A maar is a low-relief, broad volcanic crater formed by shallow explosive eruptions. The explosions are usually caused by the heating and boiling of groundwater when magma invades the groundwater table. Maars often fill with water to form a lake.

Tuff Cone:
Also called "tuff cones", maars are shallow, flat-floored craters that scientists interpret have 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.

MORE about Maars:
Maars range in size from 200 to 6,500 feet across and from 30 to 650 feet 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 the western United States, in the Eifel region of Germany, and in other geologically young volcanic regions of the world. An excellent example of a maar is Zuni Salt Lake in New Mexico, a shallow saline lake that occupies a flat-floored crater about 6,500 feet across and 400 feet 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.

Also See: Tuffs and Welded Tuffs

-- Excerpts from:
Tilling, 1985, Volcanoes: USGS General Interest Publication; and USGS Volcano Hazards Program Photoglossy, 2001

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