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I'm in the middle of season 3, and I have watched 2 episodes which contain information that seems to contradict, and I'm trying to get this sorted straight.

  1. 100 days (Episode 3.17)- The stargate opens despite being completely buried and covered, but objects just disintegrate on the other side.
  2. New Ground (Episode 3.19) strongly indicates that the gate wouldn't accept the connection, when it had been buried previously.

So. how can these two episodes be reconciled?

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If I remember correctly, the reason was mentioned by Samantha Carter in the episode "A Hundred Days".

Basically, the wormhole was active when the meteor hit, so when the earth cooled it created a shell similar to Earth's iris. The wormhole had enough room to form just fine, but without the "kawoosh" because there wasn't sufficient room. That was the reason for the particle beam - the subatomic particles had just enough room to materialize (like with Sokar's weapon) and bombard the rock, creating a tiny pocket that a kawoosh could turn into a cavern.

In another episode, called "48 Hours", Earth's iris is moved backwards a tiny bit to prevent a wormhole from being established at all, similar to the episode New Ground.

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The rule is as follows: A wormhole cannot form if the interior of the stargate is occupied by something solid, like the centerpiece of a cover stone. (Exactly what constitutes "solid" in this respect is never explored.)

The stargate itself may be covered, buried, or even on its way to being hurled into a star, but so long as the wormhole has space within the ring, there is no problem.

(The episode 100 days has some other problems relating to gate physics, but that's a story for another day.)

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