The source of the Sorgue
The source of the Sorgue at Fontaine de Vaucluse is the largest resurgence in France in terms of water discharged. A 'Sorgometer' in the chasm measures the water level.
Located in the heart of the Vaucluse Mountains and the Pays des Sorgues, the most beautiful river in the department, the Sorgue, rises at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. It gushes out at the foot of a sheer 240-metre-tall cliff, in the hollow of a closed valley, 'Vallis Clausa' in Latin, which gave its name to the department of Vaucluse in 1793.
The source itself, located 80 metres above sea level, is the largest in France and one of the largest in the world, discharging a total of 630 million m³ annually.
The source of the Sorgue is the result of the re-emergence of water from a vast underground network. The gushing water comes from the infiltration of rainwater and snowmelt from the south of Mont Ventoux, the Vaucluse Mountains, the Albion Plateau and the Montagne de Lure, which form an 'impluvium' of over 1,240 km². The only place where this water can come to the surface is precisely at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.
Cool and peaceful in summer, bubbling and impetuous in spring and autumn, the source, a true whim of nature, has unceasingly intrigued curious visitors and researchers since ancient times.