15 possible names for fissure 8 already submitted; nominations still being accepted

  • U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY photo Fissure 8 in lower Puna on Sept. 2, 2018.

The state Board of Geographic Names formalized a committee for naming one of the most prominent features from last year’s Kilauea eruption.

The Permitted Action Group, as it is called, is expected to meet twice with the Puna community during the course of the year to recommend names for fissure 8. The volcanic vent was one of two dozen that formed during the lower East Rift Zone eruption, and produced its most voluminous lava flows.


Action group members are Marques Marzan of Bishop Museum, Brad Ka‘aleleo Wong of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Noenoe Silva.

No dates have been announced yet for community meetings, but the group has a deadline to finish its work of Dec. 31.

Arthur Buto, GIS program manager for the state Office of Planning, said nominations for names are still being accepted.

As of March 11, the board has received 15 proposed names from 13 applications.

Names with submitted definitions are:

• Puu Leilani (named for the subdivision, Leilani Estates, where the fissure is located).

• Pu‘uo‘aila‘au (Hill of ‘Aila‘au).

• Keahiluawalu O Pele (no meaning provided. Submitter said it came to them in a dream).

• Pu‘u Kupaianaha (Pu‘u = hill; Kupaianaha = surprising, strange, wonderful, marvelous).

• Ahu‘aila‘au (Ahu = mound/shrine/altar or cairn; ‘Aila‘au = a volcano deity).

• Pu‘u ‘O Luku (hill of destruction).

• Hanaia‘na (creation).

• Enoho (regeneration).

• Hou Ho‘omaka (new beginnings).

• Keahilapalapa (spreading or blazing fire).

• Kekoheho‘ohenonohoikala‘iopunapaia‘alaikahala (cherished crease occupying the calm of Puna of the forest bower fragrant with pandanus).

• Ke Ahi ‘Ena‘ena (raging fire).

• Luana-Lani (named after Luana Street in Leilani Estates).

• Papalauahi (earth of numerous volcanic eruptions; proposed name for all 24 fissures).

• Pohaha (a reduplicative of paha, which can mean breaking forth, bursting, cracking and volcanic ejecta of any kind).


Papalauahi was submitted by Larry Kimura on behalf of University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Language.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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