A neutron activation method for multi-elemental analysis was applied to argillaceous deposits from the Viskan Valley on the Swedish West Coast, an area in which transgressions and regressions of the sea have occurred during the postglacial time. These changes between fresh-water and marine stages are well known from earlier geologic investigations. Analysis could therefore be performed of samples of known marine (brackish) and lacustrine origin. In a preliminary test on four samples, taken from two marine layers and two lacustrine layers, altogether 30 elements were quantitatively determined, namely As, Br, Ca, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Eu, Fe, Ga, Hf, Hg, La, Lu, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se, Sm, Sr, Ta, Tb, Th, U, W, Yb, Zn and Zr. Several elements showed a difference in concentration between the marine and the fresh-water layers. Br, Hg, Mn, Se, As and Sb were more thoroughly investigated in three boreholes from different sections of the valley. Br and Se had high means in the most pronounced marine samples of the fiord deposits. Moreover, Mn showed a fourfold increase just in the transition stage between the older sea fiord and the older lage stage.