A group of Icelandic and foreign divers cleaned the thermal chimneys on the ocean floor of Eyjafjördur fjord in north Iceland last weekend for the upcoming diving season this summer. They are considered unique and have become a popular destination for divers.
From Eyjafjördur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The three thermal chimneys were discovered in 1997 in a low-temperature area at a depth of 70 meters in the middle of the fjord. Water with a temperature of 75°C (167°F) flows out of the chimneys, the highest of which is 45 meters, RÚV reports.
Science magazine Nature wrote about the thermal chimneys in 2006 and declared them as one of the six most noteworthy underwater hot springs in the world. The chimneys were preserved in 2007 and became the first and only preserved natural site in Iceland located underwater.
The thermal chimneys have become an increasingly popular destination for divers and therefore cleaning them was considered important.
“These chimneys are unique in the world,” said diver Erlendur Bogason, who participated in the project. “Ropes, anchors and rubbish shouldn’t be seen on the chimneys.” Bogason encourages local fishermen to learn more about this unique phenomenon and respect that the area around it is preserved.
The divers cleaned the chimneys for free and the Environment Agency of Iceland, Nordurorka energy company and the local municipalities paid for the rental equipment.