Lac du Bourget

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Lac du Bourget
0509 Lac du Bourget.JPG
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
Basin countries France
Max. length 18 km
Max. width 3.5 km
Surface area 44.5 km²
Average depth 85 m
Max. depth 145 m
Water volume 3,600 mio m³
Residence time 8 years
Surface elevation 231.5 m
Settlements Aix-les-Bains
Le Bourget-du-Lac
Brison-Saint-Innocent
Conjux

Lac du Bourget (Lake Bourget), also locally known as Lac Gris (Grey Lake), 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. It is mainly fed by the river Leysse (and other small rivers), and 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 km2 (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.1 The lake's average depth is 85 m, and its maximum depth in 145 m.

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,2 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

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