Crater lakes appear majestic, unique, and mysterious.
A few different things can cause the formation of a crater lake including, a meteorite or human-cashed explosion. More commonly, lake craters are due to volcanic activity. After a crater is formed, rain, run-off, groundwater circulation, or melted ice fills in the crater with water, creating a crater lake.
Crater lakes that cover volcanic vents are also referred to as volcanic lakes. Volcanic lake craters are unique because they can include greenish colored waters that are very acidic, bloated with volcanic gases. Crater lakes that cover old or non-active volcanoes have fresh water that is incredibly clear. Here are 15 of the most incredibly beautiful crater lakes from all over the world.
1. Crater Lake Mount Mazama, Oregon USA
One of the most well-known crater lakes is located in Oregon, it is actually the deepest lake in the US with a depth of 1,949 feet! Rain and snow are completely responsible for filling up this lake, making it a clear source of fresh water.
2. Crater Lake Albertine Rift, Africa
Volcanic explosions are responsible for creating a number of crater lakes in the area. Surrounding these protected crater lakes are some of the tallest mountains found in Africa.
3. Crater Lake Mount Pinabuto–Luzon, Philippines
Back in 1991 the Pinabuto volcano last erupted, marking the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Dormant for over 400 years, Pinabuto was largely unknown until the day of its ’91 explosion. Although, a much larger eruption 35,000 years ago is believed responsible for the crater lake.
4. Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador
800 years ago an epic VEI-6 explosion caused the formation of this crater lake. The crater lake is now 820 feet deep and gives off a greenish hue in light of the dissolved minerals present in the water. Hot springs occur on the eastern edge of the volcano, and fumaroles are present on the floor of the lake.
5.Kelimutu Crater Lake, Flores Island, Indonesia
Flores Island includes 3 different crater lakes, one is a striking teal blue, while the other two fluctuate between red and green. Since all 3 crater lakes come from the same volcano, scientists are currently trying to understand why they are all different colors.
6. Heaven Lake, Baekdu Mountain– China, North Korea
On the border of China and North Korea rests this gorgeous crater lake which hides the opening to the Baekdu Mountain volcano. In 969 CE the lake was first created due to a volcanic explosion, it is now on average around 699 feet deep. If you visit from October to mid-June the lake turns to ice.
7. Crater Lake, Licancabur– Chile
The symmetrical nature of this stratovolcano causes a great deal of fascination. On the border of Chile and Bolivia, parts of the volcano belong to either region, although the actual crater lake rests entirely in Chile. A whooping 3,281 feet deep, the Licancabur Lake is covered with a sheet of ice most parts of the year.
8. Main Crater Lake at Vulcan Point, Taal Volcano–Luzon Philippines
Known as one of the most picturesque sights in the Philippines, this crater lake is located 31 miles from Manila. At the center of the crater one large rock peaks up from the surface, this was once the floor of the crater but has now been pushed up to the surface of the water. The Main Crater Lake at Vulcan Point is 1.2 miles wide and includes the largest island at the center of a lake.
9. Crater Lake, Mount Katmai–Alaska, USA
In 1912 the Novarupta eruption caused the formation of this Alaskan crater lake.
10. Viti Geothermal Crater Lake, Askja–Iceland
In Iceland’s remote central highlands rests this incredible crater lake. The name Askja is in reference to the calderas found all around the nearby mountainsides. A large lake called Oskjuvatn was formed from a very large eruption in 1875, today it fills many of the small craters in the area. As the second deepest lake in Iceland, the lake and surrounding craters are frozen most of the year.
11. Kerid Crater Lake– Iceland
With one of the only visibly recognizable intact calderas, the Kerid crater lake is located on a popular tourist route called the Golden Circle. It was formed when land shifted over localized hotspots. The reason that the caldera still remains so visible is because this crater lake is about half the age of most others, at around 3,000 years old.
12. Crater Lake Yak Loum–Ratanakiri, Cambodia
This crater is located in the dense rain forests of Cambodia. 4,000 years ago a violent volcano created this 157 foot deep lake which holds clean and clear water.
13. Crater Lake Deriba, Jebel Marra–Durfur, Sudan
The Jebel Marra Volcano exploded nearly 3,500 years ago to form this beautiful lake crater in South Sudan. The volcano beneath the crater is considered dormant, not extinct. Meaning it could erupt again at any time.
14. Crater Lake Mount Ruapehu– New Zealand
Ruapehu is known as one of the most active (and largest) volcanoes in the world. The deep crater lake rests at the center of the 3 major peaks and fills with water between each fiery eruption.
15. Crater Lake Okama, Mt. Zao–Honshu, Japan
There are a number of active volcanoes in the region of Northern Honsh. The central volcano includes lava domes and a tuff cone, here the Okama crater lake rests. Since this crater lake changes colors with the weather, it has earned the nickname “Five Color Pond.” A volcano eruption around 1720 is responsible for the 200 foot deep crater lake which attracts many tourist.
Photo Credits: Ben Canales, Joel Sartore, nucksfan604, Annom, Rosino, Bdpmax, Albert Backer, Junjun Mac1, Captain Budd Christman, Boaworm, Progresschrome, Ethan Crowley, J Williams, Adrian Macneil, Aaron Jarrad