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(vĕ`nərn), lake, c.2,145 sq mi (5,560 sq km), SW Sweden, fed by the Klarälven and drained by the Götaälv SW into the Kattegat. It is the largest lake in Sweden and the third largest in Europe. The deep lake, traversed by the Göta Canal, accommodates small oceangoing vessels. There are vast stands of forest north of the lake; pulp and paper mills line the shore. Karlstad is the principal city on the lake.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a lake in southern Sweden. Area, 5,500 sq km (the third largest in Europe after Lakes Ladoga and Onega). Length, approximately 140 km; maximum width, 80 km. Maximum depth, 100 m ; elevation, 44 m above sea level. Area of the water basin, approximately 48,000 sq km.

Vänern occupies a tectonic depression—a graben deepened by Pleistocene glaciers and bordered in some areas by fractures and faults. Its shoreline is mainly low and much indented. The lake has many islands. The variations in the level are not considerable and are gradual because of the diversification of the floodwaters of the tributaries flowing into the lake from the north and south and also as a result of the regulation of the flow by a dam. The lake freezes up in December or January and thaws at the end of April. However the ice cover is not firm. More than 30 rivers flow into the lake, the largest being Klarälven. The Göta älv flows out of the lake into the Kattegat. Vänern is part of the inland waterway joining Stockholm and Göteborg, known usually as the Göta Canal. There is navigation throughout the lake; the main ports are Karlstad in the north, Mariestad in the east, and Vänersborg in the southwest.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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