Kettle (round glacial eye-shaped lake), highlands of Isunngua, Greenland.
(kettle hole, pothole
) is a shallow,
-filled body of water formed by retreating
or draining floodwaters. The kettles are formed as a result of blocks of
from glaciers and becoming submerged in the sediment on the
. Another source is the sudden drainage of an ice-dammed lake. When the block melts, the hole it leaves behind is a kettle. As the ice melts, ramparts can form around the edge of the kettle hole. The lakes that fill these holes are seldom more than 10 m (33 ft) and eventually become filled with sediment. In acid conditions, a kettle
may form but in alkaline conditions, it will be
fluvioglacial landforms occurring as the result of blocks of ice
calving from the front of a receding
glacier and becoming partially to wholly buried by glacial outwash.
Glacial outwash is generated when streams of
meltwater flow away from the glacier and deposit sediment to form broad outwash plains called
sandurs. When the ice blocks melt, kettle holes are left in the sandur. When the development of numerous kettle holes disrupt sandur surfaces, a jumbled array of ridges and mounds form, resembling
kame and kettle topography.
Kettle holes can form as the result of floods caused by the sudden drainage of an ice-dammed lake. These floods, called
jökulhlaups, often rapidly deposit large quantities of sediment onto the sandur surface. The kettle holes are formed by the melting blocks of sediment-rich ice that were transported and consequently buried by the jökulhlaups. It was found in field observations and laboratory simulations done by Maizels in 1992 that
ramparts form around the edge of kettle holes generated by jökulhlaups. The development of distinct types of ramparts depends on the concentration of rock fragments contained in the melted ice block and on how deeply the block was buried by sediment. (