Fagrahraun or Fagradalshraun: New Reykjanes Lava Field Awaits a Name Skip to content
Tourists admiring the new lava in the Reykjanes eruption
Photo: Golli. Tourists admiring the new lava in the Reykjanes eruption.

Fagrahraun or Fagradalshraun: New Reykjanes Lava Field Awaits a Name

The town council of Grindavík, Southwest Iceland has narrowed down around 339 name suggestions for the new lava field at Fagradalsfjall to just two: Fagrahraun and Fagradalshraun. RÚV reports that both options have been submitted to the authority that approves new place names in Iceland. The many craters at the eruption site, which has been active for over a month, will also be named Fögrugígar or Fagradalsgígar, depending on which name is chosen for the field.

Grindavík authorities organised a competition between March 31 and April 9, 2021 where the public was allowed to submit suggestions for what to name the new lava field. “The conclusion was that after reviewing the ideas that were received, which were 339, evaluating and weighing it, that the lava field should be called either Fagradalshraun or Fagrahraun,” stated Grindavík Mayor Fannar Jónasson.

The two names are similar in meaning. While Fagrahraun translates as “beautiful lava” or “beautiful lava field,” Fagradalshraun references Fagradalsfjall, literally “beautiful valley mountain,” located at the site. The name also references the volcanic system Fagradalsfjallskerfi, one of the volcanic systems beneath the Reykjanes peninsula.

“Corona Lava Field” Rejected

Dalahraun (E. valley lava field), Geldingadalshraun (E. Geldingadalur lava field), and Ísólfshraun (E. Ísólfur’s lava field; after an early settler once believed to be buried there) were among the most popular suggestions for the field, which continues to grow one month after the eruption began. Some name suggestions referenced the ongoing pandemic, including Kórónahraun and Covidhraun, while the suggestion Ölmuhraun was intended as a tribute to Iceland’s Director of Health Alma Möller. None of those suggestions made it past the town council’s deliberations.

The town council is now waiting on an official opinion on both place name suggestions.

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