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Vättern(vĕ`tərn), lake, 733 sq mi (1,898 sq km), c.80 mi (130 km) long and up to 20 mi (32 km) wide, S central Sweden, drained by the Motala Ström E into the Baltic Sea. It is the second largest lake in Sweden. The Göta Canal crosses the northern part of the deep lake. Visingsö (c.10 sq mi/25 sq km) is the largest island in the Vättern; a prehistoric burial mound is there. Motala and Jönköping are the principal cities on the lake.
a lake in southern Sweden at an elevation of 88.5 m. It has a length of 129 km, a width of up to 28 km, a surface area of 1,900 sq km, and a maximum depth of 119 m in the southern part. The watershed of Vättern is about 6,000 sq km in area. Visingsö (an island) is in the southern part of the lake. The deep hollow of Vättern is of tectonic origin and appears to be a graben formed by Pleistocene glaciers. The shores are high, particularly the eastern, and have steep slopes. The shores and the lake bottom are rocky. The lake is fed by springs, and the water is transparent and cold (6° C to 7° C in July). Over many years the water level fluctuates by more than 1 m, with rises in the summer. Seiches occur, as well as much choppiness, and consequently the lake freezes late—by February—and at its widest part does not freeze over every year. The Motala River and the Göta Canal connect the lake to the Baltic Sea; the Göta Canal, Vänern (a lake), and the Göta River connect it with the North Sea. On its shores are the cities of Mótala, Jönchöping, Huskvarna, and Karlsborg.