Saltstraumen is a small strait with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. It is located in the municipality of Bodø in Nordland county, Norway. It is located about 10 kilometres southeast of the town of Bodø. The narrow channel connects the outer Saltfjorden to the large Skjerstad Fjord between the islands of Straumøya and Knaplundsøya. The Saltstraumen Bridge on Norwegian County Road 17 crosses Saltstraumen.
Saltstraumen has one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. Up to 400 million cubic metres of seawater forces its way through a 3-kilometre long and 150-metre wide strait every six hours. Vortices known as whirlpools or maelstroms up to 10 metres in diameter and 5 metres 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 metre . When the current turns, there is a period when the strait is navigable.
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