For other uses, see Pothole disambiguation. River OrchyScotland, showing erosion potholes in bedrock The hiidenkirnu pothole in AskolaFinland In Earth sciencea pothole is a smooth, bowl-shaped or cylindrical hollow, generally deeper than wide, found carved into the rocky bed of a watercourse.
Other names used for riverine potholes are pot, stream kettle, giant's kettleevorsion, hollow, rock mill, churn hole, eddy mill, and kolk. This word was created to avoid confusion with an English term for a vertical or steeply inclined karstic shaft medence kátyúk limestone.
However, given widespread usage of this term for a type of fluvial sculpted bedrock landform, pothole is preferred in usage to swirlhole. Being a spectacular feature of bedrock river channelsthey have been and still are studied extensively and considered as a key factor in bedrock channel development and morphology and important factor in the incision of bedrock channels.
Mehl, Jr. Jackson, eds. Glossary of Geology 5th ed.
Alexandria, Virginia, American Geological Institute. Essentials of Geology, W.