colonization effort began over two hundred years ago and has grown to be one of the largest populated terraform colonies of the M101 galaxy.

In Figure 1.3, the initial base-layer ecosystem is applied to terrain topology that has been compacted and stabilized. At the time this photo was taken, Phase 1 Pre-Colonization measures were still several years in the future.




FIGURE 8.7 - SPHEROIDAL ABERRATION AT MAGNETIC POLE

Increasing population demands in the late 25th and early 26th centuries bolstered the industry and gave rise to a number of new terraform contractors with widely varying degrees of competency. As the terraform market became oversaturated and more competitive, construction bids were driven to their lowest and contractors sought out ways to cut corners in order to stay profitable.

Figure 8.7 illustrates a spheroidal terrain aberration at the northern magnetic pole of Ursulus 9. Abnormalities such as this are the result of terrain data inaccuracies. They typically occur when terrain sculpting operations have begun before calibration of final grade data. Resulting elevation inconsistencies are often immeasureable across the majority of a planet's surface but multiplied exponentially at magnetic poles where terrain seams join. While terraform aberrations such as this may be indicative of contractor negligence, they rarely pose a threat to human habitability at this scale.




FIGURE 4.1 - DYRDEN VALLEY

Proper terraform design must meet the needs of the intended population regardless of species. Such design often requires the application of unconventional climate simulation techniques.

The Dyrden Valley, seen in Figure 4.1 from a nearby overlook, was terraformed to meet the needs of the Yrx after their native planet's core destabilized and collapsed upon itself. Approximately 1200 Yrx survivors were ultimately relocated to new subterranean homes in Dyrden Valley. Because of their low water requirements and preference for temperature ranges well above human comfort levels, this species was best served by an arid terraform application and extensive climate modifications.




FIGURE 2.11 - ARCH STRUCTURES

Speculative terraform projects may benefit from creativity in design when it comes to attracting colonists with ample financial means. However, while pinnacles, fins and arches (see Figure 2.11) may add beauty to a landscape, it is important to note that they will be subject to the erosive effects of wind and weather and therefore, should never be formed close to areas that are intended for habitation without supplementary structural reinforcement.