The Taal Volcano’s Main Crater Lake, previously called Yellow Lake, is located in Batangas, Philippines. With Vulcan Point, a small island inside the lake itself, they are part of one of the world’s most extensive recursive island systems. Classified by the Smithsonian Institute and covering over 234.2 square kilometers of land, it is the fifth-largest volcanic crater in the world.
Prehistoric explosions between 140,000 and 5,380 BP formed the Volcano’s current caldera. The Lake as we know it nowadays only appeared after a massive eruption in 1911 that lowered the height of the volcanic island by approximately 3 to 10 feet.
Before this dramatic explosion, there were three small colored lakes at the center of the crater, one green, the other yellow and the last one red. The explosion having drastically lowered the level of the island, the sea was then able to pour in the crater and form the lake, leaving only a small island called Vulcan Point as the last remain of the old crater floor.
Being 234.2 km² wide, it is the fifth largest crater lake in the world.
The Smithsonian Institute classifies it along 47 craters in the central volcanic group. This includes a dome topped by a crater lake called Okama, the largest of its kind in North America. Most of the deep active crater lakes, which rest on calderas filled to the rim with water after a large eruption, are bedridden by potential eruptions. Most of them are hosts to active fumarolic vents, such as what can be observed at the foot of Kamehameha Mountain in Hawaii.
Unfortunately, the last explosive eruption in 2020 released all the Taal Lake’s water. Satellite images managed to pierce the cloud of ashes and showed that the water body had disappeared, as fresh magma mixed with the fresh water caused a series of furious lava and steam eruptions.
Fortunately, a month of rainy climate after the stoppage of the volcanic activity reestablished the water levels to their previous highs.