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There is more information available on this subject at Terraforming on the English Wikipedia.

Terraforming is the process in which the terrain, climate and atmosphere of a planet is altered to suit the needs of those colonizing the planet. It normally involves inserting plants and/or flora, introducing new minerals or substances, or other changes to fulfill the required goals for the planet in question. It can take up to several centuries to fully terraform an Earth-sized planet, depending on the degree of terraforming that is needed.[1]



The recovered landscape of Reach in 2589, reterraformed after its glassing in 2552.

Humanity uses terraforming processes to convert potential colonies into environments suitable for habitation.[2] Modern humans first began to utilize terraforming technology during the colonization of the Sol system in the 22nd century, transforming many of the system's formerly inhospitable worlds into environments suited for human life.[3] The colony ship Odyssey was the first ship to carry terraforming gear out of Sol in 2362.[4]

The UNSC uses devices known as atmospheric processors to push a planet's atmosphere towards a more tolerable composition, but human terraforming technology has its limits. Many planets are so inhospitable that they cannot be terraformed, which often results in the UNSC seeking already habitable planets. Understandably, these are extremely few and far between, which results in some colonies being extremely remote.[5] The UNSC has used several methods to terraform worlds, such as bombarding a planet with asteroids to lay a new mantle and crust over the planet's natural one. This process is known to trap helium-3 into the second, artificial mantle. The colony world Verge was known to have required this type of terraforming.[6] The UNSC often avoids establishing colonies on volcanically active worlds, as they are considered to be more difficult to terraform.[7] Some species, such as Draco III's native naeori, were able to survive the UNSC's terraforming process by hiding deep below the surface of the planet's oceans.[8] On certain colony worlds, such as Eridanus II, the local climate is artificially controlled to consistently maintain a pleasant weather.[9]

After the Human-Covenant War, humanity began to re-terraform their colony worlds glassed by the Covenant during the conflict, including Reach. While initial assessments for re-terraforming made by the Assembly in 2530 indicated that restoring a glassed world would take from 110 to over 300 years,[1] Reach had been at least partially restored by 2589, in only 37 years.[10]


The Covenant terraformed certain worlds solely to produce plasma to fuel their large-scale industry, engulfing said planets in perpetual violent thunderstorms; one planet engineered in such manner is Ealen IV.[11]

The Flood[edit]

The Flood terraform their habitats through natural processes, converting the atmosphere[12] and using local biomass to spread itself until it can form a Flood hive. Beginning as small spores, these eventually grow into larger clumps of biomass, which convert the areas atmosphere to what is presumably optimal for Flood expansion, and have been known to infect large areas, ranging from areas of Installation 05, to the planetoid High Charity[13] and covering entire worlds during the Forerunner-Flood war, generating enormous collectives known as Key Minds from the biomass gathered on the planet.[14]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo: Reach, Data pad 14
  2. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  3. ^ Halo Encyclopedia, page 42 (2011)
  4. ^ Xbox.com/Halo/Timeline
  5. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 32
  6. ^ Halo: Evolutions, "Blunt Instruments", page 194
  7. ^ Halo: New Blood, page 103 (Google Play edition)
  8. ^ Halo: New Blood, page 15 (Google Play edition)
  9. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 22 (2001 edition)
  10. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, Lone Wolf
  11. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issues 1-2
  12. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level, The Library (343 Guilty Spark: "Your environment suit will serve you well when the Flood begin to alter the atmosphere - you are a good planner!")
  13. ^ Halo 2, campaign level, High Charity
  14. ^ Halo: Silentium, pages 186-187