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Gave de Pau
Lourdes gave de pau 1.jpg
Gave de Pau in Lourdes
Country France
Regions Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Departments Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes
Communes Argelès-Gazost, Lourdes, Pau, Orthez, Peyrehorade
 - left Ouzoum, Bayse, Gave d'Oloron
Cities Pau, Lourdes, Orthez
Source Cirque de Gavarnie
 - location Pyrenees, Occitanie, France
 - elevation 2,600 m (8,530 ft)
 - coordinates 42°41′45″N 0°02′01″W / 42.69583°N 0.03361°W / 42.69583; -0.03361
Mouth Gaves réunis
 - location Peyrehorade, Landes, France
 - elevation m (13 ft)
 - coordinates 43°32′25″N 1°05′26″W / 43.54028°N 1.09056°W / 43.54028; -1.09056
Length 190.7 km (118 mi)
Basin 2,575 km² (994 sq mi)
Discharge for Bérenx
 - average 81.2 /s (2,868 cu ft/s)

The Gave de Pau is a river of south-western France; it is a left tributary of the Adour river.

It takes its name from the city Pau, through which it flows. The word gave is a name given to rivers on the mountains in regions of the western Pyrenees; so, Gave de Pau means "the river of Pau" or "the river that flows through Pau". Many other rivers in the region have the word gave as part of their names.


The Gave de Pau has a length of about 190.7 km (118.5 mi), including the Gave de Gavarnie, and a drainage basin with an area of approximately 2,575 km2 (994 sq mi).

Its average yearly discharge (volume of water which passes through a section of the river per unit of time) is 81.20 m3/s (2,868 cu ft/s) at Bérenx, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.

Average monthly discharge (m3/s) at Bérenx


The Gave de Pau starts in the Cirque de Gavarnie, in the Parc national des Pyrénées ("Pyrénées National Park"), in the commune of Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrénées department, at an altitude of about 2,600 m (8,530 ft). The upper part of the river is known as Gave de Gavarnie; the name Gave de Pau is given to the river after the Gave de Gavarnie joins the Bastan river at Luz-Saint-Sauveur.

The Gave de Pau receives its main tributary, the Gave d'Oloron, in Peyrehorade and, from there, it is named as Gaves Réunis (United Gaves). Finally, it flows, as a left tributary, into the river Adour in the Landes department, at about 3 m (10 ft) of altitude.

The Gave de Pau flows through 90 communes. It passes through the following regions, departments and communes:

Main tributaries

The tributaries of Gave de Pau with a length greater than 29 km (18.0 mi) are:

  • Left tributaries
    • Ouzom - 33.2 km;
    • Baïse - 40.6 km;
    • Gave d'Azun - 29.1 km;
    • Laâ - 29.5 km;
  • Right tributaries
    • Ousse - 42.4 km;
    • Ousse des Bois - 32.3 km;
    • Gave d'Oloron - 148.2 km;


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