GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Caldera formation. Artwork of the formation of a caldera, a large basin-shaped volcanic depression. Calderas may form when a volcano (top) undergoes a massive eruption (upper centre). This creates a much larger crater than the original volcanic vent (lower centre). Alternatively, the volcano may collapse inwards. Over time the magma chamber beneath the caldera solidifies and the volcano becomes dormant or extinct. The caldera may then fill with water to form a lake (bottom). Renewed volcanic activity may lead to the formation of new volcanic cones within the caldera. A well- known caldera lake is Crater Lake in Oregon, USA, which is more than 600 metres deep.
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