Skip to content


  • E-Letter
  • Open Access

Caldera geometry determined by the depth of the magma chamber

Earth, Planets and Space201457:BF03351879

  • Received: 20 May 2005
  • Accepted: 12 September 2005
  • Published:


The depth of the magma chamber is shown to be an important factor governing the initial type, scale, and collapse of a caldera. The collapse of the magma chamber is approximated by the contraction of a sphere in an elastic medium, and the distribution of plastic and/or rupturing area on the surface is calculated using the Coulomb failure criterion under the assumption of an elastic-perfectly plastic material. It is found that the necessary contraction for the formation of a caldera is described by fifth-power polynomial expression of the depth of the magma chamber, and that the radius and geometry of the caldera are dependent on the depth of the magma chamber.

Key words

  • Caldera
  • magma chamber
  • caldera geometry
  • depth of magma chamber
  • numerical simulation