Raised Beaches and Submerged Forests – Curious Anomalies?


The following analysis of Holocene sea-level changes is intended as an overview for the general reader. Use of specialist terminology has therefore been held to a minimum and is defined where its use is unavoidable. The purpose is to question some of the assumptions that underlie modern theories about the causes of Holocene sea-level change.


Under gradualist geology there is no mechanism that properly explains the formation of raised beach terraces. For the sea to cut cliffs and form beaches at the shoreline requires a stable sea level to prevail for hundreds of years and then to rapidly fall to cut a terrace at a lower level, without leaving transitional features. If sea level were gradually changing over time, as the glaciologists tell us, then no intermediate beach terraces would be able to form.

The alternative here follows a theory of pole shifts and a pattern of sea level change in alternate quarter spheres.

The pattern of sea-level change since c.6000 BP plotted on an equal-area projection, as published by the author in 1995; each ‘plus’ or ‘minus’ sign marks a site with a published or an accepted date as to how the sea level (or the land height) has changed since that era.

Such a quartersphere pattern would be indicative of a small pole-shift since this date, as originally set-out in the author's books Atlantis of the West (2002) and Under Ancient Skies (2005).

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Tags: : sea level change, Holocene sea level, pole shift, ice ages, raised beaches, submerged forests, Holocene climate, pollen zones

Citation: Dunbavin, Paul (2020) Raised Beaches and Submerged Forests: Curious Anomalies, in Prehistory Papers, pp 98- 111, Third Millennium Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9525029-4-4 (minor format revisions 2022)

Paul Dunbavin & Third Millennium Publishing, June 2019, V1.2