cal·​de·​ra | \ kal-ˈder-ə How to pronounce caldera (audio) , kȯl-, -ˈdir- How to pronounce caldera (audio) \

Definition of caldera

: a volcanic crater that has a diameter many times that of the vent and is formed by collapse of the central part of a volcano or by explosions of extraordinary violence

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A large, bowl-shaped volcanic depression, a caldera forms when the top of a volcanic cone collapses into the space left after magma is ejected during a violent volcanic eruption. Its diameter is many times that of the original vent. The term is Spanish for "caldron." Subsequent minor eruptions may build small cones on the floor of the caldera, and the caldera may still later fill up with water; an example of this is Crater Lake in Oregon.

Examples of caldera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Loa petroglyphs or around the steaming rim of the Kīlauea caldera. Ashlea Halpern, Good Housekeeping, "8 Family Trips That Will Instill a Love of Travel in Your Kids," 5 May 2021 Balancing on the edge of the Kilauea caldera, Volcano House has the wildest, most incandescent view of any national park lodge. Jacqueline Kehoe, Travel + Leisure, "The 8 Most Beautiful Lodges in America's National Parks," 6 Apr. 2021 Each enchanting residence captures the spirit of the caldera, where traditional cave accommodations combine the finest in contemporary amenities and Greek styling. Roger Sands, Forbes, "The World’s Most Romantic Places To Propose," 2 Mar. 2021 This summer, seven people had to be rescued after climbing into the caldera at Crater Lake. oregonlive, "Rise of the rookie hikers: The pandemic pushed a new wave of people outside, for better or worse," 29 Dec. 2020 Last night's eruption was contained to the summit caldera within the national park. Fox News, "Volcano erupts on Hawaii's Big Island, draws crowds to park," 23 Dec. 2020 Last night’s eruption was contained to the summit caldera within the national park., "Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island, produces steam cloud," 21 Dec. 2020 While not high resolution, the seafloor mapping hinted at several curved ridge structures and a depression more than 400 feet deep that could be part of a caldera. Maya Wei-haas, Science, "Alaska islands may be part of single, massive volcano," 4 Dec. 2020 On top of everything else, there was a steady flow of safety incidents as people tried to make their own way down into the caldera, stranding themselves in precarious places and requiring rescue operations. oregonlive, "Crater Lake saw record summer crowds, increase in incidents as pandemic cut staff short," 24 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caldera.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caldera

1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caldera

Spanish, literally, cauldron, from Late Latin caldaria — more at cauldron

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Time Traveler for caldera

Time Traveler

The first known use of caldera was in 1667

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caldera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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