The Pitted Marsh

Key Loactions


Spring-fed pools off the Iron Wall (hegyi tavasz - Mountain spring Fal tavasz- wall spring)


The Pitted Marsh is a series of pockmarks in the face of the land; puddles reflect up from where they surround false lakes and plentiful flora, strips of dry land growing thin and damp the further you explore into the vast wetland. This water filled basin off the Windswept plain, provides an oasis for water starved travelers, and a damp home to animals and people alike. An uneven depression in the land spotted with deltas and hills, the marsh encroaches on the foothills of the Iron Wall yet is too large to be hidden completely in their shadow. The land and water mingle in various zones shifting and merging as you cross the lip of the basin and head towards the central city and it’s rock-laden roads.

What locals call the Wet-meadow depressions are little more than puddles in saturated loam; although dry land here is relative because these dips in the land stay saturated through the early melt and seasonal rains, retaining their moisture through the growing season. Even outside the small depressions the land isn’t dry but, except in times of heavy flooding, there is no pooling water. Dotting the outer ring of the basin and spilling down the gentle decline, the water from these shallow ponds spills out into the surrounding area keeping the ground moist and the water in them clear and fresh. Most of these freshwater ponds are far from the city, but a traveler might spot them in other raised spots throughout the basin and where meltwater collects in small ravines.

Moving beyond the outer rings of marsh to overtake the land with wider ponds and meres, water from these covers the land in shallows, and soon the sight of the land begins to sink beneath the vegetation. While this part of the Pitted Marsh begins to flatten, or even rise higher than the land behind it, travelers will likely become familiar with the squelch of water in their footwear, or the slippery suction of mud beneath bare feet. Some potholes are still visible because the rushes can’t grow up from their depths, yet others are covered by floating greenery, marked only by the shiver of the plants as the water moves through them. This part of the marsh becomes difficult and even dangerous for the small children and livestock who traverse it, for while much of the water would hardly lap over the top of a typical human’s foot, the next step might find them submerged up to their knees. Deciphering the map of the plants above the surface is the trick to staying out of the water in these marshes, but to do so takes a practiced eye.

There is relief for those wet, weary travelers in the center of the marsh. For the most part the land plateaus here, although there are some hills still, and the land still lush, is mostly dry. This region, called the Deep-marshes, makes up the vast majority of the center of the Pitted marsh. Once the most arid part of the marsh, marked by a few vast, deep potholes. The runoff from the surrounding marsh has eroded the land destroying the boundaries of the lakes and slowly eating away the dry land that caused the Asar to settle there. These larger lakes and even the smaller potholes in the area are mostly varieties of salt water. Freshwater isn’t scarce in this part of the marsh, but it is tightly controlled by the city, those who can’t drink salt water must pay for the freshwater they use.


150 miles across approx

Almost all pothole ponds are shallow; few are more than 5 feet deep, and most are less than 2 feet deep. The salinity of water in potholes is extremely varied, ranging from potholes in which the water is quite fresh to others containing brines that are several times more concentrated than sea water.

Potholes with total outflow are fresh, and potholes with total inflow are saline. Between the extremes of total outflow and inflow is a continuous series of through-flow conditions where salinity depends on the net seepage or seepage balance.
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Different vegetation zones occur because of differences in water permanence or duration of inundation. Wet-meadow zones are in potholes, or portions thereof, that contain water of varying depths for only brief periods after spring snowmelt or immediately following heavy rainstorms. Shallow-marsh zones generally contain water through spring and early summer but often are dry from mid-summer through fall. In deep-marsh zones, water is ordinarily contained throughout the spring and summer,
frequently extending into fall and winter.




The surface soil to a depth of about 25 inches is a dark grayish brown sandy clay loam with brownish iron coatings along old root channels and cleavage faces. The subsoil from 25 to 60 inches is a light brownish gray sandy clay loam with brown iron stains. The soil is neutral in the upper part and moderately alkaline in the lower part.

Likely to find a SEMI-ARID local on the edges/outskirt

Relevant Flora and Fauna

Wood bison
Fish? A lot of these have fathead minnow populations, which means fish like walleye will do really well — these are seeded… or stocked originally, so I don't know if this is what we want. May not be viable, or maybe we use something from the origin of the water source. (Where were the glaciers from? Did they have fish? etc)

Water fowl
the blue-winged teal, the gadwall, the mallard, the northern pintail, the northern shoveler and the redhead
Cultivation of Rice - Rice Fields
Most of the prairie potholes and marshes have been greatly modified by farming, principally for rice from Victoria to Beaumont. While rice farming has greatly modified the wetlands through land-leveling, many of the potholes remain, even if somewhat shallower than before modification. Rice is farmed only 1 year out of 3, with the other two years fallow or resting. Because of the flooding that accompanies rice cultivation and the rest or fallow period, these farmed potholes retain much of their wetland character, with a moderate soil seed bank of native wetland plants. Rice fields also provide habitats for large numbers of invertebrates such as insects and crayfish.

In the Lowland marsh/ freshwater area these plants will be common:
Primary species: Kentucky bluegrass, slender wheatgrass, Canada anemone, wolfberry, tall goldenrod, smallflower aster, perennial ragweed

Secondary species: switchgrass, big bluestem, fescue sedge, smooth camas, red lily, western rose, wild licorice, golden alexanders, narrowleaf sunflower,

white sage - prefers a sunny location, well draining soil, and good air circulation— Bumblebees, hawk moths, and wasps pollinate white sage, and hummingbirds also appear to like the plant,

common dandelion, prairie false dandelion, scapose hawksbeard

Esp of the Potholes

The more permanent potholes may have floating and submerged plants like water lilies, pondweeds, southern naiad, and duckweed in the open water zone. The emergent zone might include cattails, bulrushes, burheads, arrowheads, and common reed. A still higher woody zone may include trees and shrubs like black willow, buttonbush, rattlebush and coffee bean, baccharis, Chinese tallow-tree

The edges of less permanently flooded potholes and marshes might have bushy bluestem and various other grasses, spikerushes, rushes, and sedges as well as the shrubs and trees mentioned above.

Esp of Fauna

Reptiles and amphibians include alligators, Gulf Coast ribbon snakes, cottonmouth moccasins, red-eared sliders, southern leopard frogs, bullfrogs, and green treefrogs. Birds include rails, cranes, all wading birds, dabbling ducks, coots, common moorhens, snipe, blackbirds and grackles, shorebirds like killdeer, marsh and sedge wrens, swamp sparrows, and most all migrating songbirds. Almost all resident animals use the ponds to drink. During drought, all wildlife concentrates near the more permanent potholes.

Tiger salamanders? — apparently widespread across great lakes and NE North America


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