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  • 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.

    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
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