Lake Salagou known for its red soil

Lake Salagou (fr. Lac du Salagou) is a reservoir for the Salagou dam. It is located in the center of the Hérault department, on the Salagou river, a tributary of the Lergue river which flows into the Hérault. It reaches a depth of about 50 meters.

The water level is 139 m above sea level. The surface of the water body is approximately 700 hectares, while the volume of the reservoir is equal to 102 million m3. The lake is dominated by mountains and plateaus culminating at 300 m in the east, up to 407 m for Carels in the west and 535 m for Mont Liausson in the south. The latter separates the Salagou lake from the dolomitic circus of Mourèze.

The lake is a tourist site easily accessible from the three largest Hérault cities (Montpellier, Béziers, Sète, especially with the opening of the A 75 motorway). The areas of interest are:

  • geology (this basement is made of a red soil called the “ruffe”. It is a form of argillite, a combination of clay sediment and iron oxides. These sedimentary rocks are dated from the Permian (-298 to -252 million years ago)
  • swimming and water sports like windsurfing
  • hiking and mountain biking around the lake

Coordinates: 43° 39′ 21″ N, 3° 21′ 55″ E

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