blue hole n [From the color of the deep and often relatively sediment-free water found in them. The term occurs as a local name for such features in Britain, Ireland, and parts of the Caribbean; in the last it also occurs as a generic term and has been extended to submarine sink holes.] Cf hole n 1, DCEU, DJE
A relatively small and deep water-filled depression, as:
a A deep, often spring-fed, pool in the bed of a stream or at its head. chiefly Sth, Midl
1790 Freeman’s Jrl. N. Amer. Intelligencer (Philadelphia PA) 13 Oct /3, Assessment of the Non-resident lands, of Frankstown Township, for the year 1790. . . Stevens’ old place, on the river, near the Blue-hole, Frankstown. 11[s] 6[d]. 1846 Louisville Morning Courier & Amer. Democrat (KY) 30 July /4, Well, the old hoss, that is, ‘dad’ used to have a ‘blue hole’ in the creek. During fishin’ time, he’d quarter us boys in the field . . , and he’d slide out to the blue hole to fish. 1879 Galveston Weekly News (TX) 7 Apr /10, There is a creek every few miles, with blue holes of spring water, eight to twelve feet deep, full of the finest fish. 1880 Forest & Stream 15.129 TN, The mode of angling, most killing in the present state of the water and weather, is to fish on the bottom with live minnows, trying the swift water early and late, and resorting to the blue holes during the hot hours of the day. 1903 AL Geol. Surv. Bulletin 7.34, Elevations . . along Tallapoosa River. . . Water at “blue hole” at mouth of High Falls Branch 362.40. . . Water at “blue hole” at foot of Long Branch shoals . . 362.40. 1927 Neosho Times (MO) 16 June 4/5, Roy W. Jones headed a party of fishermen who invaded the deep blue holes on James river last Tuesday. 1947 Bedichek Advent. TX Naturalist xxiii, We were traversing the Edwards Plateau, a rugged area whose wet-weather creeks ran in “riffles” over polished boulders, or stayed awhile in blue “holes.” 1951 Craig Singing Hills 89 sAppalachians (as of 1930s),Then he deliberately rowed out of his way and informed me we were directly over the blue hole which had no bottom. c1955 Hench Coll. cVA, In Albemarle County, Virginia, blue hole is the regular name for an unusually deep hole in a stream. 1960 Pt. Clinton Herald & Republican (OH) 19 Feb sec 2 2/1, Around the southwest corner of the Bay [=Sandusky Bay], the various blue holes and small artesian wells which form creeks that flow into the Bay are full of perch. 1989 News–Democrat (Russellville KY) 10 Aug sec A 3/4, The plant will be hooked onto South Logan Water District and there are two blue holes on the property. Most of the 650,000 gallons to be used each day will be for the cooling system. 2001 Tallahassee Democrat (FL) 26 Aug sec B 8/1 swGA, Now the remaining population of Gulf Coast Striped Bass spend their summers huddled around cool springs, known as “blue holes,” that pump water from the Floridan Aquifer into the Flint River. 2003 Geol. Assoc. S. NJ Periglacial Features 61, A number of riverine springs are known as “blue holes” by local inhabitants of the Pine Barrens. . . The author was raised on a farm in the Pine Barrens of Atlantic County, and has heard many tales associated with these springs. Blue holes are often deep circular cavities occupying the bottom of a streambed. Surcharged by a strong hydrdrostatic [sic] head, their sparkling “blue” waters contrast with the surrounding tea-colored “cedar waters” of the Pinelands. . . All are reputed to be bottomless, and all possess dangerous “whirlpools.” 2021 Courier–Jrl. (Louisville KY) 21 May sec C 3/1, The Green River winds through Hart County, passing natural springs and blue holes that are natural markers of water fed from underground caverns.
b A deep pond near a river carved out by flood waters pouring through a break in a levee. Note: In quot 2020 appar confused with borrow pit n 1. esp MS, TN
1903 Commercial Appeal (Memphis TN) 13 June 7/7, The March flood washed what is known as blue holes at the point where the levee broke. The holes are very large and extremely deep. 1907 Amer. Soc. Civil Engineers Trans. 58.17, When a crevasse occurs in a river levee at flood stage, the escaping water speedily scours out a deep hole or “crater” under the base of the levee and for some distance beyond the levee line. These “crevasse holes” are . . are locally called “blue holes” on account of their great depth, which gives a bluish, or rather greenish, tinge to the water, when in a state of repose. 1922 Commercial Appeal (Memphis TN) 14 May sec 4 7/3 nwMS, The old levee was still held until 1913, when the current was allowed to wash away the point and come against the new levee. The unchecked current, sweeping around this point, formed whirlpools which scoured a hole about 50 feet deep, known in the delta as a “blue hole.” 1948 Delta Democrat–Times (Greenville MS) 14 Oct 1/5, Lions Club President Frank Rosella urged “just the Lions, (but the rest of you can listen) to remember to get out and work for the swimming pool bond election on Tuesday.” [“]Let’s help get the kids out of the blue holes,” he said. 1973 Delta Democrat–Times (Greenville MS) 22 Aug 8/3, Before 1952, people swam in a “blue hole” which was created when the 1927 flood broke the old levee, Adams said. 1997 Star (Kansas City MO) 15 June sec C 19/3, The Great Flood of ’93 was devastating . . , but it did provide some long-lasting benefits for fish and wildlife. The floodwaters carved out many blue holes along the Missouri River, which now provide a quiet habitat for fish and waterfowl. 2020 Enterprise–Tocsin (Indianola MS) 29 Oct sec B 7/5, “He had told that there was an alligator in the blue hole,” Smith said. “A blue hole is a spot where they dug out to build the levee. It’s a big old hole of water.”