Lac du Bourget

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Lac du Bourget
Belvédère Lac du Bourget, Grande Mollière (été 2016).JPG
View from the heights of Viviers-du-Lac
Location Savoie, France
Coordinates 45°44′N 5°52′E / 45.733°N 5.867°E / 45.733; 5.867Coordinates: 45°44′N 5°52′E / 45.733°N 5.867°E / 45.733; 5.867
Primary inflows Leysse, Tillet, Sierroz
Primary outflows Canal de Savières, Rhône
Catchment area 560 km2 (220 sq mi)
Basin countries France
Max. length 18 km (11 mi)
Max. width 3.5 km (2.2 mi)
Surface area 44.5 km2 (17.2 sq mi)
Average depth 85 m (279 ft)
Max. depth 145 m (476 ft)
Water volume 3,600 million cubic metres (2,900,000 acre⋅ft)
Residence time 8 years
Surface elevation 231.5 m (760 ft)
Settlements Aix-les-Bains
Le Bourget-du-Lac
Official name Lac du Bourget - Marais de Chautagne
Designated 2 February 2003
Reference no. 1268[1]

Lac du Bourget (Lake Bourget), also locally known as Lac Gris (Grey Lake) or Lac d'Aix, is a lake at the southernmost end of the Jura Mountains in the department of Savoie, France. It is the deepest lake located entirely within France, and either the largest or second largest after Lac de Grand-Lieu depending on season.

The largest town on its shore is Aix-les-Bains. Chambéry, the capital of Savoie, lies about 10 km south of the lake. The lake is mainly fed by the river Leysse (and other small rivers), and it drains towards the river Rhône through the Canal de Savières, an artificial channel. It is a Ramsar site. The extinct bezoule was found only in this lake.

The lake was formed during the last period of global glaciation in the Alps (Würm glaciation) during the Pleistocene epoch. It has a surface area of 44.5 square kilometres (4,450 hectares). The long and narrow north-south axis of the lake extends 18 km in length, and ranges between 1.6 km and 3.5 km in width.[2] The lake's average depth is 85 m, and its maximum depth in 145 m. The lake is meromictic, meaning that it has layers that do not mix.[3]

The lake is bordered by the steep summits of the Mont du Chat and the Chaîne de l'Épine on the west, and Bauges Mountains on the east, which form its shores.

Lac du Bourget was made famous by several romantic poems of Alphonse de Lamartine, including Le Lac,[4] as well as by descriptions by Xavier de Maistre, Honoré de Balzac, and Alexandre Dumas.

Panoramic view from Nivolet peak. Chambéry Airport is visible on the left, at the southern end of the lake, and Aix-les-Bains on the right


  1. ^ "Lac du Bourget - Marais de Chautagne". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Agence Interactive. "Le lac du Bourget : activités, visites, nature, randonnées pédestres - Savoie Mont-Blanc (Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Alpes) - Savoie Mont Blanc (Savoie et Haute Savoie) - Alpes". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  3. ^ Jacquet, Stéphan; Briand, Jean-François; et al. (2003). "The proliferation of the toxic cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens following restoration of the largest natural French lake (Lac du Bourget)". Harmful Algae. 4 (4): 651–672. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2003.12.006.
  4. ^ "Poems Found in Translation, The Lake by Alphonse de Lamartine, translated by A.Z. Foreman". Retrieved 29 October 2014.

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