In a 2017 proposal to add names at Newberry Volcano, Julie Donnelly-Nolan, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, called the region the land of many cones and no names.
That’s because until now, over 400 cinder cones and geological features spanning 1,200 square miles south of Bend, Oregon, haven’t had formal names. And some features have had multiple informal names.
Donnelly-Nolan spent the past 20 years making a geologic map of the Newberry Volcano range and helped direct the naming process.
“I try to recreate half a million years of history to try and predict what it will do in the future,” said Donnelly-Nolan.
She said the lack of formal names has made it difficult to tell the Newberry Volcano’s story.
“If I have a whole bunch of cinder cones in an area with no names then I’m forced to say, ‘Well over here there’s a cinder cone five miles east of this place,’” she said.
Now, instead of describing the lava flow from an eruption which occurred in early postglacial time and located in the Lava Cast Forest at N 43° 46’ 48.4” W 121° 16’ 35.7”, researchers can refer simply to North Kawak Butte. And if researchers are talking about the butte located one mile south of the Surveyors Lava Flow, they can make their lives easier and say, “Alignment Butte.”
The naming effort started back in 2008 and sought input from the USGS, the forest service, and the Klamath Tribes.