Geochemical background values are the normal concentration of trace metals in the natural environment and sediment cores have been proved to be excellent samples to get these values. The trace metal (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd, As, Hg, Ni, Li, and Co) concentration profiles along a sediment core are investigated to get the background values and to assess the depositional processes and contamination levels off the southern Shandong Peninsula, China. All the metals, except As and Hg, had similar concentration profiles with the highest average values during the period of 6 – 3 kyr. The high concentrations of As and Hg occurred before 6ka and during the period of 3 – 0 kyr. The difference in metal concentrations before and after 6 kyr was mainly attributed to the source of core sediments, which are derived from proximal sediment on the Shandong Peninsula before 6 kyr and the mixture of proximal sediment and Yellow River sediment after 6 kyr. The effects of particle size and human activity were mainly contributed to the metal concentrations since 6 kyr. The average concentrations of trace elements in sediments between 6 and 3 kyr were selected as background values. The principal component factor analysis indicate that the metals were from the natural sources throughout the observed depositional period, with the exception of As and Hg, which may had anthropogenic sources for the sediments from the bottom 2 m of the core. Their geoaccumulation indices indicate that the sediments were not contaminated for Cu, Zn, Cr, Cd, Pb, Ni, Li and Co, whereas they were contaminated recently for As and Hg due to the regional civilization and human activities.