FlipFact of the Day: The world’s largest known caldera (a volcanic feature formed after a volcano erupts and collapses) may actually be in Philippine territory.
Measuring approximately 150 km (93.2 mi), the Apolaki Caldera is a volcanic formation located in the Philippine Rise (or Benham Rise). It takes its name from the god of war and the sun in Filipino mythology.
A Filipina marine geophysicist, Jenny Anne Barretto, was part of the team that discovered Apolaki. They published a paper detailing the Philippine Rise’s morphology and formation, including more information on the Apolaki caldera:
[Benham Rise] consists of a main body (~310 km by 330 km) with the Narra, Loro and Molave Spurs extending 100–200 km from its eastern side. The main body is built on a shield platform from ~5200 m to ~3800 m sub-sea. The platform flanks consist of ~3–15 km wide terraces with scarps as high as 100 m to 300 m. The platform is surmounted by a crest exhibiting caldera morphology at an average depth of ~2500 m. The crest is named Apolaki Caldera and may be the world’s largest known caldera with a diameter of ~150 km. Features like a breached rim, intra-caldera benches, and a resurgent dome indicate a multi-phase volcanic history consisting of both quiet and explosive eruptions.
Today’s Science History Milestone: On October 22, 2008, India launched Chandrayaan-1, the nation’s first unmanned lunar mission.
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Cover: Google Maps/UP MSI Geological Oceanography Laboratory