|Lake Rotoma is a deep (70-80 m), oligotrophic, warm monomictic lake of volcanic origin with insignificant stream inflow and no clearly defined outflow. For at least 60 years up to 1972 the lake level fluctuated markedly about an overall rising trend of some 6-10 m. Nearshore profiles are related to the prevailing wave climate superimposed upon the overall rising lake level, shelves being wider, less steep, and deeper about the more exposed eastern and southern shorelines. The outer portions of shelves extending well below modern storm wave base into waters as deep as 15-25 m are relict features from lower lake level stands. Sediments fine from sand-gravel mixtures nearshore to silts in basinal areas. Their composition reflects a composite provenance involving the lavas and tephras about the lake, as well as intralake diatom frustules and organic matter. The distribution pattern of surficial bottom sediments is an interplay between grains of both biological and terrigenous origin, supplied presently and in the past by a variety of processes, that have been dispersed either by the modern hydrodynamic regime or by former ones associated with lower lake levels. These interrelationships are structured by erecting 5 process-age sediment classes in the lake, namely neoteric, amphoteric, proteric, palimpsest, and relict sediments, analogous to categories postulated for sediments on oceanic continental shelves. Short-core stratigraphy includes the Kaharoa (A.D. -1020) and Tarawera (A.D. 1886) tephras. The rates of sedimentation of diatomaceous silts in basinal areas have more than doubled since the Tarawera eruption, indicating an overall increase in the fertility level of lake waters associated, perhaps, with recent farm development in the catchment.