Add to collection
  • + Create new collection
  • In this activity, students pop a balloon in a container of sand to model caldera volcanoes and learn how lakes like Taupō and Rotorua were formed.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • demonstrate how caldera volcanoes are formed
    • demonstrate how depressions are left after the volcano erupts
    • identify Lakes Taupō and Rotorua and discuss their formation.

    Download the Word file for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • extension idea.

    Related content

    Watch this animated video to see how Lake Rotorua could have formed from a caldera eruption.

    Researchers discovered that the large underwater Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapa volcano had a hidden caldera 150 m below the waves. Read about the devastating volcanic eruption in January 2022, the tsunami that followed, and what we might expect next. Find out what scientists have discovered a year after this eruption in this article.

    Extension idea

    If students enjoyed making models of caldera volcanoes, try the Making a model of a cinder cone activity.

      Published 18 August 2014, Updated 22 April 2020 Referencing Hub articles
        Go to full glossary
        Download all