Newly Discovered Mega-Volcano Off Philippines Has Biggest Caldera on Earth

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A team including members from GNS Science have identified an ancient mega-volcano that could have the largest known caldera on Earth.

The 150km (93.2 miles) wide feature is on the crest of Benham Rise, an oceanic plateau off the Philippines coast. In comparison, the caldera at Taupō is about 35km (21.8 miles) wide, and that at Yellowstone about 60km (37.3 miles).

Apolaki on the crest of Benham Rise, undersea in the Philippines, could be the largest caldera on Earth. It's about 150km wide.
Apolaki on the crest of Benham Rise, undersea in the Philippines, could be the largest caldera on Earth. It’s about 150km (93.2 miles) wide. Map by GNS

A caldera is a depression created when a volcano collapses after the emptying of its magma chamber in an eruption, or the withdrawal of the magma.

About 150km (93.2 miles) in diameter, the caldera is comparable to the biggest impact craters on Earth and bigger than any other known calderas on this planet. It’s more comparable in size to calderas elsewhere in the solar system.

A paper on the discovery has been published in the journal Marine Geology.

Region of the Benham Rise where the largest known caldera has been discovered by GNS scientists recently. Map by Marine Geology

The crest of Benham Rise hinted at the presence of a crater. “Due to its enormous ~150 km diameter, it may be easier to suppose that it is an impact crater rather than a volcanic caldera. A caldera of this scale, subaerial or submarine, has not been documented on Earth.

While an impact crater origin for the feature could not be discounted, there was no evidence for that idea.

The largest known impact craters on Earth include Chicxulub – caused by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs nearly 66 million years ago – which is about 200km (124.3 miles) wide.

largest caldera discovered in Philippines
Benham Rise, also known as Philippine Rise contains the largest caldera ever discovered on Earth.

More Caldera Than Impact Crater

The study of the crest of Benham Rise showed it had more in common with calderas than impact craters, the paper said. The crater-like summit of Benham Rise was comparable in size to calderas on Mars, such as Olympus Mons, and on Venus, such as Colette and Sacajawea.

Due to the caldera’s enormous size, it was named Apolaki (“giant lord”) after the Filipino mythical god of the sun and war.

new mega volcano off Philippines largest caldera
Bathymetry map of the Benham Rise off the Philippines. Map via Marine Geology

It’s thought the caldera underwent multiple collapse events and a phase of resurgence.

Apolaki Caldera may well be the world’s largest caldera,” the paper said. “The short-lived but immense magmatic pulses associated with its formation must have altered the chemistry and physics of the waters and atmosphere in this part of the Pacific.

GNS said the discovery of such a large caldera raised questions about volcanism in the Benham Rise around 48-41 million years ago and what special conditions were present for Apolaki Caldera to form.

If the researchers’ findings were confirmed, Apolaki would officially become the largest known caldera on Earth.

Geomorphological characteristics of the Apolaki Caldera, the largest caldera in the world off the Philippines.

GNS noted 80 per cent of the world’s ocean floor was unmapped, and a worldwide push for more knowledge about the depth of the seafloor could lead to more unique discoveries.

That’s some kind of interesting and pretty terrifying results. Maybe we will soon find such a gigantic volcano filling up with magma above the ocean… [GNS, Marine Geology, Stuff]

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12 COMMENTS

  1. California China lake shaking Sine 4of July double quakes and Southern California was experienced 300k in quakes and keep going with November full moon on 12and asteroid passing very close to earth I predict 6-8 quakes in ring of fires .However the California will always refuse mass exit public.

  2. Yes I thought impact crater. If it isn’t then it needs to be watched. Now if someone will continue to monitoring and not drop the ball.

  3. Are you sure it wasn’t 67 million 6000 and 19 years ago when the dinosaurs were wiped out?
    But then again, as long as we are throwing around big numbers, why not 67 billion years ago?
    Whatever number it is, it has to be more than what the Bible says if you are going to prove evolution and leave God out. I’m afraid you lost any credibility you had when you advocated evolution in order to leave God out.

    • I’m afraid you’ve just commented yourself out of the rational discussion Jay.
      Maybe you want to go back and add up all the “begatting” that was logged in the bible and see if you can sit at the adult table.

  4. Does knowing timbers of Noah’s ark have petrified into stone in say 4,000 years give understanding to time-lines. See Ron Wyatt’s videos on these discoveries.
    MAKING SENSE OF REVELATION, A VERSE BY VERSE LITHOPHANE.

    • It is dormant and has been only discovered yet because we don’t know anything about what is on the ocean floor (more than 90%) still has to be investigated. So I think we will discover more of these things around the world.

  5. Baha’i writings clearly says as long as humanity has are enemies of each other’s. We will have blood she’d for USA and world. The places never gotten quakes will get quakes like France etc… Also writings says 90% world population will die and no body will be protected.So we all have little time to change love each other’s and replace hate and division with unity love peace.USA condition will soon be Beirut.

  6. The atomic bomb, and the massive destructive force of nuclear annihilation, was prophesied by Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha, founders of the Baha’i Religion almost 150 years ago. At the same time They also gave the Remedy that would circumvent the possible destruction of our planet: the Baha’i Covenant which is the Charter for the establishment of the Christ promised Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. This prophecy of nuclear power was repeated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in 1912. He warned that we must speed up spiritual civilization, the Kingdom, to keep pace with scientific and material progress, otherwise materialism would destroy us.

    Almost 150 years ago Baha’u’llah said:

    “A strange and wonderful instrument exists in the earth; but it is concealed from the minds and souls. It is an instrument which has the power to change the atmosphere of the whole earth, and its infection causes destruction.” (Lights of Guidance, #1585)

    This prophecy was reiterated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in an interview which he gave to the Japanese Ambassador in Spain, Viscount Arawaka, and his wife, during his sojourn in Paris-October, December, 1911, and recorded by Lady Blomfield. He said:

    “Scientific discoveries have greatly increased material civilization. There is in existence a stupendous force, as yet, happily, undiscovered by man. Let us supplicate God, the Beloved, that this force be not discovered by science until Spiritual Civilization, i.e. the Kingdom, shall dominate the human mind. In the hands of men of lower material nature, this power would be able to destroy the whole earth.”

    Baha’u’llah further warned in the most explicit of languages:
    “Split the atom’s heart, and Lo!
    within it thou wilt find a sun.”
    Americans are exposed to great dangers. Today the power of America is in the hands of the masses. There is a terrific power in the press, and the people are swayed by it. The United States, on a national scale, sets the pattern for an international pattern. There will be a World Civil War, followed by the establishment of a world state; all the nations will be a part of it and will have to conform to it. This war has already started…”

  7. How did so many of you turn this into a theological slumber party? Its about a scientific discovery of possibly the largest volcanic caldera. Not the validity of the biblical age of the Earth.
    Your remarks clearly expose your naivety and delusional historical timeline. Read a second book in your lifetime.

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