There are millions of potholes on Earth and many geologists are curious about them and have studied them. Their formation is intricately connected to the presence of water. We also have hundreds of accounts of ancient flood legends amongst just about every ethnic group of people on Earth and there is most likely an intricate connection between these legends and the presence of so many potholes on Earth.
Potholes come in many sizes and shapes ranging from small potholes common in roads and streams to very large potholes found in scoured scabland areas due to flooding. Potholes can be initiated by heavy compression blows that cause random plucking of broken rock pieces out of the surface of the ground. Vehicles on roadways and big boulders bouncing down flooded stream beds are two of these agents of compression. Waterfalls commonly create potholes called plunge pools, mainly by plucking. Many potholes are formed from a combination of both plucking and hydraulic drilling. Once the beginning of a pothole is developed (or wherever a suitable weakness in a rock surface exists), a pothole can be hydraulically drilled and enlarged under the right circumstances. Turbulent flood waters create those right circumstances by creating powerful underwater vortices that function as underwater drills and the water provides the lubrication. Deep, narrow, perfectly round, drilled potholes are found along many rivers. During large floods, a basin and butte type of scabland topography is created with dramatic receding horseshoe shaped cliffs that contain large plunge pool shaped potholes at their base which are open at the downstream end. In this paper I will discuss here all of these types of potholes and progress to a discussion of advanced pothole erosion and what it looks like. I will also propose the possibility of giant potholes and giant pothole remnants being present in many areas of Earth as well as on Mars. All of these potholes may be important pieces of information used to validate global flood legends of Earth’s past. I will let pictures tell most of the story of pothole formation.
A Small Sample of Pothole Pictures
Note: All pictures of potholes can be found at http://www.pinterest.com/fitzpatrick1078/potholes/ as well as at their individual links. You will see much more of the detail if you click on each picture.
Click a link to see original photos
From left to right: Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Tannourine, Lebanon – a complex, gorgeous, big, deep, multi-level pothole with a trickle of a waterfall running thru it; Devil’s Bathtub, Hocking Hills, Ohio By Summer Kozisek – bigger potholes like these are common along mountain streams with a steep gradient – they are formed by both plucking and drilling; Consecutive small plunge pool type potholes - Uluru Waterfalls, Australia
From left to right: Small potholes are very common in streams and rivers; Saluda River Pot Holes - small river potholes are found everywhere on Earth; SW Washington state - twin potholes
From left to right: Aerial view of small prairie potholes – millions of these exist in all of the northern lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean; One of hundreds of scabland potholes found in Washington State where a large flood came thru and scoured the land; Another pothole found in Washington State
From left to right: Multiple potholes or plunge pools along Dry Meadow Creek, Kern River, CA; Warsaw Caves vortex-drilled man-sized pothole, Ontario, Canada; Glen Canyon NRA, Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona - Mike Reyfman Photography
From left to right: Drilled Glacial Potholes in Southern Finland; Archbald Pothole, Pennsylvania – another hydraulically drilled pothole; Water fills a pothole in the Fiery Furnace area of Arches National Park near Moab, Utah
From left to right: Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota - many waterfalls could be falling over horseshoe shaped plunge pools from earlier flood events – others like this one have created the horseshoe formation themselves; Palouse Falls - SE Washington State – this is an oversized plunge pool for the existing stream – a large flood carved out this giant pothole and a smaller remnant stream with waterfall remains and has cut the small notch in the cliff it is falling over; awesome drilled pothole image! Ralph Ferrara ice climbing a frozen waterfall through a sandstone arch in Utah. Image by Whit Richardson
From left to right: Some potholes get drilled thru their bottoms and more drilling occurs beneath the original pothole. Circular hole drilled through the volcanic rock at Fossil Falls, CA; Looking up thru a pothole of Pandora's Box slot canyon, Capitol Reef, Utah. There appear to have been several episodes of hydraulic drilling; Looking up from the bottom of a large, complexly eroded pothole at the Grand Canyon, Arizona
From left to right: Potholes in Fence Slot Canyon, Utah – often there are long slot canyons underneath such potholes; golden reflection
© Laura Fitzpatrick 2014