World’s largest caldera discovered by Pinay scientist is a potential energy source –Velasco

Published February 7, 2021, 11:49 AM

by Ben Rosario

The House Committee on Science and Technology has endorsed congressional commendation to Filipina scientist Jenny Ann Barretto for her discovery of the world’s largest caldera measuring about 150 kilometers in diameter or about twice the size of the famous Yellowstone in Wyoming, USA.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco
(Lord Allan Velasco’s Office / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Chaired by Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado, the House panel recently approved House Resolution No. 561 that seeks to commend and recognize Baretto for her “extraordinary contribution fo scientific research” with her discovery of the caldera located in Philippine Rise, an underwater plateau east of Luzon and within the country’s continental shelf.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, author of HR 561, said Baretto is a marine geophysicist currently based in New Zealand.

“Barretto’s discovery opens up immense possibilities and opportunities in the further exploration and conduct of marine scientific research in the Philippine Rise, an underwater geo-marvel and a shelter of God-given marine resources and potential energy source,” said Velasco.

The caldera, described as a large crater from a major volcanic eruption at emitted enormous magma causing the inward collapse of landform, was named Apolaki Caldera.

“The name Apolaki gives homage to the Filipino god of sun and war,” said Velasco.

Apolaki or giant lord in Filipino 

The House leader disclosed that National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. has mentioned int he first ever National Summit Summit that Apolaki caldera “may become a potential source of hydrothermal power system.”

“Barretto’s discovery of the Apolaki caldera is a source of pride and a beacon of hope for Filipino scientists everywhere and it underscores the significance of allocating crucial funding and support for marine scientific research in the country,” the House leader said.

Barretto used to be with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences  until she started working with the GNS Science in 2013.  

She led a team of geophysicists and geologist that conducted a resaerch of the Benham Rise in 2015 that led to the discovery of Apolaki which was formally announced in 2019.