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Taken 27-Apr-05
Visitors 144


12 of 227 photos
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Keywords:Silfra, Cold Water, Silfra Cathedral, Silfra Gap, Clear Water, Clear, Fault line, Diver, Iceland
Photo Info

Dimensions5100 x 3388
Original file size12.7 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceAdobe RGB (1998)
Date taken27-Apr-05 15:07
Date modified10-May-05 13:11
Shooting Conditions

Camera makeNIKON CORPORATION
Camera modelNIKON D100
Focal length10.5 mm
Focal length (35mm)15 mm
Max lens aperturef/2.8
Exposure1/90 at f/5.6
FlashNot fired
Exposure bias+1/2 EV
Exposure modeManual
Exposure prog.Manual
Metering modePattern
Digital zoom1x
CSH 05251

CSH 05251

Picture shows a diver a exploring the Silfra Gap so called by locals in Iceland. The fault that is ever widening is the divide between East & West perhaps in all senses of the phrase.

Diving in between two continents

America and Europe are slowly separating by the rate of about 2cm per annum. As they do, the earth's tectonic plates open up to producing gigantic cracks. These cracks in turn expose huge boulders - the very core of the earth. Most of the time they appear underwater and hidden from view, however, occasionally these cracks can be observed on land. Iceland straddles the rift, which is responsible for separating the Americas from Europe and straight through her middle lies the fault line. Thus Iceland provides a unique opportunity to witness this geological phenomenon at first hand.



Due to its location around one third of Iceland is covered by glaciers. In the warmer summer months melt water filters through Iceland's porous volcanic rock on its journey towards the sea. In doing so, this virtually pure water is super filtered. For the majority of the time this filtered water remains underground. However, where the faults or cracks have appeared they are filled by the melt water. This produces an underwater Mecca for divers in search for the clearest water in the world.



The water is so clear that for all intense and purposes it has infinite visibility. Some divers complain of suffering from vertigo as they are deprived of their sense of depth. Diving in this cold (2-4°C) lifeless water you are literally swimming between two continents. America is on one side and Europe on the other. No film set could produce this spectacle. At the bottom of the crack there are only two sounds. One is the noise of your bubbles as you breath, the other is of a low frequency rumble reminding you that the separation continues.