From Iceland — What To Name What Holuhraun Has Wrought

What To Name What Holuhraun Has Wrought

Published March 10, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Axel Sigurðarson

Now that volcanic activity at Holuhraun has all but ended, an important question looms: what do we name the landscape features it created?

This decision is now in the hands of the Skútustaðahreppur shire council, Vísir reports, and they have their work cut out for them. The Holuhraun eruption lasted six months, leaving behind not only a new lava field the size of the Reykjanes peninsula, but also a craters of varying sizes, which could become reservoirs once the snows melt in the spring.

What these new formations will be called was in the hands of parliament, but legislation approved last week has conferred that power to local authorities. As the eruption falls under the jurisdiction of Skútustaðahreppur shire, the shire council will have their say on what to call the lava field and craters.

Despite the emphasis on local power, shire councilperson Yngvi Ragnar Kristjánsson told reporters that it is possible Icelanders elsewhere in the country will be given the opportunity to offer their own naming suggestions. He believes a final decision should be reached within the next few weeks.

If the council does give the green light for naming suggestions, they might find there is no shortage of suggestions already put forward. As reported last September, informal polls on what to name the new lava field brought in numerous suggestions. Amongst them were:

Fjölmiðlahraun, or “media lava”, given the decidedly photogenic nature of the eruption from whence the lava sprung.

Míluhraun, after the ISP which provides a live feed of the eruption, Míla.

Góu Hraun and Hraun-Æði, both which are names of popular Icelandic candies.

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