Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Rivals for Largest Glacial Pothole in the World

The Archbald pothole is 42 feet wide and 38 feet deep with a volume of about 18,600 cubic feet (140,000 gallons).

One glacial pothole was claimed to the largest by the Guiness Book of World Records – The “Devil’s Well” near Guelph in Ontario but only has a diameter of 6.4 meters (21 feet) and a depth of 13.1 meters (43 feet).
Another rival is a pothole in the Deerfield River, at the base of Salmon Falls in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts which is 39 feet across (the depth is not recorded).
The deepest explored pothole in the world is the “Bottomless Pit” in Interstate Park in Minnesota, which is 10 feet across and 60 feet deep.
Another notable is a pothole near Lake Lucerne, Switzerland (in the Glacier Garden Lucerne) that has a diameter of 8 meters (26 feet) and a depth of 9.4 meters (31 feet deep).
There are also some Mongolian potholes with a diameter of 10.5 meters (34 feet) across and a depth of 4.5 meters (15 feet).

All the pot holes mentioned above were created by abrasion in hard rock by sand, pebbles or rocks suspended in flowing glacial melt water. It does not include prairie potholes which are kettle lakes left by chunks of ice from glaciers that melted after sediment was deposited.
If you expand the definition to include potholes that were eroded by glacial floods like Missoula (See July 16, July 18-20, 2016 on this web site), there are many enormous potholes. One was measured as 76 feet across and 48 feet deep. There is also a 3.5 acre pond in the Tonquin geological area in Oregon that is considered to be a pothole created during the Missoula floods. These potholes were created by soil, gravel and basalt blocks being plucked up by whirlpools (kolks) during these floods.

Return to A Lake, a Hole, and a Famous Flight