Chasing mysterious smell with Blueye Pioneer in the Nidelven river in Trondheim

During this summer a mysterious smell occured in the city of Trondheim, Norway. The smell reminded of exhaust, asphalt or burnt rubber. One theory is that the source of the smell could originate from the Nidelven river that runs between Midtbyen and Brattøra. We were asked by the local newspaper, Adresseavisen, to bring our underwater drones and film the seabed in the canal to investigate if we could see any irregularities and perhaps uncover the mystery!

The inhabitants of Trondheim have on several occasions this summer observed bubbles appearing on the surface of the Nidelven river. Associated with the project Renere Havn (Cleaner Harbour), broken limestone has been laid on the seabed of the canal to cover pollution. There are theories that under this limestone layer gas pockets have occured and people are suggesting that these are the reason for the bubbles rising to the surface.

Have a look at our video from the bubble search: Embedded content:

Together with the Norwegian newspaper Adressavisen we launched four underwater drones into the Nidelven river. Two drone pilots maneuvered the drones from land and another two from a boat while Adressa streamed video footage directly from one of our Blueye Pioneer drones.

Chasing bubbles with the underwater drone Blueye Pioneer Photo: Adressa

The underwater drone, Blueye Pioneer, is equipped with powerful LED lights and a camera that provides direct video transfer in HD quality. Read more about the specifications here. With these qualities we could catch good images even in a dirty city canal and discovered bubbles that clearly was rising from the seabed. Following our inspections made in the Nidelven, the theories that the smell originates from gas pockets on the seabed are rejected and the smelly situation is yet to be uncovered.

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