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kettle hole

noun, Geology
a deep, kettle-shaped depression in glacial drift.
pothole (def 3).
Also called kettle.
1880-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kettle hole
  • When one such block finally melted, the kettle hole was left in its place.
  • There are numerous kettle hole ponds, swamps, and bogs.
  • When a kettle hole went below the water table, a kettle pond was established as the steady supply of water remained in the basin.
  • Freshwater habitats include streams, wooded swamps, and a kettle hole pond.
  • Other possibilities include a volcanic cone, a sinkhole, or a kettle hole.
British Dictionary definitions for kettle hole

kettle hole

a round hollow formed by the melting of a mass of buried ice Often shortened to kettle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for kettle hole

a hollow filled to make a lake, due to the melting of a glacial deposit over time

Usage Note

geol.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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Encyclopedia Article for kettle hole


in geology, depression in a glacial outwash drift made by the melting of a detached mass of glacial ice that became wholly or partly buried. The occurrence of these stranded ice masses is thought to be the result of gradual accumulation of outwash atop the irregular glacier terminus. Kettles may range in size from 5 m (15 feet) to 13 km (8 miles) in diameter and up to 45 m in depth. When filled with water they are called kettle lakes. Most kettles are circular in shape because melting blocks of ice tend to become rounded; distorted or branching depressions may result from extremely irregular ice masses

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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