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Largest caldera found in Benham

A Filipino scientist based in New Zealand and two others have published a research on what could possibly be the largest caldera—a large crater caused by violent explosion of a volcano—in the world.

Largest caldera found in Benham

Jenny Anne Barretto, a New Zealand-based marine geophysicist, with Ray Wood and John Milson, claimed to have found a caldera with a diameter of around 150 kilometers in the undersea feature which is part of the Philippines’ continental shelf.

They said their discovery of the Apolaki Caldera—named after the Filipino mythical god of the sun and war—revealed the structure of the undersea feature for the first time within the Benham Rise east of the shoreline of Luzon.

“For comparison, Earth’s largest calderas, like the Yellowstone, is only about 60 kilometers. The size is comparable to shield calderas in Mars (Olympus Mons; 80 km x 65 km) and Venus (Sacajawea; 150 X 105 km),” the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said Monday in a Facebook post.

In their paper titled “Benham Rise unveiled: Morphology and structure of an Eocene large igneous province in the West Philippine Basin,” Barretto described Benham Rise as “an oceanic large igneous province at the western margin of the Philippine Sea.”

“The crest of the rise has the morphology of a caldera with a diameter of ~150 km,” the abstract read.

The article became available online on “Marine Geology” on Oct. 20.

Topics: Jenny Anne Barretto , Ray Wood , John Milson , Apolaki Caldera
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