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crater lake Accumulation of water, usually by precipitation of rain or snow but sometimes groundwater, in a volcanic crater (caldera). Should an eruption occur, the resulting mud flow (lahar) is often more destructive than a lava flow, owing to its greater speed. Crater Lake in Crater Lake Park, Oregon, USA, was formed by precipitation and the waters are maintained solely by rain and snow. It is the second deepest lake in North America.