Get our newsletter!
: "One of the most eye-catching guides to the world’s volcanoes ever published.
: Our professional team of volcanologists and photographers offers unique travel opportunities: volcano expeditions, photo tours, and relaxed walking & study tours.
The Volcano Adventure Guide
: Excellent information and background for anyone wishing to visit active volcanoes safely and enjoyably. The book presents guidelines to visiting 42 different volcanoes around the world.
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out
Maintaining the volcano and earthquake news sections on this website, the free Volcano Webcams tool
and interactive map widget
is a free-time, both time- and server cost intensive effort.
If you find the information useful and would like to support us, and help keep it alive and improve it, please consider making a small donation
. Thank you!
Illustrated Volcano Glossary
View of the 13x8km large caldera of Santorini, Greece, formed during several Plinian eruptions including the Minoan eruption around 1613 BC.
Öraefajökull volcano, SE-Iceland. The summit caldera of this large, explosive volcano that erupted last in 1728, is occupied by a glacier, which is part of the Vatnajökull ice cap that covers most of SE Iceland.
Large crater, usually several kilometers across, formed by the collapse of the roof of a magma chamber emptied by large explosive eruptions.
A caldera is a large, usually circular depression at the summit of a volcano formed when magma is withdrawn or erupted from a shallow underground magma reservoir. The removal of large volumes of magma may result in loss of structural support for the overlying rock, thereby leading to collapse of the ground and formation of a large depression. Calderas are different from craters, which are smaller, circular depressions created primarily by explosive excavation of rock during eruptions. (From USGS Photoglossary).
Actually, calderas are a very common feature with most larger volcanoes. During the lifetime of a typical volcano, larger caldera-forming eruptions (that typically discharge around 1 km3 of magma or more) tend to ocur at typical time intervals of a few 1000 years. Subsequent smaller eruptions often rebuid the cone of the volcano, so that earlier calderas often are not easily visible.
Famous calderas include Santorini in Greece, the Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy, Crater Lake caldera in Oregon (USA), Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming (USA), Long Valley Caldera in east California (USA), Batur, Tengger and Krakatoa volcanoes (Indonesia) and many more.
-- The largest eruption of the 20th century from the Novarupta vent in the Valley of 10,000 Smokes of Alaska, ejected about 12 km3 of magma and resulted in the formation of a caldera 3 km across. Amazingly, the caldera collapse didn't occur at the eruption vent, but 10 km away at Katmai, a stratovolcano! Apparently magma drained away from Katmai's magma reservoir to Novarupta's erupting vent.
-- Yellowstone National Park consists of three enormous calderas that erupted about 2, 1.2, and 0.6 million years ago. The most recent caldera is 45 km across and 75 km long!
-- Caldera-forming eruptions are the largest eruptions on Earth. For example, the Fish Canyon eruption in southwestern Colorado (United States) about 28 million years ago erupted more than 5,000 km3 of magma from La Garita caldera. That's enough magma to bury the entire state of California to a depth of nearly 12 m!
(from: USGS Photoglossary)
Related keywords (2): crater
More on VolcanoDiscovery:
Etna volcano photos
: Etna - Europe's largest and most active volcano is a universe in itself. Browse through our collection spanning almost 20 years of eruptions and more.
Eyjafjallajökull volcano photos
: The volcano in Iceland with the unpronounceable name... but famous in 2010 when its ash clouds drifted over Europe and forced a unprecedented large-scale airspace closure for several days, stranding millions of passengers.
Stromboli volcano photos
: The lighthouse of the Thyrrhenian Sea - thanks to its typical, regular explosions that coined the term "strombolian activity", Stromboli is one of the most famous and photogenic volcanoes in the world.