Caldeiras Funda e Rasa
Located on the south sector of Planalto Central, this area occupies about 426 hectares and consists of two calderas – Caldeira Funda and Caldeira Rasa – along with its surrounding area, with a maximum altitude of 773 metres.
The origin of these explosion craters is associated with hydromagmatic eruptions, where the ascending magma contacts with water, creating a significant explosive activity. The bottom of these volcanic depressions is occupied by lagoons that, despite their proximity, are at different heights, namely at 360 metres on Caldeira Funda and at 530 metres on Caldeira Rasa.
Caldeira Funda is an explosion crater of maar type, which lagoon has about 35 metres of maximum depth and belongs to a watershed where several watercourses converge, some with waterfalls on their course. On the other hand, Lagoa Rasa has a maximum depth of around 16 metres and is placed in a tuff-ring with low and smooth slopes.
In this area, it is possible to observe native species of the Azores such as the Calluna vulgaris, endemic species such as the Laurus azorica, the Frangula azorica, the Viburnum treleasei, the Vaccinium cylindraceum and the Hedera azorica, and also important zones of Sphagnum sp. peatbogs, forested mainly by Juniperus brevifolia.
Regarding bird species, it can be observed the Motacilla cinerea patriciae, the Turdus merula azorensis, the Ardea cinerea, among other species.
This area includes the objectives set for the Central-Morro Alto Special Area of Conservation (SAC), within the Natura 2000 network, a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark and a Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Convention.