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New names at Newberry drawn from CalVO geologist's mapping

August 27, 2019

In June 2019, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names approved twenty-five new formal geographic names at Newberry Volcano in central Oregon. The names were proposed by Julie Donnelly-Nolan, a Research Geologist with the Volcano Science Center of the USGS in Menlo Park, CA.

Aerial view of lakes and cinder cone at Newberry Volcano Caldera.
A view looking northeast across the central caldera of Newberry Volcano.  Paulina Lake is in the foreground and East Lake is in the distance.  The Central Pumice Cone lies between the two lakes. Near the bottom of the photo at the south edge of Paulina Lake, the two hills are named the Lakeshore Domes. The volcano is covered in snow and the lakes have ice on their surface. (Credit: John Pallister. Public domain.)

Julie Donnelly-Nolan has been studying the geology and mapping the lavas of this very hazardous volcano for two decades.The goal of the geologic mapping is to tell the story of the volcano and how it grew and behaved during its half-million-year history, as a means of understanding the potential hazards.

Newberry Volcano is among the very high threat volcanoes in the United States, as identified in the "2018 Update to the U.S. Geological Survey National Volcanic Threat Assessment" (USGS SIR 2018-5140). The volcano is located near Bend, Oregon, and nearby rapidly growing communities. It has erupted more than 300 times, produced a central caldera, and its lavas cover about 1200 square miles (an area the size of the state of Rhode Island). There are relatively few geographic names on Newberry, but geologic maps store information both spatially and with words, using names to describe important lava flows and vents. The 25 new geographic names were drawn from the geologic mapping at Newberry, giving formal map designations to some of the 400 cinder cones and other features which previously lacked them.

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