Oxygen access under the ground?

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Oxygen access under the ground?

AlbaVik
Instrumentalist
AlbaVik
Instrumentalist
Joined: 10 May 2010, 17:59

27 Jun 2013, 14:49 #1

... not quite yet, but I have some characters who are.

First of all, I'm not sure this is the right forum, but figured it might be with the various discussions on apparel realism and what not.

The deal is that the fantasy project I'm working on currently involves underground societies without access to the surface, in which case lack of oxygen would normally annihilate the entire population before I could even get to write anything about them.

Of course, I could just make up some excuse along the lines of "it's magic, deal with it", but I'd prefer a slightly deeper explanation.

The resident Sun replacement light source has been dealt with by the concoction of conveniently fancy, shining rocks. That leaves a side question which I suppose is only really answerable if we have any members with some further understanding of biology: would photosynthesis and recycling of air, provided the population is kept below what the oxygen reservoir of the cave can handle and that the vegetation has a large enough presence, be consistently possible in an isolated environment?

If not, or if you just have any other potential ways out of this corner, I'd love to hear suggestions on this, as it's sort of halting the whole process right now.
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AlbaVik
Instrumentalist
AlbaVik
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Joined: 10 May 2010, 17:59

28 Jun 2013, 10:40 #2

Thanks for the links, I'll start reading today, though you might want to move that to the Fu Bai thread ;)
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Quill Master
Ye Olde Guard
Quill Master
Ye Olde Guard
Joined: 26 Sep 2005, 12:29

29 Jun 2013, 02:27 #3

Ha ha ha! Sorry - I had both threads open and was replying to both when a friend came over to visit and totally distracted me. :lol:

First off this is an awesome idea... I would love to see this in action.

For oxygen I think there is the possibility of plants that release oxygen underground - they would need some access to sunlight and UV rays though... perhaps they take in carbon dioxide on the surface but release it through their roots systems as waste? :D

Or you could have something with water... it seems that water may be able to somehow release oxygen underground.

Of course with the old classic 'The Time Machine" he never explains oxygen so maybe you don't need to bother. Wiki Time Machine

For sunlight - the shiny rocks seems good although you'd want to include something for UV rays - living things (including plants mentioned above) need UV rays to grow and humans need them to be healthy. Maybe you could have the shiny rocks be on the surface and also down in the earth - so the sun lights them up below the earth as well. Similar to a light tube used in underground houses. :P
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AlbaVik
Instrumentalist
AlbaVik
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Joined: 10 May 2010, 17:59

29 Jun 2013, 10:06 #4

Duh, UV light. Knew I'd forgotten something. My biology's rusty...

The UV is a very valid point, but I suppose the rocks could indeed have some level of contact with the surface that lead to UV rays getting down there. Maybe I'll just let the light "seep" through the ground to the very light-sensitive cliffs. Hey, it's fantasy after all ;)

The root concept is pretty neat as well, but might not work with some of the deeper caves...

Like you said, water will probably take on a large part of the task as well, or, more specifically, the seaweed that grows in it, seeing as that's already behind a reasonable chop of IRL oxygen production.

Thanks for the advice, I think we're nearing a conclusion here :D
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Quill Master
Ye Olde Guard
Quill Master
Ye Olde Guard
Joined: 26 Sep 2005, 12:29

29 Jun 2013, 10:08 #5

Ahhhhh seaweed! Hadn't thought of that! That would work indeed - and be very cool - the seaweed could be a very vital resource - both for food (as in Asia) and oxygen! B)

Very cool!
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TheOrk
Squire at Legoland Billund
TheOrk
Squire at Legoland Billund
Joined: 02 Mar 2006, 02:30

24 Oct 2013, 00:28 #6

In the past I toyed with the notion of writing a story in an underground setting. My solution for oxygen was a entire ecosystem based around fungus, my solution for light was a special kind of crystal. My underground setting tended to be high magic, so I could always fall back on that if I accidentally wrote myself into a corner.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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