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 During the growing season, cooling fog and marine breezes from nearby San Pablo Bay swirl into the caldera, with the fog burning off late, keeping temperatures often 10 or more degrees cooler than AVAs to the north. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 29 May 2022 Tucked east of the town of Napa itself, in the southern reaches of Napa Valley, Coombsville is nestled in a bowl, an ancient volcanic caldera ringed on three sides by hills at the base of the Vaca Range. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 29 May 2022 Right on the edge of the famous Ngorongoro Crater, the largest inactive volcanic caldera in the world, and one of its natural wonders. Shelby Knick, Forbes, 19 May 2022 For thousands of years, the two rivers that rush down from the Yellowstone caldera and into this valley drew bison, elk and wolves—and the Apsaalooké (Crow), northern Cheyenne, Arapaho, Shoshone-Bannock and other Indigenous hunters who followed. Megan Kate Nelson, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 June 2022 The chemical makeup of the ash grains at Omo Kibish closely matched rocky debris found near the Shala volcano, the largest caldera (volcanic lake) in the region. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 21 Jan. 2022 In other cases, the hot water mixed with groundwater present in the area, creating moderate temperatures that feed hot springs around the caldera. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 23 Mar. 2022 To get a clear picture of Yellowstone, the researchers flew a helicopter across the caldera along a series of lines spaced by as little as 250 meters. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 23 Mar. 2022 The park’s main feature is a six-and-a-half-mile-wide volcanic caldera. Outside Online, 2 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of caldera was in 1667

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Caldera Rodríguez

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Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Caldera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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