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World’s Largest Volcanic Crater Discovered In The Philippines

The caldera was discovered by a New Zealand-based Filipina scientist!

  • The largest caldera in the world has been found in the Benham Rise in the Philippines.
  • The massive volcanic crater is said to be 92 miles in diameter and may have been created by several huge eruptions throughout history.
  • The caldera was discovered by a Filipina scientist who is based in New Zealand.

We’re still learning new things about the world every day. Case in point: the world’s largest caldera has recently been found in the Philippines and the said volcanic crater was discovered by a Filipina scientist based in New Zealand.

Marine geophysicist Jenny Anne Barretto discovered the caldera within the Benham Rise, or the Philippine Rise, in the Luzon Island. The volcanic crater has since been named Apolaki Caldera and is said to be about 150 km (93.2 miles) in diameter. Its sheer size makes it a candidate for the largest caldera in the world.

The volcanic crater was eventually created by multiple eruptions throughout history.

Barretto confirmed the discovery in the paper “Benham Rise unveiled: Morphology and structure of an Eocene large igneous province in the West Philippine Basin”. Barretto, along with Ray Wood and John Milsom, confirmed that they found the caldera using multibeam bathymetry with almost 100% coverage.

The scientists discovered that the crater had a breached rim and intra-caldera benches. Amazingly, it also had a resurgent dome that may confirm it was created by “a multi-phase volcanic history consisting of both quiet and explosive eruptions.”

The Benham Rise is home to over 200 fish species.

A caldera is a hollow formation shaped like a cauldron that forms after a magma chamber is emptied following a volcanic eruption. It is actually a sinkhole formed through a collapse and are usually smaller in size. This makes the Apolaki Caldera a truly unique find.

Barretto is a graduate of the University of the Philippines but is currently based in Lower Hutt, Wellington in New Zealand. Most of her works explore the natural wonders of her home country.


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