cal·de·ra | \kal-ˈder-ə, kȯl-, -ˈdir- \

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

Once a gigantic volcano, the Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania is now the largest intact caldera in the world. Town & Country, "These Are the 83 Top Hotels Around the World," 6 Oct. 2016 Yellowstone, it should be noted, isn't the only caldera in the United States. Anchorage Daily News, "The Yellowstone supervolcano is a disaster waiting to happen," 20 Apr. 2018 At 16 miles high and with a 50-mile-wide caldera, Olympus Mons on Mars rises above and sticks out from a massive dust storm that has made the rest of the planet pretty bland. Richard Tribou,, "Giant mountain on Mars rises above massive dust storm," 5 July 2018 Kilauea consists of a summit caldera, Halema‘uma‘u, from which regions of fractured rock and erupted lava, called radial rift zones, extend to the southwest and east. Wendell Duffield, Scientific American, "How Kilauea’s Lava Invades Neighborhoods," 8 May 2018 While the volcano is still active, with the walls and floor of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (located within the summit caldera of Kilauea) collapsing, there is some good news. Temi Adebowale, Popular Mechanics, "Dramatic Video Shows What the Kilauea Volcano Has Done to Hawaii's Coastline," 15 June 2018 Located in the Oia Village, the Hector Cave House is a hidden oasis literally carved into the caldera cliff. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Found: The Beach Getaway You've So Desperately Needed," 11 June 2018 The caldera lookout at Jaggar Museum is often crowded around sunset, says Traveler writer Jordi Lippe-McGraw, but since the national park is open 24 hours, the secret is to go for sunrise. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: Mainland U.S. to Hawaii from $460 Round-Trip," 19 Feb. 2018 Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth. Town & Country, "These Are the 83 Top Hotels Around the World," 6 Oct. 2016

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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Statistics for caldera

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for caldera

The first known use of caldera was in 1667

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More from Merriam-Webster on caldera

See words that rhyme with caldera

Spanish Central: Translation of caldera Encyclopedia article about caldera

Comments on caldera

What made you want to look up caldera? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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