Saltstaumen Maelstrom, Norway 2018
On June 28th, 2018 I was in Bodo, Norway. There, I booked arrangements to take a boat out to the Saltstaumen Maelstrom. The Saltstraumen, (pictured below), has one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. Up to 400 million cubic meters of seawater forces its way through a 3-kilometer long and 150-metre wide strait every six hours. Vortices known as whirlpools or maelstroms up to 10 meters in diameter and 5 meters in depth are formed when the current is at its strongest. Saltstraumen has existed for about two to three thousand years. Before that, the area was different due to post-glacial rebound.
The current is created when the tide tries to fill Skjerstad Fjord. The height difference between the sea level and the fjord inside can be up to 1 meter. When the current turns, there is a period when the strait is navigable. Even though the image I showing below doesn’t express it, the adventure was incredible. I took mostly videos of this amazing wonder.
There were some rock faces that were simply spectacular, including this rock face pictured below in the Saltstraumen. These fascinating folds have formed under distinct circumstances. About 490-390 million years ago the Caledonian Orogeny happened due to the continents of Laurentica, Avalonia and Baltica colliding. Here, the collision involved Laurentica and Baltica only. The collision created an area of metamorphic rock called the Caledonian fold belt. The rock exposed in the picture below, is most likely gneiss, like most rock surfaces in this area of Norway. The metamorphosis of these sediments were under high temperatures and high pressure (amphibolite). The prominent layering was then caused by erosion of layers that were softer. This is most likely due to dissolution of more soluble Marble-rich layers.