Claim: 'Post Glacial Rebound is a Myth'

English: Modeled post-glacial rebound based on...

English: Modeled post-glacial rebound based on data from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites. These models are used to remove the post-glacial rebound signal from the GRACE data. They are given in a change in mass over change in time, in millimeters of water-density-equivalent (1000 kg/m^3) per year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NOTE: (I had this at the bottom of the post some people missed it so I moved it up to the top) I’m not convinced that this idea has any merit whatsoever, as I see more conventional reasons (like silting) for land recovery such as at Rome’s original harbor and in New York, but thought it was worth posting for the discussion that would ensue. Even bad science deserves to be discussed/disproven. See also a note below.  – Anthony

Isostacy is a major Geological error.

Guest essay by Richard Guy

The Governments of the United States and Canada are concerned about the ebbing water levels in the Great Lakes. For years the water levels in the great lakes and other lakes have been declining without any signs of ever returning to previous levels. The best news is that there is no hope that the water levels will ever return. The bad news is that we have our heads stuck in the sand dunes which have been created on the shores of the great lakes as they recede.

What we have also failed to notice is that the process is speeding up faster than our ability to grasp the reality. The fact is that this process of ebbing lake and water levels has been going on since pre history but we are just becoming aware of it as more and more shoreline inhabitants observe the phenomenon. 

Another major deterrent to our overall realization is that our  thought processes are hampered, among other things, by the media hype of rising sea levels and Post Glacial Rebound. Post Glacial Rebound is a geological error which has been foisted on us for a long time. It is time that we outlaw this false concept of Glacial Rebound and release a new era of exiting discoveries which have remained hidden by this mistaken premise.

Isostatic Rebound was introduced into Geological theology over one hundred years ago and it has lead us astray. This theory of Iostacy was based on an original error in deduction. The error in deduction was that the land rose from the sea. This original error was compounded when the theory of Post Glacial Rebound was built on it. This led us even further away from the truth.

We will never solve the disappearing water problem until we face the reality that we have been mislead by Iostacy.  We have to face this reality because this reality is now facing us: we are losing water all over the planet while we continue to harp on rising seas levels.

Once we abandon Isostatic Rebound we will see the reality of receding seas. This path will also lead us to other interesting discoveries such as why the seas recede.?  Once we accept that seas are receding that acceptance will automatically eliminate Post Glacial Rebound. There is no time to waste because our survival depends on this acceptance.

What is really occurring is that the sea levels have been falling from pre historic times. Rivers have been draining the land and the lakes since pre-historic times. As Sea levels fall lower and lower the draining process moves faster and faster and we lose our wetlands as more and more land is left behind by the receding seas. Sand dunes now line the shores of the great lakes where people used to swim and boats used to be moored. Many marinas have been deserted leaving boats stranded on sand bars.  This is also a cause of the amount of arid land which is increasing worldwide.


Graph from:

So it is wise at this stage to give the lie to rising sea levels and accept receding sea levels. This will not stop the water loss but it will make us understand what we have to do in order to preserve what little water we do have left.

New York is learning about receding seas because the marshes in Jamaica Bay are disappearing and drying up. New Jersey is dealing with the receding sea by selling off the new land left by the sea to Donald Trump and Playboy Hotels and Casinos. Donald Trump built his Taj Mahal Casino on these lands left by the receding sea.

Now that The State of New Jersey has discovered the land bonanza they are gaining as the sea recedes they have been looking over old survey maps to find out where the sea was back in 1776. They are proposing to claim retroactive taxes from landowners who have occupied these lands back to those historical times. They estimate that they have accumulated 830000 acres of land from the sea since 1776.  The State of New York can make a similar claim as it includes long Island the Sounds and Brooklyn Shorelines. An exhibition by the New York Library in 2010 showed the mapping of the New York shoreline over three hundred years. The entire New York coastline has gained a quarter mile of land over that period.

So when we see the water levels falling in the Great lakes that is only the tip of the iceberg. Those levels have been falling for a very long time and will continue to do so. If we want to get  a picture of what our earth will eventually look like just look at the face of the Planet Mars.

The first order of business is to get rid of the Isostatic Rebound theory and accept that our seas are receding as our planet expands. The sea is not rising. We will then see why our lakes are going dry. We will also understand that the only thing we can do about it is to keep dredging our waterways harbours and lakes to keep things moving.  That was all three Emperors of Rome could do to keep the Harbour at Ostia open: they were finally defeated. It took Nero, Trajan and Articus one hundred years of dredging before they gave up the fight against the receding sea. Today Ostia is three miles from the sea and twenty feet above sea level.

The Port Authority in New York is having to blast bedrock, for the first time, to keep the harbour channels open. The sea keeps getting shallower and the seagoing vessels keep getting larger. Ships keep demanding deeper depths.

Our Planet Earth is dynamic. It is a masterful creation not unlike other planets in the Cosmos.  The earth does not reveal her secrets readily and her secrets are often presented to us as a mirror image of what is really happening. So when we observe that land is rising it may just be a mirror image: our seas are receding.


Richard Guy is a Structural Engineer. P.Eng, Mse, West London University. He has worked in several countries worldwide. He has written three books on Receding Seas and allied Phenomena. He lectures, writes and does radio and TV interviews. He has built Airports, Refineries, Highways on lands left behind by the receding sea

See: The Mysterious Receding Seas on Amazon


UPDATE: for those who never read past the first few paragraphs to see my caveat, I’ve now moved it up top for better visibility.

Some people asked why I should publish “rubbish science” like this. The reason is the same that I often publish some “rubbish science”from climatology; it deserves ridicule for the ridiculous premise of the idea.

At some point, when the next ice age kicks in, we will start to see the seas recede. We are nowhere close to that.

File:Post-Glacial Sea Level.png

The new land that Mr. Guy sees is from silting deposition. For example the delta of the Mississippi river continues to grow each year for that reason.

Plus, with GPS enabled altimetry systems, we can now actually measure isotasy changes. – Anthony



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WUWT??? Artificial land reclamation and harbours silting up does not a receding sea level make. Link to reference is also broken…


You need to take some courses in geophysics, especially in gravimmetry.

Richard Sharpe

The link seems broken

John Robertson

Is it April 1st already?


You need to take some courses in Geophysics, specifically gravimmetry.

I’m sorry, sir, but glacial isostatic adjustment is not only evident from a variety of geological observations, but can be directly measured by GPS. Were it not for the weight of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, for instance, Hudson’s Bay would not exist.
Perhaps I’ve misunderstood your argument.


” … we are losing water all over the planet while we continue to harp on rising seas levels.”
And just where is this water going?


Interesting thesis ‘accept that our seas are receding as our planet expands’.
Not sure where the evidence is for that expansion.
More generally, do not the tidal records around the world show a consistent modest sea level rise?
The decline in the water levels of the Great Lakes is adequately explained afaik by the deepening of the waterways for navigation, which has had the side effect of increasing the outflow from the lakes. Likewise, the silting of the areas around major population centers from erosion and marshland drainage is not a mystery that requires an expanding earth to explain.


I know absolutely nothing about this subject except that since a little boy I learned that the south of the UK was going down and the more northern regions were going up because of post glacial bounce. If this is not the case could you say what is the cause?


Funnily enough, after all the rain we’ve had this summer, I was looking for info on lake levels as, yet again, it was raining cats and dogs in many parts of Ontario yesterday.

Speed: “And just where is this water going?”
AGW Members said it all went to Australia. And got lost on the way to the ocean.
“Puzzled oceanographers who wondered where the sea level rise went for 18 months now have their answer. It went to Australia. Rainwater normally runs swiftly off continental mountain ranges, pours down rivers, collects in aquifers and lakes and then winds across floodplains into the sea. But Australia, as any Australian will proudly claim, is different. Rain that falls in the outback of the largest island – also the smallest continent – tends to dribble away into inland waterways and seemingly get lost, without ever making it to the coast, or to collect in shallow inland seas and stay there till it evaporates.


This article made no sense. Having a drink?…

Far-fetched. Repeating that Isostatic Rebound does not occur does not make it any the less fanciful. The amount of water on earth – including that bound up in rocks in the deep mantle – has probably been constant for a few billion years. The total amount of water is not going anywhere..


This looks like spam to get us to buy the book! No facts, just statements. Here is an excerpt of a review on Amazon:
“The author’s scientific errors begin on the first page, where he misses the very basics of the scientific approach. He expresses faith that GPS will one day show the seas are dropping. Faith is not appropriate in science- especially when GPS currently show the seas are rising. Guy points out that what he is saying is not speculation, for it is in the Bible. Guy acts as if Genesis 1-11 were literally true, referring to Nineveh as being founded by Nimrod. (But evidently the more recent Sinbad is fiction.) Even his exegesis is poor, as he seeks to interpret Revelations literally or find scientific explanations from the poetry of the Psalms.”


So we have been hiding the decline of sea levels. Cool.
Does Mikey Mann know about this? Hiding declines is one area in which he actually has expertise.

Paul says:
August 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm
I know absolutely nothing about this subject except that since a little boy I learned that the south of the UK was going down and the more northern regions were going up because of post glacial bounce. If this is not the case could you say what is the cause?
Britain is indubitably behaving as you describe the situation. The formerly iced over north is rising & the unglaciated south is falling.


I read somewhere that the colliding tectonic plates suck in large amount of water, but here in Northern-Norway post glacial rebound is pretty much self-evident. The water have ‘receded’ over 30 feet since Neolithic times. The rest of the world should have experienced something similar if rebound is a myth

Julian in Wales

Good News For Venice


ktwop says:
August 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm
“The amount of water on earth – including that bound up in rocks in the deep mantle – has probably been constant for a few billion years. The total amount of water is not going anywhere..”
Earth constantly loses atmospheric molecules to space due to solar wind etc, so why do you assume constancy? Makes no sense.
Water bound in the mantle is no longer water. Do you count all the H and O atoms to arrive at how much water there is? Again, nonsensical.
Water loss to the mantle, and a model about the development of the total water in the oceans appear near the end of this Willie Soon lecture which mostly talks about errors in satellite altimetry:

El Draque

If the earth is expanding then soon there will be evidence. The telegraph wires along railways will snap.


So, Britain is “tipping”… how long before (makes rotating hand gesture) it tips right over?
(reference to Congressman Hank Johnson, D-GA, worrying about Guam)


This theory together with Trenberth revives AGW. The missing heat is evaporating the seas into space!

Skeptic Tank

Not sure if serious. I thought it was pure sarcasm

Whoa, first this starts with the Great Lakes, and everything I know about recent history points to rainfall, e.g. more water in Lake Erie means more water can flow to Lake Ontario. I sure don’t see much longish term change in Lake Erie, just the upstream lakes that I’m not as familiar with.
Glacial rebound in the Lake Erie area will also lift the Niagra River and falls. There are other areas that show glacial rebound much better.
Then you talk about Iostacy, but that appears to be a twice used typo.
Then you start talking about sea level, but that couples into all sort of other stuff. Melting glaciers have no direct (or much indirect) effect on water levels in the Great Lakes.
I’ll pass….


But the ocean is rising at 3.2mm/yr. Not much, nothing to be worried about, but…’tis rising. Thats alot more water than the Great Lakes.

Geeze, my guest post submission must have been really, really, really bad 🙂

I’m sorry but this is the first article on WUWT that I have flat-out disagreed with on first reading.

“Note: I’m not convinced that this idea has any merit, as I see more conventional reasons ”
That and I thought Lake Michigan was dropping was because we are sucking more water out than what’s being put back in.
Interesting discussion though.

CodeTech says:
August 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Rep. Johnson needn’t be concerned about Britain’s tipping over as he apparently genuinely worried in the case of Marines capsizing Guam. The ice is liable to return to the north before that can happen, restoring balance. Or maybe he couldn’t care less about Britain, unless it made a tsunami when it upended.


What, pray tell, is the proposed mechanism for the Earth to expand?
Here we have an article with few observations, no scientific research, and no proposed mechanisms. How on Earth did it get published?


This article is … bizarre is probably the best word for it. The continents float on the magma below. Load them as Greenland is now loaded and they sink down. How else do you think that river valley they have just found buried under the Greenland ice ended up below sea level. Unload the continents and they float up. Despite your repeated assertions that this idea is false you have neglected to explain what is wrong with it, ignored all the evidence that supports it, supplied no real evidence to refute it, and have given us no viable alternative. As a skeptic I need a much better argument than that to persuade me of anything. If repeated assertion worked for me as a persuasive method I’d be an ardent CAGW supporter by now.


I had to check my calender to make sure it wasn’t the 1st of April.
Isostacy is a major Geological error.
Did he mean that:
Isostacy is a major spelling error.
Isostasy is basically akin to buoyancy on a global scale, it is well established and makes accurate predictions that can be tested by examining changes in gravitational anomalies and the stratigraphic record.

Xlibris is a self-publishing, print on demand service. The word that I recognize is isostacy.

My husband and I watched a series on the Discovery Channel last year called “Drain the Great Lakes” and this documentary went into great detail about how the lakes were dry as recently as 4,000 to 7,000 years ago. Using sonar imaging, they found the remains of several settlements on the floor bed of Lake Huron up around Tobermory (I think it was) and land bridges connecting Ontario to Michigan. So I’m a bit confused by this article stating that if the lakes go down, they won’t be coming back up again.

Alberta Slim

Isostacy not iostacy. Good grief…. not only is your theory “iffy” you can’t spell.


This taking the proverbial right? Please tell us this is a spoof.

Why post this absolute junk science, Anthony? You must have geophysicists in your network?
REPLY: Note the caveat at the end, the best way to sort out bad science is to do it in the open. I thought it was worth discussing to show the gaping holes in the idea. – Anthony

William McClenney

At first I thought:
“Two beers or not two beers, that’s no question.” Hamlet
Then I went to the fridge for two beers……


Perhaps you might want to check glacier rebound earthquakes in Quebec region a few years ago. That was not imagination.

I am pretty sure this is tongue-in-cheek, especially as the guy is an engineer.
When I lived in northern Scotland it was pretty clear the land had risen, as you could see all the geological signs of a wave cut beach, only it was forty feet above the highest tide. However in the Gulf of New Mexico it is plain the seas have risen, as there are cypress stumps under fifty feet of ocean.
My personal view is that the seas have risen 300-400 feet since the last ice age, however in some places that were oppressed by the weight of ice, the land has risen faster than the seas have.
One totally cool study by a Scandinavian geologist proposed that as a glacier moves down a valley, it actually reduces the total weight of that land, (Rock plus ice,) because it is constantly scouring away rock to sand and even a powder as fine as flour, which can be washed miles out to sea. Then, because the land is lighter, it rises, even as the glacier scours downwards, which means that even as the glacier digs down the sides of the valley are rising up, until you get the awesome landscapes of fjords, with their unbelievably steep sides.


A myth?
Welcome to the Baltic Sea basin. In 2004 we had (in North Poland) a 5.3 Magnitude (Richter Scale) earthquake in non-seismic zone, with epicenter near Sambia Peninsula (Russia).


In central Sweden the coastline of 10000 years ago is now about 1000 feet above sea-level and the sea is still receding about 3 feet per century. I wonder if Richard Guy would care to explain where all that water went according to his theory, and why we have apparently been losing a lot more than anyone else. The ocean must be getting pretty uneven by now….

Berényi Péter

utter rubbish

M Courtney

The first order of business is to get rid of the Isostatic Rebound theory and accept that our seas are receding as our planet expands.</blockquote.
Why would the planet be expanding, anyway?
I mean, there are lots of observations that support Isostatic Rebound but.. why doubt it?
Surely, as the Earth's core cools and the day lengthens we should expect the Earth to shrink.
Are we expecting all the water to escape to space? He should say that as, at least that is worthy of consideration.
But he doesn't.
This is the worst article I've read here since "CO2 will condense out of the atmosphere in the Polar Night".
And “Iostacy” is not a word.

Adam Gallon

Hmm, April Fools’ Day has come a little early!

M Courtney

Sorry for poor formatting.
I was peeved.


Alberta Slim says:
August 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm
Isostacy not iostacy. Good grief…. not only is your theory “iffy” you can’t spell.
Isostasy, not isostacy. The word comes ffrom greek “isos” equal and “stasis” standstill

I actually found what I was looking for, which is a rare event in my current state of chronic disorganization. In any case, here is a link to to the cool geological study on how glaciers make land rise even before the glaciers melt:


Let me speak in support of Richard Guy’s argument that both the Great Lakes and the Seas are receding.
At the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, the land that separates Lake Huron (one of the five Great Lakes) from the Georgian Bay is Five Fathom Park, a cluster of Islands including Flower Pot Island. Walking Flower Pot Island, one comes to a number of wave action formed caves, more than 75 feet above the water level. These wave eroded caves are mimicked at various levels down to water level if one circumnavigates Flower Pot Island. A little Southward on the Bruce Peninsula at Cyprus Lake Provincial Park one can climb down from the dolomite cap into the water and swim at depths in the “Grotto”, a water level wave action formed cave.
Indeed, there are many wave action formed caves along the Georgian Bay side of this section of the Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment itself was formed by differential erosion as best observed by Niagara Falls itself. The Great Lakes were much higher than at present. Indeed, the fossil record shows that the present land masses was part of a shallow and warm sea bed.
We needn’t harken back to prehistoric times to observe the retreat of the seas. On a journey to Turkey, in search for the legendary city of Troy made famous by Homer in the Iliad, Troy can be found and its remains are 3 miles from the coast. The City of Troy at one time stood on the shores of the Aegean exacting tribute from passing merchants. 3 miles the sea has retreated in the last 4,500 years.
The two observations are supportive of the claim of sea levels retreating.
As for the claim of the earth expanding? I have heard no such arguments. Seas water locked up in polar and Greenland ice caps? at least in part true but understandable in the light of a cooling earth. Warmer times and higher sea levels? maybe. Why there would be a retreating sea in the face of a warming world doesn’t seem to make sense unless water is being lost to space and water is not being made to make up for the loss.

David Riser

Well this article is pretty easy to disprove. If you step over to NOAA and look at the lake levels over the last 150 years there really isn’t a significant downward trend; or just look at the graph he posted, take a close look at the scale and you will realize his evidence is not what he thinks it is. I have spent a significant amount of time on the lakes and don’t ever remember seeing any abandoned marina’s or sand dunes, except in a few unique spots. Of course maybe he spent the night here: which is a pretty cool place but I am pretty sure its not representative of the entire great lakes shore line.