Little open water remains on the surface of Athas; most is buried underground. In a few places, water seeps upward, saturating the lands to create mudflats. Most common near or in dust sinks (especially the shallows of the Sea of Silt), mudflats hide beneath the churning dust, revealed only when the winds clear an area and expose the soupy mess to the air. Uncovered mudflats usually dry out in short order, leaving behind hard, cracked clay that might or might not be solid enough to support a traveler’s weight.
A few mudflats manage to survive, sometimes through cultivation and sometimes by happenstance. These areas are lush with vegetation, including desert grasses, thorny bushes, and small trees. Where mudflats stand in silt basins, low islands of dense vegetation rise above the dust. These mudflats are rarely large; most measure only a few hundred feet across. Tangled underbrush and mucky ground make traveling through these areas difficult but not impossible. In general, mudflats offer little to travelers; there isn’t much standing water, and dangerous predators hunt creatures that subsist on the greenery.