caldera

noun
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

The latter formed the current caldera at Campi Flegrei, which is more than eight miles across. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "An Italian volcano’s massive eruptions fit a pattern — and the cycle may have restarted," 14 Nov. 2018 The National Park visitor center and hotel - Volcano House - are on the rim of the caldera. Angela Fritz, chicagotribune.com, "8 facts about Hawaii's Kilauea volcano," 7 May 2018 An eager Hubbard even flew over the crater while the volcano was still active, nearly being sucked into the superheated caldera by a downdraft. Ben Anderson, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska's biggest volcanic eruptions," 27 Feb. 2012 Since 1912, only seven caldera-collapsing events have occurred worldwide. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "An Italian volcano’s massive eruptions fit a pattern — and the cycle may have restarted," 14 Nov. 2018 The summit caldera is also collapsing, causing even larger temblors almost daily. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Fox News, "Road damage from earthquakes is latest Hawaii volcano peril," 3 Aug. 2018 Cruise towards the unique volcanic site of Santorini, and sail into the centre of the island's caldera for the amazing view of the cliffs up from the sea. Jack Dancy, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Europe," 5 Oct. 2016 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

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

14 Jan 2019

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caldera

Spanish Central: Translation of caldera

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about caldera

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