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Lake Profile


General Information

Country Sweden
Latitude 58° 20' 0" (58.3333)
Longitude 14° 30' 0" (14.5000)

Physical Characteristics

Description Vattern has six large and sixteen smaller tributaries. The lake discharges into a system of lakes connected to the Baltic by a canal.

Vattern's origins are glacial and tectonic.

Lake Vattern experiences severe gales due to its long boat-shaped basin.

Volume 74.00 km3
Surface Area 1,912.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 39.0 m
Maximum depth: 128.0 m
Residence Time 58.0 years
Age 0 - 10,000 years before present
Type Fresh
Catchment Catchment size: 4,447.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 2:1


Economic Value About 80% of the catchment population live in urban areas. Lake Vattern serves as a drinking water reservoir for a growing number of towns surrounding it.
Major Cities Jonkoping
Population 235,000 (1985)

Watershed Management

Description A water conservancy plan for Lake Vattern was adopted in 1966. In the 1970's improvements were made in phosphorus removal in purification plants and sedimentation tanks for waste from paper mills were put in place.
Issues Two paper mills released a large amount of organic pollution into the lake in the 1980's.
Other Issues Nutrient pollution
Polluted runoff
Specific Contaminants Industrial

Biodiversity Conservation

Description The number of Swedish lakes with char fish is steadily decreasing due to pollution, acidification and reductions in water levels.
Species of Concern



ILEC Database
The Baltic Sea region from above

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
International Lake Environment Committee, the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Agency, Government of Japan. 1997. World Lakes Database.
Taub, F.B. (ed.). 1984. Ecosystems of the World 23: Lakes & Reservoirs. Elsevier. New York.

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