9
$\begingroup$

Is it possible to have accessible underground/dungeon in a swamp area? Wouldn't it get flooded? Is there a way around it?

In my case the area was flooded and turned into a swamp - would it make it all underground areas inaccessible? Could potentially elevated areas be saved from that fate?

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ like medieval dungeon? Or how modern can we go? Because with proper concrete (and some rather modern but feasibly handwaveable additives) it can be constructed during a couple of years of heavy drought (or very very carefully even in an existant swamp $\endgroup$ – Hobbamok Jan 18 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ Have a huge slab of granite, then some dirt on top of that, then some water on top of that, which creates a swamp. The dungeon is below the granite slab and no water from the swamp can reach it. Or have some underground rivers under the dungeon to take the water out (I think that's quite a popular setup for dungeons in computer games already). $\endgroup$ – Headcrab Jan 19 at 6:55
19
$\begingroup$

Your dungeon is a salt mine.

salt mine

https://panethos.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/enormous-underground-salt-mines-of-north-america/

I knew about the salt mines under the Great Lakes but did not realize that many other huge salt mines are also beneath bodies of freshwater.

As is evident from the details provided, the majority of these underground mines are enormous in size, occupying multiple square miles far beneath the Earth’s surface. It is also fascinating to note that many, if not most of these mines, extend beneath a large body of water (many of which are freshwater).

I wondered why the lake did not just drain into the mine. Exactly that happened to one of these salt mines under a lake in Louisiana. Interesting reading! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Peigneur

Your dungeon is deep and protected from surface water by an impermeable stratum. Maybe it actually is a salt mine. Salt is easy to dig and carve, omce you get down to it. The overlying lake will come and go with the eons and currently the area is filling back up, so the region over the mine / dungeon has become wetlands. Deep below, the mine / dungeon stays dry.

A salt cave as a dungeon offers opportunities. Here is an image of the Wieliczka salt mine, which contains a cathedral carved entirely from the salt. With a name like yours, maybe you have been there?

salt cathedral

https://mymodernmet.com/wieliczka-salt-mine/

$\endgroup$
6
  • $\begingroup$ Note those only work because they are maintained, without maintenance they would flood and collapse in no time. $\endgroup$ – John Jan 18 at 3:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @John I would be fascinated to read how such maintenance is done. Because I am skeptical. If the water could get down there it would be down there. It would move thru all the salt and dissolve it. If you can link one article (just a link please, no discussion) about the amazing tech that can maintain the immensity of Erie at a distance from the salt mine, I will eat a bug. I have one right here, waiting. But if you cannot find an article the bug will remain uneaten unless you step up. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jan 18 at 3:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Saltmines actually slowly collapse, its called creep, to reduce it you need to keep the salt as dry as possible, including dehumidifying the air, otherwise the salt becomes plastic and deforms. For salt mines in very dry environments this is less of an issue. researchgate.net/publication/… and pmd.gov.pk/rnd/rnd_files/vol7_issue13/… I suggest roasted crickets, they taste a little like beef jerky. $\endgroup$ – John Jan 18 at 3:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @John - I see; you were talking about humidity from the air pumped in for the miners. I thought you were talking about a flood from the lake above. I understand that humidity piece is slowly destroying the Polish salt cathedral. As regards the bug I ate it while I was waiting for you. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jan 18 at 4:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ >Salt is easy to dig and carve No, without PPE it actually isn't. Collocation "salt mine" is used as a phraseologism meaning 'hard labor' in English for a reason. It isn't hardness of the mineral that makes it difficult, but its permeability through the skin as well as lungs, dehydration it causes and its toxicity in large quantitities. And also leaks along the shaft would make maintaining salt mine in a swamp economically unfeasible (at least before 20th c. tech) $\endgroup$ – ain92 Jan 18 at 23:27
10
$\begingroup$

If your swamp is on high ground, and the dungeon has an opening at a lower elevation, it could be self-draining like some natural caves.

You have a plateau, with a canyon running through it, or a mesa (the Brazilian/Peruvian tepui are excellent examples of a wet climate atop such a landform); the dungeon/cavern below drains through the cliff face, which in the case of a natural limestone cave, was formed by riverine erosion after the cave was hollowed out by dissolution.

A depression on the tepua surface might have once drained into a stream inside the cave/dungeon, but that outlet has been clogged up (with mud, or intentionally blocked with stonework), causing the cave/dungeon to be drier, and the depression above to turn into a lake or marsh.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Good example, the drain can also go to an underground cave or river, there can be a lot of things happening underground depending on the nature of the soil $\endgroup$ – Kaddath Jan 18 at 14:00
1
$\begingroup$

For some possible inspiration, there is a goblin hideout underneath a swamp in the game Dungeon Siege 1. It's a huge rocky and metal dungeon with archeological digs through the rock, long halls and huge workshops, many levels and elevators, and metal piping to carry water and smelting gases, with an unassuming entrance at the base hollow tree. It's totally dry inside. The swamp is deep but there are patches of land like the hideout entrance.

EDIT (the poster's own comments): Let's be fair. The question was for a dungeon in a swamp. Not necessarily one underwater. The game example is an example of how it can be done. I should have been more explicit though. The dungeon is carved through rock, and natural rock walls are augmented with iron and steel walls. It is under the swamp water, but dry due to the entrance being above water. Any residual water is pumped out as needed by the inhabitants.

image of goblin hideout entrance

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't address the question of how the dungeon keeps from being flooded when it's below the water table (which is at the surface in a marsh or swamp). The question is about how the dungeon avoids flooding, not about whether such a thing exists in a game. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Jan 18 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Let's be fair. The question was for a dungeon in a swamp. Not necessarily one underwater. The game example is an example of how it can be done. I should have been more explicit though. The dungeon is carved through rock, and natural rock walls are augmented with iron and steel walls. It is under the swamp water, but dry to do the entrance being above water. Any residual water is pumped out as needed by the inhabitants. $\endgroup$ – J Kusin Jan 18 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ "Any residual water is pumped out as needed by the inhabitants." -- if you edit that into your answer, it'll answer the question. Otherwise, any excavation below water table will tend to fill with water (mines in hard rock will flood in a matter of days, even hours, if power fails). $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Jan 18 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ An example from a game doesn't answer the question, as presumably the question would apply to the example: why doesn't it flood? $\endgroup$ – rek Jan 18 at 15:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.