Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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1. large basinlike depression formed as the result of violent volcanic activity.

2. the most severe mode of volcanic eruption. The most recent example — the Toba eruption — occurred on the island of Sumatra 74 kya, and is an example of an ultra-Plinian eruption. Calderas are large, flat depressions that eject large volumes of rhyolite into the atmosphere, followed by a collapse of the central part of the volcano; the intensity of the eruption is further enhanced if the caldera is located on an island and seawater then rushes into the cone.

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