Maar Volcano Location and Shape (MaarVLS) database

By Alison Graettinger

University of Missouri Kansas City

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The MaarVLS: Maar Volcano Location and Shape (pronounced marvelous) database establishes universal traits of Quaternary maar craters including typical sizes, shapes, and occurrence of these craters in different volcanic field types. 

The MaarVLS database includes manually digitized maar crater outlines, size, and shape parameters with preliminary additional information on tectonic setting, volcanic field characteristics, composition, elevation, and age. MaarVLS currently contains 240 maar craters identified in published literature as Quaternary, between -60 to 70 degrees latitude, from 65 different volcanic fields. To be included in the database a crater must have been previously recognized as a maar and have a complete, or nearly complete crater rim lacking significant incision or human modification. 

MaarVLS is currently a spreadsheet containing 31 categories for 240. All craters have name and variants, Global Volcanism Program number, latitude, longitude, country, area, perimeter, major axis, minor axis, average diameter, aspect ratio, elongation, isoperimetric circularity, volcanic field name, elevation, and references. Other categories are as complete as current literature allows and include age, composition, depth, population at 5 and 100 km distances, and whether there is evidence of multiple co-located eruptions.

The database is managed by Alison Graettinger at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Additional crater for inclusion are being collected and any contributions, suggestions, or corrections are encouraged. Contact Alison graettingera (at) 

Analysis of this initial database Graettinger, A.H. in press The shape and distribution of Maar craters using the MaarVLS database. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. Doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.04.002. (Preprint link: 

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Alison Graettinger (2018), "Maar Volcano Location and Shape (MaarVLS) database,"

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