In the Stargate series, now and again members of SG-1 comment that other worlds can bury their Stargate in order to deter the Goa'uld attack from the gate.

In the Stargate Movie Continuum, when one of Ba'al's clones activate the Stargate that was on the Ship, we see it dematerialize the side of the ship as a result from the wormhole opening. This would suggest that even if a Stargate was buried, if it was activated, it could dematerialize the ground.

So how deep would one need to bury the Stargate to deter an attack from the gate? Not just Goa'uld attacks, but any other antagonistic race including humans (on the assumption that some humans start thinking of themselves as gods and try to subjugate lesser races which one SG Team did try in season 1 (assuming the role of a god, forcing the locals into servitude)).

  • The movie and the TV shows are effectively separate continuities... you may have difficulty reconciling them.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 2:38
  • 1
    @Kevin: All media referred to in this question are in the TV show's continuity. Continuum is an SG-1 movie. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:21

3 Answers 3


If the opening in the gate is obstructed then the wormhole will fail to lock.

So as long as the gate is completely covered you're good.

In s3e19 we see the archaeologists uncovering their planet's buried gate from inside of a cliff face. While it's not clear if they had to actually dig the cliff face out or if it was a natural formation it was stated that the SG team had tried to dial the gate previously and failed and convenient timing aside the minute the gates opening was uncovered it began to establish a wormhole lock.

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    The thing that's always bugged me about this element of Stargate is that the gate in Antarctica, buried deep in a bed of ice, had no problem activating when Jack and Carter end up there.
    – BBlake
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 12:16
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    I'd clarify that as long as the event horizon isn't blocked then the wormhole can be established. It doesn't need to be the entire opening, as we see with permanent irises. There only needs to be a small bit of space for the sideways flushing thing.
    – user31178
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 13:01
  • There's also a bit of wiggle room there as well. The original Stargate series had a "whoosh" that went both forward AND backward. That is significant as the original thing blocking the gate was a large rock in the middle of the ring. That's later forgotten, and all that's needed is a forward whoosh. Clearly the Ancients had a larger effects budget than the Tau'ri.
    – Vogie
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 13:44
  • what about SG1- season 4 episode 18 right in the beginning Barber Jumps in...1 minute 35 seconds or 36...
    – CrandellWS
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 4:02

Actually, only the inside of the gate has to be buried. This was shown in the episode "48 Hours" when where the second offsets the iris so it will keep a wormhole from forming.


In season 3 episode 17, a stargate is hit with a meteor and buried but the woosh creates an abscess in the ground, in which Teal’c is able to use to dig out of and rescue O’Neal. So, it doesn’t jive with burying the gate.

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    Do you mean that the gate was still used despite being buried? Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 11:08
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    That indicates that the gate wasn't sufficiently buried (e.g that the debris must have not filled the eye of the stargate). The actual depth seems to be irrelevant since space gates work, as does the gate under Cheyenne Mountain.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 13:01
  • @Valorum an open circle isnt filled sufficiently when theres dozens of feet of earth and rock above it and its lying flat? I know we like to try and rationalise stuff on this SE, but sometimes the handwaving is a little too much. The real answer here is "there is little consistency, its a plot device which works when needed and there are ways around it when its needed to not work".
    – Moo
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 21:06
  • @Moo - Evidently it wasn't. The wormhole can form when the circle isn't completely closed, which is pretty clearly what happened in this case. Voids are pretty common in the dirt around impact craters because complete rocks are often churned up by the impact. It's the same reason people are buried alive when buildings collapse
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 21:09
  • @Valorum you do seem to work hard at avoiding the "its fiction, there doesnt have to be internal consistency" outcome...
    – Moo
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 21:25

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