Sea background
Size and situation

Eyjafjörður is situated on the north coast of Iceland at 18° 20'W. It extends from 65° 40'N in the south to 66° 10'N. If a straight line is drawn from the head of the fjord to its mouth its direction would be 20 ° west of north.

Eyjafjörður is about 60 km long which makes it one of the longest fjords in Iceland. Off Akureyri it is merely one km wide but at the mouth its width is 20 km at 66° 10'N, but the distance from Gjögurtá to Siglunes is about 24 km. One can split the fjord into two parts, an inner part from the head and out to Grenivík and an outer part from there to the mouth. The inner part is substantially narrower than the outer part. The area of the fjord from the head to 66° 10'N is about 350 km2.

Eyjafjörður is indented by two secondary fjords, Héðinsfjörður and Ólafsfjörður in the west close to the mouth of Eyjafjörður. They are both relatively shallow and wide. In both fjords a lake is found inside of the head that is influenced by seawater. Further to the west and outside of Eyjafjörður lies Siglufjörður which is about 8 km long fjord. It has a threshold at its mouth that is about 25 m deep while the maximum depth inside the fjord is about 40 m.

Hrísey is the only island in the fjord and is the second largest island off Iceland, 8 km2 in area. It is 7 km long and 2.5 km wide at the southern end where it is widest, but then narrows to the north. About seven km north of Hrísey is Hrólfssker, a small rock that rises just a few meters above sea level. There is a lighthouse on Hrólfssker. Between Hrísey and Hrólfssker there is a maximum depth of 130 m, but there we also find Lönguboði that reaches up to 12 m depth.

Various skerries are found along the coast, for example, Nunnuhólmi south of Skjaldarvík. Just outside of the harbour in Hauganes there is a narrow stand called Hóll, rising to 3 m depth where the surroundings are about 15 m deep.

Steingrímur Jónsson

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The Fisheries Science Center | University of Akureyri | Borgum v./Norðurslóð | IS 600 Akureyri | Tel: +354 460 8900 | fax +354 460 8919 | E-mail: hreidar(hjá)

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