An amazing natural site: the GOUILLE DE SALINS

The Gouille de Salins, well known in Tignes, is a resurgence with a lagoon like pond. The old celtic word gouell is the root of this french name. This word describes calm water.

This Gouille is down of the valley of Tignes and just before to reach the valley of Isère at the Chevril Lake. This upper valley is made of two main geologic layers. The first one from Grande Motte glacier to Tignes Lake is a gypsum layer. It was formed in lagoons where ocean waters high in calcium and sulfate content can slowly evaporate and be regularly replenished with new sources of water. And the lower part of Tignes valley located from dowstream to Tignes Lake to Chevril Lake is a limestone layer. Those sedimentary rocks are weathered with the rainwater and here with the water of the lake and of the glacier.The water contains carbonic acid, reacting with limestone. Cracks appear and over time the swallow holes increase in size. This is the resulst of the erosion. This water digs galleries and caves and it fllows underground along bedding planes until to reach an impermeable layer of rock and it re-emerges, called resurgence and then the dissolved limestone makes a thin brown layer with the evaporation of the water.

You can reach this awesome geological feature from Tignes Lavachet. The trailhead is close to the « Home Club » residence.