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Monday, September 18, 2017

Massachusetts Potholes

Sure, lots of places have potholes, but how many have glacial ones?
That distinction can be claimed in Massachusetts.


A short walking distance from the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA, brought us to another local sight, the Glacial Potholes at the base of Salmon Falls. This site is one of the largest collection of natural potholes in the world.


Glacial potholes, called kettles in geological terms, date back hundreds of millions of years, most recently taking the form they have today at conclusion of the last Glacial Age. As the glaciers receded, separate pools ranging from 6 inches to 39 feet in diameter were formed. The round holes were ground down by granite by a whirlpool effect of water and gyrating stones of varied sizes. 


As a result of the constant whirling of the granite stones, the potholes took on a symmetrical and rounded shape. They continue to be formed today during end-of-winter snow melts when water levels rise significantly and the grinding millstones, still found in the smaller potholes, are whipped up into swirling whirlpools.

Years ago a soak in the cooling waters of the potholes was a welcome respite on a muggy New England day. But, since 2002, the pools have been “closed” to the public. Swimming is illegal and done at one's own risk. A metal fence enclosure discourages trespassers.

12 comments:

Valerie said...

Interesting. Nothing like the potholes I know, which are something like a few inches deep.

possum said...

How interesting! Learn something new everyday!

Anvilcloud said...

This is a glacial feature that I hadn't come across before.

Emma Springfield said...

Glad I don't have to drive through those.

William Kendall said...

I've seen these up here before. Good shots!

Red said...

You're right about the other name kettles. Pot holes is a new one to me.

Lynn said...

I learned something new here this morning - I've only ever heard of pot holes in roads.

mamasmercantile said...

A joy to visit and learn something new.

Lady Jane said...

I have been to both areas on our way to Mt Greylock. They are great places to visit. This is a great ride when the leaves have turned. Hugs, lj

Doris said...

Very interesting! Too bad you can no longer sit in one :(

diane b said...

an unusual rock formation and interesting facts.

Ida said...

Those Potholes are quite fascinating and much neater to look at then potholes in the road.

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