Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Byron D. Stone; Dr. James Hyatt

Field of Study

Geological Sciences


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Kettle morphology is related to the initial burial depth of the ice, the sediment surrounding kettles, and the mode of ice emplacement. The conversion between a buried ice mass to a present day kettle has not been pursued in detail. This research clarifies the series of changes that take place during this transition during a case study of John’s Pond, Mashpee, Massachusetts. The results may benefit future paleoglaciological investigations.

The research problems were addressed using conceptual and mathematical models, GIS, and a physical model. The conceptual and mathematical models were applied in three dimensions, using integration to obtain numerical solutions for original kettle volume, apparent kettle volume, and basin fill volume. The GIS-based model combined the volumes of three digital elevation models (DEM’s) to arrive at total basin volume. Original kettle volume, apparent kettle volume, and basin fill volume were also computed from the DEM’s. The numerical and GIS-based volume analyses yielded similar results. The physical model was created to observe the how the location of the underground ice mass affects the development of the slope profile inside the kettle. 97% of the data indicated that the midpoints of hillslopes are aligned with the edges of buried ice masses.

The void created through ablation of stagnant ice can be constrained using the mathematical and GIS methods because they converge on roughly the same answer. The conceptual model clarifies the relationships between variables even though they were limited by several factors. Future research includes model improvements and exploration of collapse structures.

Major Advisor

Dr. Robert M. Thorson