Pit crater

Pit crater

A pit crater (also called a subsidence crater) is a depression formed by a sinking of the ground surface lying above a void or empty chamber, rather than by the eruption of a volcano or lava vent. [cite web
title=Volcanic and Geologic Terms
] It is often found in chains or troughs, which may merge into a linear alignment and usually lack an elevated rim. They also lack ejected deposits and the lava flows that are associated with impact craters.

As distinct from meteor craters, these craters are not formed from the clashing of bodies or projectiles from space.cite web
title=Distribution, morphology, and origins of Martian pit crater chains
] Rather, they can be formed by a lava explosion from a bottled up volcano, the explosion leaving a shallow caldera, or the ceiling over a void may not be solid enough to prevent the collapse of the overlying material. A pit crater also could result from the collapse of lava tubes, dike swarms, or from collapsed magma chambers under loose material.cite book
last =The Diagram Group
first =David Lambert &
authorlink =
title = The Field Guide to Geology (Updated Ed.)
publisher = Facts on File, Inc.
date =1998
location =MY
pages =pp 44–45, 94–95
id =
isbn = 0-87842-334-3

The process happens frequently on Mars but rarely on Earth. Hawaii is known for its volcanoes and pit craters. In 1868 an eyewitness saw more than two-thirds of the basin of Kilauea cave in and fill with a lava lake. This process happened repeatedly. The modern Halema'uma'u Shield began growing and then collapsed into a deep funnel-shaped pit. This pit filled with lava and for 19 years burned continuously, becoming famous as the Hawaiian Fire Pit. In 1924 the lava lake emptied when the walls of the crater cracked and collapsed and filled with water that turned to steam. After a week and a half Halema'uma'u had widened and was 1,700 feet deep. Rocks that were blasted away from the crater can still be seen on the caldera floor.cite book
last =Donald W. Hyndman
first =Richard W. Hazlett &
authorlink =
title = Roadside Geology Of Hawai'i
publisher = Mountain Press Publishing
date =2005
location =Missoula, MN
pages =pp 22–23, 68–70, 72–73, 75, 80–82
id =
isbn = 0-87842-334-3


External links

* [https://www.uwec.edu/jolhm/Hawaii2005/Day3/HIwebsite/FS12.htm Halema'uma'u Crater]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pit crater — USGS PHOTO GLOSSARY OF VOLCANIC TERMS Pit craters are circular shaped craters formed by the sinking or collapse of the ground. Fissures may erupt from the walls or base of a pit crater, but pit craters are not constructional features built by… …   Glossary of volcanic terms

  • Crater — may refer to: In landforms: Impact crater, caused by two celestial bodies impacting each other, such as a meteorite hitting a planet Volcanic crater or caldera, formed by volcanic activity Subsidence crater, from an underground (usually nuclear)… …   Wikipedia

  • Crater — Cra ter (kr[=a] t[ e]r), n. [L. crater, cratera, a mixing vessel, the mouth of a volcano, Gr. krath r, fr. keranny nai to mix; cf. Skr. [,c]r[imac] to mix, [,c]ir to cook, [,c]r[=a] to cook. Cf. {Grail}, in Holy Grail.] 1. The basinlike opening… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pit — [n] hole, cavity abyss, chasm, crater, dent, depression, dimple, excavation, grave, gulf, hell, hollow, indentation, mine, perforation, pockmark, pothole, puncture, shaft, tomb, trench, well; concepts 509,513 Ant. mountain pit [v] oppose, play… …   New thesaurus

  • crater — [krāt′ər] n. [L, mixing bowl, mouth of a volcano < Gr kratēr < kerannynai, to mix: see IDIOSYNCRASY] 1. in ancient Greece or Rome, a kind of large bowl or jar shaped like an amphora 2. a bowl shaped cavity, as at the mouth of a volcano or… …   English World dictionary

  • crater — crateral, craterous, adj. craterlike, adj. /kray teuhr/, n., gen. Crateris /kray tear is/ for 9, v. n. 1. the cup shaped depression or cavity on the surface of the earth or other heavenly body marking the orifice of a volcano. 2. Also called… …   Universalium

  • crater — 1. noun /ˈkɹeɪ.tə(ɹ),ˈkɹeɪ.tɚ/ a) A hemispherical pit created by the impact of a meteorite or other object. 1843 I then had the two best tarriers beneath the canopy; this poor crater is their daughter, and he patted the dogs head affectionately.… …   Wiktionary

  • pit — I n 1. hole, cavity, excavation, quarry, diggings, workings; shaft, mine, tunnel, bank, coal mine, gold mine, silver mine; ditch, grave, burial site; dip, sink, gully, gulch, furrow, burrow, trough; foxhole, bunker, entrenchment, trench; well,… …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder

  • pit — Synonyms and related words: American Stock Exchange, Amex, L, R, Wall Street, abysm, abyss, acorn, acting area, agora, alveolation, alveolus, amphitheater, antrum, apron, apron stage, arena, armpit, athletic field, audience, auditorium, auditory …   Moby Thesaurus

  • pit — I 1. noun 1) a pit in the ground Syn: hole, ditch, trench, trough, hollow, excavation, cavity, crater, pothole; shaft, mineshaft, sump 2) pit closures Syn …   Thesaurus of popular words

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