AskDefine | Define Maar

Dictionary Definition

maar n : a flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion; often filled with water [also: maare (pl)]

Extensive Definition

A maar is a broad, low relief volcanic crater that is caused by a phreatomagmatic eruption, an explosion caused by groundwater contact with hot lava or magma. The maar typically fills with water to form a relatively shallow crater lake. The name comes from a local Palatinate German dialect of Daun, which is in turn derived from Latin mare (sea). Maars are shallow, flat-floored craters that scientists interpret as having formed above diatremes as a result of a violent expansion of magmatic gas or steam; deep erosion of a maar presumably would expose a diatreme. Maars range in size from 60 meters (200 ft) to 2000m (6,500ft) across and from 10 meters (30ft) to 200 meters (650ft) deep, and most are commonly filled with water to form natural lakes. Most maars have low rims composed of a mixture of loose fragments of volcanic rocks and rocks torn from the walls of the diatreme.
Maars occur in western North America, in the Eifel region of Germany (where they were originally described), and in other geologically young volcanic regions of Earth. Kilbourne Hole and Hunt's Hole, near El Paso, Texas, are maars. The notorious, carbon dioxide-saturated Lake Nyos in Africa is another example. An excellent example of a maar is Zuni Salt Lake in New Mexico, a shallow saline lake that occupies a flat-floored crater about across and deep. Its low rim is composed of loose pieces of basaltic lava and wallrocks (sandstone, shale, limestone) of the underlying diatreme, as well as random chunks of ancient crystalline rocks blasted upward from great depths. The only maar-like volcano known in Canada is found in the Wells Gray-Clearwater Volcanic Field in east-central British Columbia.

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Maar in Czech: Maar
Maar in German: Maar
Maar in Estonian: Maar
Maar in Spanish: Maar
Maar in Esperanto: Malprofunda kratero
Maar in French: Maar
Maar in Italian: Maar
Maar in Hebrew: מארה (גאולוגיה)
Maar in Latvian: Mārs
Maar in Dutch: Maar (geologie)
Maar in Japanese: マール (火山)
Maar in Norwegian: Maar
Maar in Norwegian Nynorsk: Maar
Maar in Polish: Maar
Maar in Romanian: Maar
Maar in Russian: Маар
Maar in Slovak: Maar
Maar in Swedish: Maar
Maar in Turkish: Maar
Maar in Ukrainian: Маари
Maar in Chinese: 低平火山口
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