Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Posts tagged Étang de Thau

The Rhône River Spilling into the Mediterranean – October 25th, 2009

43.2N 5.3E

October 25th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

France - September 29th, 2009

France - September 29th, 2009

Many lakes and lagoons are present along the coast of the South of France, from the Étang de Thau (or Bassin de Thau), the dark blue lake at the bottom left, to the lighter colored Étang de Berre on the right, west of Marseille.

Created by the rise in water levels at the end of the last ice age, this small inland sea is composed of three parts: the principal body of water, the Étang de Vaïn to the east and the Étang de Bolmon to the south-east.

Flowing down through the center of the image is the Rhône River, which eventually spills some sediments into the Mediterranean Sea near the Étang de Berre.

Rivers and Lakes in Languedoc-Roussillon, France

May 4th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Languedoc-Roussillon, France - April 23rd, 2009

Languedoc-Roussillon, France - April 23rd, 2009

Étang de Thau or Bassin de Thau (dark blue, center) is the largest of a string of lakes that stretch along the Languedoc-Roussillon, the French coast from the Rhône River to the foothills of the Pyrenees which form the border to Spain. It is the second largest lake in France.

Other lakes and swamps can also be seen along the coast to the northeast and southwest. Several rivers spill sediments into the Mediterranean Sea, most notably the  Rhône, east of the Étang de Thau, and the Orb and the Aude, west of the Étang.

The Étang de Thau itself is about 21 km long and 8 km wide, with an area of 7,012 hectares. The mean depth of the étang is 4.5m, but in the central navigation channel it can be 10 metres deep.

Until relatively recently the étangs from Marseillan to the Rhône were a continuous stretch of inland waterway. Linked, now, by the Canal du Rhône à Sète to the river Rhône and by the Canal du Midi to Bordeaux via Toulouse, the étang also has access to the Mediterranean at Sète.

To the east, between Balaruc and Sète, the borders of the lagoon are largely industrial. The south bank is formed by the coastal strip from Sète to Cap d’Agde. The northern side has villages dedicated to fishing and the production of shellfish.