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01.12.2020

Saltstraumen, Nordland

Salstraumen is a small strait with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. It is located in the municipality of Bodø in Nurlann County, Norway. It is located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southeast of the town of Bodø . The narrow channel connects the outer Salt Fjord with the large Skjærstad Fjord between the islands of Straumöya and Knapplundseeja . The Saltstraumen Bridge on Norwegian County Road 17 crosses Saltstraumen.

Saltstraumen has one of the strongest tidal currents in the world.  Every six hours, up to 400 million cubic meters (110 billion U.S. gallons) of sea water flows through a strait 3 km long (1.9 miles) and 150 meters wide (490 feet). Whirlwinds, known as whirlpools or vortexes, up to 10 meters (33 feet) in diameter and 5 meters (16 feet) deep, are formed when the current is strongest. Salstraumen exists for about two to three thousand years. Before that, the terrain was different from - due to the postglacial bounce. The current is created when the tide tries to fill the Skierstad fjord. The difference in altitude between the sea level and the fjord inside can reach 1 meter (3 feet 3 inches). When turning the current there is a period when the strait is navigable.

The above Saltstraumen report is slightly different from what Norwegian Pilot reports. Description of a normal flow by the pilot is based on the time of the tide in Buda. The highest current in the south direction occurs about an hour and a half before the Bodo tide, when the incoming current reaches about seven knots. The current velocity has a wide maximum, exceeding six knots, from three hours before the Bodo tide to half an hour after the Bodo tide. The highest northward current occurs about four and a half hours after the Bodo tide, when the output current reaches over eight knots. The speed of this current also has a wide maximum of more than six knots, from two hours and forty minutes after the tide in Bodø to five and a half hours before the next tide in Bodø.

Saltstraumen is popular among fishermen because of the abundance of fish such as saida, cod, wolf, pink fish and halibut. Coalfish is a specialty of this area. The largest documented coal fish, weighing 22.7 kg (50 lbs), was caught in Salt Straumen by fishing rod.

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