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New Iceland Mountain Needs a Name

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New Iceland Mountain Needs a Name

A new mountain is rising on Fimmvörduháls where the current volcanic eruption is taking place and the mountain requires a name. Fimmvördufjall (“Five Cairn Mountain”) after the mountain pass is one suggestion.

The new mountain rises behind the crater. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The mountain could also be named after Hrunagil canyon, into which the lava from the crater flows (the literal translation of Hrunagil is something like “Collapsing Canyon”), as toponymist Svavar Sigmundsson told Morgunbladid.

It used to be the role of the Icelandic Toponymy Committee to find names for new natural phenomena, such as Surtsey island, which was created in an underwater eruption in 1963, and Eldfell, the mountain which rose from the ashes of the 1973 Westman Islands eruption.

Now members of the public are often allowed to make suggestions. Then the National Land Survey of Iceland and toponymists review the suggestions and make sure they hold up to demands on grammar and other linguistic conditions so that they can be registered and placed on maps.

That arrangement was used when a new mud-spurting hot spring that was created after the 2008 south Iceland earthquake had to be named.

Click here to read more about that story.

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