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Ariège (river) facts for kids

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Ariège river in Tarascon-sur-Ariège
Countries Andorra, France
Region Occitanie
Departments Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne
 - left Aston, Vicdessos, Courbière, Lèze
 - right Oriège, Lauze, Crieu, Hers-Vif, Aïse
Cities Foix, Pamiers
Source Lac Noire, Pyrenees
 - location Porta, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
 - elevation 2,470 m (8,104 ft)
 - coordinates 42°31′9″N 1°44′21″E / 42.51917°N 1.73917°E / 42.51917; 1.73917
Confluence Garonne
 - location Portet-sur-Garonne, Haute-Garonne, France
 - elevation 140 m (459 ft)
 - coordinates 43°31′2″N 1°24′36″E / 43.51722°N 1.41000°E / 43.51722; 1.41000
Length 163.2 km (101 mi)
Basin 4,135 km² (1,597 sq mi)
Discharge for Pinsaguel
 - average 76.4 /s (2,698 cu ft/s)

The Ariège (Catalan: Arieja; Occitan: Arièja) is a 163 km long river in the south of France and a right tributary of the Garonne. The Ariège department is named after this river.


The Ariège river is 163.2 km (101.4 mi) long with a drainage basin of 4,135 km2 (1,597 sq mi).

Its average yearly discharge (volume of water which passes through a section of the river per unit of time) is 76.4 m3/s (2,700 cu ft/s) at Pinsaguel, near the confluence with the Garonne, in the Haute-Garonne department, for a period of 30 years.

Average monthly discharge (m3/s) at Pinsaguel


The source of the Ariège is in the Lac of Font Nègre, at the Pyrenees on the border between France and Andorra, just south of Pas de la Casa (Andorra) on the western side of the Pics Orientaux de Font Nègre, in the commune of Porta, Pyrénées-Orientales department, at an altitude of about 2,470 m (8,104 ft).

In its first part, it flows to the north, forming the border between France and Andorra, up to Pas de la Casa, and then turns to the north-east.

After flowing through the Ariège plain, the river gets out of the department of Ariège and into the department of Haute-Garonne and, finally, joins the Garonne river at Portet-sur-Garonne, near the city of Toulouse.

The Ariège flows to the northeast, in general, and passes through the following regions, departments and communes:



The Ariège river flows through a total of 58 communes.

Finally, it flows, as a right tributary into the Garonne at Portet-sur-Garonne, in the Haute-Garonne department to the south of Toulouse, at 140 m (459 ft) of altitude.

Main tributaries

Some of the tributaries are:

  • Right tributaries:
    • Oriège (21 km); its source is on the northern side of the peak Carlit and flows into the Ariége at Ax-les-Thermes.
    • Lauze (14 km).
    • Hers-Vif or Hers (130 km). It is the tributary more important of the Ariége; it joins the Ariége at Cintegabelle (Haute-Garonne).
    • Aïse (29 km).
  • Left tributaries
    • Aston (23 km).
    • Vicdessos (36 km). It joins the Ariége at Tarascon-sur-Ariége.
    • Courbière (15 km). It joins the Ariège before Tarascon-sur-Ariège.
    • Arget (23 km). It joins the Ariège on the foot of the Foix castle. Its valley is named as la Barguillière.
    • Lèze (70 km).


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