Caldera lake

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This page describes the geological feature. For the lake of the same name, see Crater Lake.
Lake formed after 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines

A crater lake is a lake that forms in a volcanic crater or caldera after the volcano has been inactive for some time. Incoming precipitation fills the depression to form a deepening lake, until an equilibrium is reached between the rate of water coming in and the rate of water loss due to evaporation, subsurface drainage, and possibly also surface outflow if the lake fills the crater up to the lowest point on its rim. Crater lakes covering active (fumarolic) volcanic vents are often known as volcanic lakes, and the water within them is typically acidic, saturated with volcanic gases, and cloudy with a strong greenish color. Lakes located in dormant or extinct volcanoes tend to have fresh water, and the water clarity in such lakes is often exceptional due to the lack of inflowing streams and sediment.

A well-known crater lake, which bears the same name as the geological feature, is Crater Lake in Oregon, USA. It is located in the caldera of Mount Mazama, hence the name "Crater Lake" is somewhat of a misnomer. It is the deepest lake in the United States with a depth of . Crater Lake is fed solely by falling rain and snow, with no inflow or outflow at the surface, and hence has the clearest water of any lake in the world.

The highest volcano in the world, Ojos del Salado, has a permanent crater lake about in diameter at an elevation of on its eastern side.<ref></ref> This is most likely the highest lake of any kind in the world.

Due to their unstable environment, some crater lakes exist only intermittently. Caldera lakes in contrast can be quite large and long-lasting; for instance, Lake Toba formed after its eruption around 70,000 years ago and has an area of over 1000 square kilometres.

While many crater lakes are picturesque, they can also be deadly. Gas discharges from Lake Nyos suffocated 1,800 people in 1986, and crater lakes such as Mount Ruapehu's often contribute to destructive lahars.

Lakes can also fill impact craters, but these are not usually referred to as crater lakes except in a few isolated cases. Example of such impact crater lakes include Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana and Siljan in Sweden.


Notable crater lakes

Lake of Albano Template:ITA
Blue Lake Flag of Australia Australia, South Australia
Lake Bolsena Template:ITA
Lake Bracciano Template:ITA
Crater Lake Template:USA, Oregon
Cuicocha Flag of Ecuador Ecuador
Heaven Lake (Chonji / Tianchi) Template:PRK / Flag of People's Republic of China China
Volcán Irazú Flag of Costa Rica Costa Rica
Kapoho Crater Template:USA, Hawaii
Mount Katmai Template:USA, Alaska
Kelut Template:IDN
Kerið Template:ISL
Kurile Lake Flag of Russia Russia (Kamchatka)
Medicine Lake Volcano Template:USA, California
Lake Nemi Template:ITA
Nemrut Flag of Turkey Turkey
Newberry Volcano Template:USA, Oregon
Lake Nyos Template:CMR
Mount Pinatubo Flag of the Philippines Philippines
Mount Ruapehu Flag of New Zealand New Zealand
Soufrière Template:Country data Saint Vincent and the Grenadines St. Vincent
Taal Lake Flag of the Philippines Philippines
Lake Taupo Flag of New Zealand New Zealand
Tazawa Flag of Japan Japan
Lake Toba Template:IDN
Towada Flag of Japan Japan
Lake Vico Template:ITA

See also


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External links

Original Source

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