After strangely located seismic activity, you probably would like a shore-leave. Why not request a baryon sweep, so you can not only relax, but also return to a perfectly clean ship? Sounds too good to be true? Probably. The question you need to ask yourself is: clean of what?
What does it do?
This question is easily answered by reading the Memory Alpha page on the baryon sweep. Therefore, I quote: “A baryon sweep was a procedure used to eliminate baryon particles from a starship.” So if I read this correctly, the sweep removes either certain – or all – baryons, which emit radiation, which is harmful in large quantities.
Am I the only one holding five tabs next to my half-written sim to add science jargon and try to explain what is going on while still abiding to the laws of nature or am I just not made to be a science officer? Our lovely characters have had years of training at the Academy, but, sadly, we have not! So there is a gap between what our characters know and what we know. Let’s try to make that gap smaller, starting with: seismic activity.
Under normal circumstances, a class M planet would look a bit like this from the inside. The crust would be divided in plates, which we call tectonic plates, and would drift on the mantle. The friction between plates, so at the fault lines, build up and when the stress becomes too much, it suddenly moves, aka seismic activity. In these areas also volcanic activity is very common.