Where Kettle Lakes

James Lee
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 4 min read

A depression/hole in an outweigh plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters Kettle lakes in Jamal Peninsula (Northern Siberia), adjacent to the Gulf of the Ob (right).

kettle lakes tundra above flickr map
(Source: www.flickr.com)


The kettles are formed as a result of blocks of dead ice left behind by retreating glaciers, which become surrounded by sediment deposited by meltwater streams as there is increased friction. As the ice melts, ramparts can form around the edge of the kettle hole.

Kettles are 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 outweigh. When the ice blocks melt, kettle holes are left in the sander.

Kettle holes can also occur in ridge shaped deposits of loose rock fragments called till. 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 sander 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 Maizes in 1992 that ramparts form around the edge of kettle holes generated by jökulhlaups. Fish Lake in the north-central Cascade Mountains of the U.S. state of Washington is 200 hectares (490 acres).

kettle lakes michigan argentine outline near
(Source: www.geo.msu.edu)

In most cases, kettle holes eventually fill with water, sediment, or vegetation. Kettle ponds that are not affected by the groundwater table will usually become dry during the warm summer months, in which case they are deemed ephemeral.

Kettle bogs are closed ecosystems because they have no water source other than precipitation. ^ Bennet, M and Glasses, N: Glacial Geology:Ice Sheets and Landforms, page 262.

Prentice Hall, 2002 ^ Bennett, M and Glasses, N: Glacial Geology: Ice Sheets and Landforms, page 267. John Wiley and Sons, 1997 ^ Schmuck and Peterson, 2002 Warm water Fisheries Survey of Fish Lake, Ch elan County, Washington, page 1, State of Washington, 2005 ^ “Glacial Formations -- The Slack packer's Geology Primer”.

^ “TEE LAKE GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP Soda COUNTY : 1992-2010 WATER QUALITY STUDIES” (PDF). ^ “Late Pleistocene Glacial History of Whitney Island, WA” (PDF).

Kettle lakesKettles are depressions left behind after partially-buried ice blocks melt. Kettle lake basins were formed as the glaciers receded.

pontiac michigan near kettle lakes
(Source: www.geo.msu.edu)

While this was happening, a block of ice broke off the glacier, and just sat there. When the block of ice finally melted, all the debris surrounding it fell into the hole, creating the kettle type basin, which when filled with water, became a lake as we know it.

In Oakland County there is an excellent example of a glacial kettle just off Grange Hall Road between I-75 and the Dixie Highway. The “giveaway” for many of these, as to their ice block origins, lies in their crenelated outline and their undulating bathymetric.

Please contact Randall Schatz (soils@msu.edu) for more information or permissions. The deep green boreal forest of KettleLakes Provincial Park contains 22 beautiful little lakes.

During the last glaciation of North America, ice sheets reached their southern limit, known as the “glacial maximum,” around 25,000 years ago. This period is called the Wisconsin Glacial Episode, when the Lauren tide Ice Sheet covered most of Canada and the northern United States.

As it advanced, it slowly ground down the earth’s surface, and laid waste to mountain ranges. In northeastern Ontario, mountains as high as the Rockies were worn flat by billions of years of erosion and glacial periods.

kettle lakes
(Source: lrdrobinson.blogspot.com)

The Continental Ice Sheet began to melt more than it advanced around 13,000 years ago, exposing Ontario’s southern-most tip. Eventually, the melting was greater than the advance of the ice sheet, and the glacier began to retreat from southern Ontario.

Meltwaters from the receding glacier sometimes spanned the width of OntarioAfter being buried, the ice chunks were covered in sediment from the glacial streams. The area around KettleLakes Provincial Park is covered in a sandy delta laid down by a large river flowing off the ice sheet.

If they had melted quickly, the deep, kettle -like depressions they left behind would have filled with more sediment and disappeared. That ice water was replaced long ago in the park’s lakes by rainwater, melting snow, and groundwater flowing from springs.

The ancient Ohio landscape resembled today’s Greenland Ice Sheet, and the climate would be classified as a tundra, with long, cold and stormy winters followed by short summers. The ice in northern and western Ohio began to retreat about 17,000 years ago as the weather warmed, particularly in the spring and summer months.

The glaciers scraped the surface and dumped sediment (small rocks, gravel, sand, soil) on the front and sides of the ice sheet that piled as unconsolidated glacial till, forming hills and low ridges. Blocks of ice broke off and became mired in the softer earth, melting in place and leaving a depression that filled with water and covered by sediment.

kettle lakes usafa excursion mile
(Source: masooma.blogspot.com)

Nash explained that geologists have verified past temperature by studying natural archives of climatic data buried in ice cores drilled deep into glaciers and analyzed in a laboratory.

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