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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"cavity on the summit of a volcano," 1865, from Spanish caldera "cauldron, kettle," from Latin caldarium, caldarius "pertaining to warming," from calidus "warm, hot" (see calorie).


n. (context vulcanology English) A large crater formed by a volcanic explosion or by collapse of the cone of a volcano.


n. a large crater caused by the violent explosion of a volcano that collapses into a depression


A caldera is a large cauldron-like volcanic depression, a type of volcanic crater (from one to dozens of kilometers in diameter), formed by the collapse of an emptied magma chamber. The depression often originates in very big explosive eruptions. The emptying of this magma chamber may also be accomplished more gradually by a series of effusive eruptions from the volcanic system, even kilometers away from the magma chamber itself.

Caldera (disambiguation)

A caldera is a volcanic feature formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption.

Caldera may also refer to:

  • Louis Caldera (born 1956), former U.S. Secretary of the Army
  • Rafael Caldera (1916–2009), 56th and 60th President of Venezuela
  • Caldera, the port of the city of Puntarenas in Costa Rica
  • Caldera, Chile, a port city
  • Caldera, Chiriquí, Panama
Arts and entertainment
  • Caldera (band)
  • Caldera (film)
  • Caldera, a town in the video game The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Caldera, a city in the video game Red Steel 2
  • Caldera, a town/fortress in the video game Risen 2: Dark Waters
  • Caldera (company), a US-based software company founded in 1994 to develop Linux- and DOS-based operating system products
    • Caldera UK Ltd., a subsidiary of Caldera, Inc., and developers of DR-DOS between 1996 and 1999
    • Caldera Deutschland GmbH, formerly LST GmbH, a Linux development center
    • Caldera Thin Clients, Inc., later Lineo, a US-based subsidiary of Caldera, Inc. formed in 1998
    • Caldera Systems, Inc., a US-based subsidiary of Caldera, Inc. formed in 1998 and releasing software including OpenLinux
      • Caldera International, Inc., successor to Caldera Systems, Inc., later becoming the SCO Group
        • Caldera K.K., a Japanese subsidiary of Caldera International, Inc. formed in 2001
    • Caldera OpenLinux, the operating system released by Caldera Systems often called "Caldera"
    • Caldera v. Microsoft, an antitrust lawsuit
  • Caldera (France), an imaging software company founded in 1991 and unrelated to the US-based Caldera companies
  • Kona Caldera, a cross-country mountain bike frame
  • Nike Caldera, a light-weight hiking boot
Caldera (band)

Caldera was an American band, that combined jazz, funk and rock with a wide variety of Latin music. 1970s fusion explorers like Return to Forever and Weather Report influenced Caldera, but its members were also influenced by everything from Earth, Wind & Fire's soul/ funk to Afro-Cuban salsa, Brazilian samba and Andean/ Peruvian music.

Caldera (album)

Caldera is the 1976 debut album of Jazz fusion band Caldera.

Caldera (company)

Caldera was a US-based software company founded in 1994 to develop Linux- and DOS-based operating system products.

Caldera (film)

Caldera is an 11-minute computer animated short film released in 2012. It was directed by Evan Viera, co-written by Chris Bishop, co-produced by Chris Perry, and created in conjunction with Bit Films, the computer animation incubator program at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Caldera received a Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction in the Computer Animation category in 2012.

Usage examples of "caldera".

Turning around from time to time, to keep her bearings, she noticed the wall by the evesmol resembled a curved sheet of window glass, vividly displaying the outside reddish bronze escarpment of the caldera.

Inside the Depression, there are hundreds of old calderas and extinct geysers.

On these great playas and on the frost-caked walls of channels, cliffs, and calderas, transplanted lichen had clung and leapt into devouring life.

Olympus itself, rising right at the edge of the Tethys ocean, was staggering in its immensity, an endless cone of icefields rising to an impossibly green summit with a series of blue lakes in its caldera.

Mars, especially these summer mornings, you get a fine view from the Rimshot Cafe, eastward from the lip of the caldera, fine white slopes of the old shield volcano tumbling gradually away, superimposed against the gray-green plains below, Jovis Tholis an isolated red pimple in the midst of all that, then the purple majesty of Ascraeus Mons, trailing wings of backlit cloud, peeking over the horizon.

Once, for a brief time, the caldera had been a cratered ice lake, a vast year-round equatorial winter playground for the new Martians, but the mold and the lichens had taken hold there as well, and turned the caldera a grim greenish-black.

In the shadow of the caldera rim he saw a great crescent of dappled movement punctuated by hundreds of tiny winking fires where whole spitted camels and sheep were roasting.

A massive volcanic caldera rearing up into the biosphere, Elysium formed a huge natural amphitheater .

She stopped talking a moment, feeling battered by shuddering waves of hope and yearning, fear and excitement coming at her from the crowd, it was like wingriding over the caldera of an active volcano.

The three immense volcanoes of the Tharsis Bulge and the even bigger caldera of Olympus Mons seemed to be staring down at him like the four monstrous wide round eyes of a demon, staring balefully.

At its top is a crater, a caldera, barely wide enough to swallow Delhi or Calcutta.

They carried on their way around the caldera, a progress slowed by more wess'har stopping Aras to say ho w significant, how wonderful, it was to see him.

So they'd put a landing craft smack in the center of the caldera to look for life -- and they'd found it: strange forms of cyanobacteria, eating CO2 and nitrogen, water and sunlight, and slowly replicating as they'd done for the past billion-odd years.

There was even talk of covering some of the big calderas, and of running cable cars between the three prince volcanoes, or bridging the narrows south of Elysium.

Looking down into it gave them a new perspective—a proper shape to the caldera and its circular embayments, a sudden drop to a heretofore hidden floor, a thousand meters below.