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June 27, 2009

Crater Lakes on Planet Earth

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General Green
Mount Katmai

Mount Katmai is a large volcano located in Katmai National Park and Reserve on the Alaskan Peninsula. In 1912 a vent located about 6 miles west of Mount Katmai exploded for over 60 hours in one of the two largest eruptions in the world in the twentieth century (the other being Mount Pinatubo in 1991). It is believed that as magma flowed out of Mount Katmai the summit area collapsed and formed the caldera that contains Mount Katmai’s spectacular crater lake today.


Kerid is a crater lake formed in a caldera located along the popular tourist route called the Golden Circle in southern Iceland. The lake is very shallow measuring just 25 to 40 feet deep depending upon the season but the color of the water is a beautiful aquamarine due to the heavy concentration of minerals.

Lake Tazawa

Lake Tazawa is located in the Akita Prefecture in northern Japan. It is a caldera lake and with a maximum depth of 1,388 feet is the deepest lake in Japan. Due to its depth the lake never freezes over in winter. At one time Lake Tazawa was known for its clear water but a hydroelectric dam was built on the lake in 1940 and polluted the lakes indigenous fish known as kunimasu to extinction. The area around Lake Tazawa is known for its hot springs.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba is located in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and is the largest volcanic lake in the world. It is a product of what is believed to have been the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years when it erupted some 75,000 years ago. A similar eruption today would wipe out much of the world’s population. The area remains active volcanically today with a magnitude 8.4 quake having occurred around Sumatra in 2007.

Rano Raraku

Located in Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, Rano Raraku is a volcanic crater which has a crater lake in its center. Rano Raraku crater was long used as a stone quarry by the ancient inhabitants of Easter Island who used the large stones available here to carve the monolithic human figures known as Moai that are located around the island’s perimeters. Some of these statues are over 30 feet high.

Mount Ruapehu

Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano located in New Zealand. Inside, it contained a crater lake but on March 18, 2007 the dam holding back the lake burst sending a huge landslide of mud, rock and water (a lahar) down the Whangaehu River but resulting in no injuries. How much of the crater lake remains today is unknown by this author.

Taal Lake

Taal Lake is located in the province of Batangas on the island of Luzon, Philippines. The lake is in a caldera formed by large volcanic eruptions that first occurred roughly 500,000 years ago. Today the active Taal volcano is located on an island in the center of Taal Lake.

Lake Bolsena

Lake Bolsena is located in the northern part of the province of Viterbo in central Italy. It is a crater lake formed roughly 350,000 years ago by the collapse of Vulsini volcano. There are two islands in the lake that were formed by underwater eruptions following the initial collapse of the volcano. The last recorded volcanic activity in the area was in 104 BC according to Roman historical records. The Catholic Church was given 1/3 of Lake Bolsena by a noble family many years ago. Today the lake is a popular tourist destination.

Laguna Chicabal

Laguna Chicabal is a Guatemalan lake formed in the crater of Chicabal Volcano. The lake is sacred to the Mam Mayan people and altars along the shore are still used today. Swimming in Laguna Chicabal is also prohibited in respect to spiritual importance of the lake. The lake’s elevation is over 7,000 feet high and it is often enshrouded by low-level clouds.

credited to wikipedia, and flickr users: jenniferboyer, marcveraart, atoll, twinkletuason, picdrop, upton
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