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Cape Cod Cape Cod’s Kettle Holes

Behind from the beaches and salt marshes which we find on the Bay side of Cape Cod, there is a jumble of low, rounded hillocks which rise gently from the almost level moorlands.

These were once covered with a variety of forest trees. Scattered widely throughout the area are innumerable small ponds. Some of these ponds are the so-called “kettle-holes”, without any visible inlet or outlet.

Kettle holes are named after their shape, which is like the hollow bowl of a kettle; but they are of considerable size, some being hundreds of feet in diameter. They were formed, we are told by geologists, by masses of melting glaciers which stopped the southerly course there.

When a glacier halted for a time, it formed a “moraine” - a heap or ridge of earth and stones. There would be a number of these heaps or ridges near one another. You can see them now as rounded, irregular, hummocky hills, varying from a few feet to one hundred or two hundred feet in height, and enclosing many basins or “kettle-holes,” which are often occupied by ponds.

On your next ride or walk on Cape Cod, why not be your own geologist? Examine a little more carefully—the fields and hills and ponds you pass, and see which depression among them you would classify as a kettle hole or a formation created so many ages ago by the vast glacier which once covered all this region as far south as Pennsylvania with its icy coat.

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Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 06/07/06
Categories: HistoryNature
Keywords: geology, history, nature


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