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Volcanic crater of Diamond Head at Honolulu, Hawaii
Volcanic crater in Iceland with a lake in it

A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity.

It is usually a circular basin. When active, there is a vent or vents inside it. From these magma erupts as gases, lava, and ejecta. A crater can be huge, and sometimes deep.

During certain types of gigantic eruptions, the volcano's magma chamber may empty enough for an area above it to subside. This dropped surface crater is called a calderaview more...