Climate Change and Biblical towns that are no longer bordering the sea

When we study the history of bible times, there are many examples of cities and towns that once stood by the sea that are now a long distance from it.

Climate change indicates a loss in ice and snow particularly on existing land masses.

Now i accept that when we consider icebergs, the melting of an iceberg does not actually result in an increase in volume of water…its actually the opposite (as demonstrated by placing a bottle of water in the freezer with the lid on…water expands to form ice) but what about the ice on land that is melting?


How do we illustrate exactly what is happening with the loss of ice and snow on land where we have countries where it is clear that sea levels appear to have dropped such that these ancient towns are no longer near the sea? What is the general consensus model that explains the effects of climate change with regard to the ancient civilizations that now find themselves well away from the seas and oceans?

Which? Where?

If you are referring to places like Ephesus, which is now many 5 km from the sea when it used to be a port, I understand that is primarily due to the deposition of silt and addition of sediment filled the harbor. Rising sea levels really are not at play.

Interestingly, I understand that when glaciers retreat from the land, the land actually rises when their weight is removed, but as Biblical cities were described well after any ice ages, i would be surprised is that were a factor.

Looking at the sediments that covered Biblical cities, it does give a rather striking example of what a couple of thousand years of sediment looks like. Joel Duff at the Natural Historian has a neat series of blogs on the geology of the Dead Sea that is interesting with regard to the settlements in that area.

There are roman coastal towns underwater and archeology is with scuba, much of Alexandria is beneath the Mediterranean. I’ve stood on the shore at Caesarea and the sea is right there at the aqueducts. What examples did you have in mind?

1 Like

Yes i was thinking that perhaps sedimentation was the cause of this. I hadnt gone into any personal study on this yet…i just thought that accessing the thoughts of people here would give me some ideas first.

As above…Ephesus came to mind.

1 Like

Sedimentation definitely made some shore cities inland. The map of the shoreline at the mouth of the Maeander river over time is one extreme example

Erosion can also cause cities to vanish (not Biblical but look up Dunwich in England). Ice ages also affect things. Land which had glaciers on them were pressed down by the weight and have risen since the glaciers were removed (see glacial rebound); however, the melting land based glaciers also causes the sea level to rise. Earthquakes can also cause land to be pushed up or dropped down. Or loss of water from aquifers (parts of the California central valley have dropped feet in recent decades due to pumping more water out of the aquifers than is replenished by rain and snow melt).

As a concrete example, the reason why southern Louisiana is going under water so fast (compared to other places) is because northern North America is rising, due to isostatic changes, primarily not having giant glaciers on it. The northern part of the continent rising causes the whole plate to rotate, thus sinking the southern parts of it.

It seems that prior to the last round of ice ages, the coast where I live was 40 meters lower, relative to the rest of the world. The combination of a chuck breaking off the bottom of the Appalachians and the glaciers seem to be what caused the change.

1 Like

The Near East is a plate collision zone, so you have various possible local to regional tectonic causes of moving up or down. A classic example (geology textbook example since the late 1700’s) is a Roman temple near Naples where the columns have boreholes from marine bivalves - the temple was built, the land sunk underwater and then rose again. As this is next to Vesuvius, it’s not hard to guess that volcanism is a factor.

The weight of glaciers pushed down the land underneath them, which tends to push up land farther from the glaciers. Thus, Canada and Scandinavia are now generally rising, rebounding from the glacier weight, while areas a few hundred kilometers further south are sinking in adjustment.

Both Louisiana and Alexandria are on deltas. As sand and mud is first dumped by a river, it’s pretty jumbled. Over time, it settles and compacts down. If more sand and mud are piling up each time the delta floods, the delta will grow over time. If you block the flooding and trap the sand and mud behind dams, then the old stuff is compacting without compensating growth, and the delta sinks.

All this is happening as sea level is rising due to warming climates.

1 Like

Note also that the changes in sea level show in the geologic record are incompatible with the claims of flood geology. For example, south Florida and the Caribbean have extensive reef deposits from the previous interglacial. The coral had to be underwater to grow. As some young earthers admit, reefs could not grow during the catastrophic global flood of young-earth imagination with all the sediment being dumped everywhere. Besides, these reefs are on top of thick sedimentary deposits, and reefs take more than a year to grow. But they indicate sea level significantly higher than today, which is not found in the historical and archaeological records of the past few thousand years. Conversely, the late Miocene Mediterranean largely dried up. Again, not possible during a global flood, not recorded in archaeological or historical evidence, and takes too long to dry up and re-fill.


This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.