The purpose of this work is to establish an erosion–transportation–accumulation diagram for fine recent deposits on lake bottoms and to show empirically that an understanding of the bottom dynamic processes is of vital importance for a proper interpretation of sediment data.The potential maximum effective fetch (PFeff) has been used to indicate the available water energy, and the water depth has been used to indicate the effectiveness of the PFeff on the bottom. The 50% water content of surficial sediments, 0–1 cm, has been utilized as a physical sediment parameter to distinguish erosion from transportation and the 75% water content to separate transportation from accumulation.Relationships between water content, bulk density, and grain size are discussed.The distribution pattern of different elements (Be, B, V, Ni, Cu, Zn, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sn, Hg, Pb, Bi, P, and N) in the sediments of Lake Vänern is interpreted in the light of the bottom dynamic processes.

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