Difference Between Marsh and Swamp

Marsh vs Swamp

Marsh and swamp are words used in connection with wetlands and are very similar in appearance. However, they are not same as there are characteristic differences between the two. If you have been to either of the two places, you know that the entire area seems flooded with water, which is shallow and is surrounded by vegetation. These are large land pieces where people can move in boats though there are areas that are dry and covered with vegetation. People confuse between marsh and swamp; and this article aims to remove all such doubts.

What is Marsh?

Areas that receive frequent floods and the water does not get drained away easily classify as marshes. These areas have shallow water levels with small plants in the form of grasses and moss growing over the wetland. Even a few woody plants that are seen in a marsh are shrubs rather than high trees. A marsh is also referred to as a morass.

What is Swamp?

A swamp is also a wetland that gets formed because of floods with shallow water remaining in the area permanently. Swampy areas have dry land, and that is covered with thick vegetation. This vegetation tolerates water when it comes in the shape of a flood. The best example of a swamp is Atchafalaya swamp in the US, which is famous for the shooting of Swamp People, the mega reality TV series currently on air.


What is the difference between Marsh and Swamp?

• A swamp has a bigger area covered with water than a marsh.

• Swamp is in general deeper than a marsh and makes it possible for people to move around in boats.

• The word swamp is used for a wetland that has many more trees than a marsh, which is characterized by the presence of grasses and low shrubs.

• If the wetland has a high proportion of trees, it is a swamp, and if the vegetation is low lying, it is a marsh.

• The wetland covered with woody plants is called a swamp and the trees are usually mangrove or Cyprus.

• Both swamp as well as marsh is a rich source of fauna as aquatic plants provide places to fish to hide their eggs, while predators find the place full of prey.