Worldbin: Mag-Lev Volcanoes.

Yes, this will be exactly what it says on the tin – floating volcanoes.

I was re-reading The Player Of Games by Iain M Banks recently – I would recomend it, it’s a great book – and one of the characters makes an off-hand remark about putting floating mountains on a new Plate – a section of the world that they were on at the time. So I took that idea and ran with it for a while.

I started out with magnetic fluid that became less magnetic and more dense the cooler it got. Now you have a strata’d magnetic ocean, with the most magnetic stuff at the top. Now, below it, you have the lava-stuff. This follows the same principle as the fluid, and starts out below the ocean. However, the fluid is more pronounced in the heat vs. magnetic and heat vs. density arrangement than the lava-thing is.

The second thing is that both fluid are like mercury – if they have the option, they stick together, and align together.

Thirdly, the further you go down, the hotter it gets.

So at the moment a vertical slice would look like this;

Air Above

V.Magnetic fluid.
Less Magnetic fluid.
Quite Magnetic Fluid.

[Gap due to the repulsion – Vacuum? or just low pressure?]

V. Magnetic Lava-stuff.
Less Magnetic Lava.
Extremely Magnetic Lava.

Heat.

(Both the lava and fluid will be in convection currents, as they heat up, rise, cool and fall again)

Now the lava will get hotter and hotter until it reaches a critical mass, or average temperature, or whatever. The fluid above will contract and align opposite to it, in order to stick together. Eventually the Lava will “force” it apart, due to the strength of it’s magnetic field, and fly above the ocean, where it will settle and cool, levitating above the fluid.

And – Viola! – a floating volcano.

Now, when the volcano gets too cool, it will get less and less magnetic, and heavier and heavier, and eventually it will fall into the fluid below. This will cause the fluid to part around it, and so will make a path for the sub-critical lava below.

This should cause a nice periodic graph of islands above the fluid, as more islands “cheat” up as islands fall, until too many cool at once, and there isn’t enough critical or sub-critical lava below it, and it waits for the lava to heat up enough for the cycle to repeat.

There you have it – MagLev Volcanoes. And the Physics for them too.

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