Sea levels The hawaiian case

Here is the depth map off Hilo on Big Island Hawaii:

The Islands of Hawaii have been the focus of geophysical study for a long

Darwin concludes from his studies of atolls that the pacific is an area of
On Hawaii Big Island the following submerged beaches have been found and

terrace   time(y)   depth (m)
I         20000      133
II       133000      426
III      253000      693
IV       346000      925
V        440000     1180

(Campbell, J. F., 1986, Subsidence rates for the southeastern Hawaiian Islands
determined from submerged terraces: Geo-Marine Letters, v. 6, no. 3, p. 139-146.)

This leads to a near constant subsidence rate of 2.46 mm/yr
since the last ice age the average relative sea level rise was 6.65 mm/yr
The current observed relative sea level rise (Hilo Gauge) is 3.39 mm/yr
(W. Mitchell, J. Chittleborough, B. Ronai and G.W. Lennon)

Monthly data from PSMSL for Hilo:

We can derive now an eustatic (global) sealevel rise of

6.65 - 2.46 = 4.19 mm/yr since the last ice age
3.39 - 2.46 = 0.93 mm/yr since 1930

For the last 20 years the trend is even less.

There is no observed  increase in the sea level rise in the 20th century.
Despite global warming.

So for this century my forecast is:

0.93 mm/year
or for 2000-2100
9.3 cm (3.6 in)


comment added 27 Feb 2003

An anonymous reviewer comments:
I have found what is probably a reliable estimate of the relative sea level rise and its uncertainty at Hilo from: which is: 4.3 +/- 0.2 mm/year This is quite different from the 3.39 mm/year, which was obtained from figures from the National Tidal Facility Australia. They are clearly inconsistent with the +/- 0.2 mm/year uncertainty estimate. If we choose this latter number, we get a eustatic (global) sealevel rise of: 4.3 - 2.46 = 1.84 mm/yr since 1930 (with an uncertainty of at least +/- 0.2 mm/year). -- i.e. near the top end of the "IPCC" range for the global average.
Reply: 3.242 is the result of the linear trend from the monthly data from Hilo published by PSMSL: I don't know how Mark Merrifield and Mike Bevis found a trend of 4.3 using the same data.... 3.242-2.46 = 0.782 fairly close to the flinders average of 0.8 for the pacific
I guess you should take it up with Mark Merrifield. However, you should note that the "flinders average of 0.8 for the pacific" was based on the 27 longest records available, 12 of which were shorter than 40 years. This data set therefore falls far short of the 60-70 years minimum specified by Douglas (2001) for a reliable estimate of long-term trend.
Here is the subsidence history of Big Island Hawaii:

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page updated 22 may 2002, links updated 5 august 2005