Skip to main content

Raised beach

  • Reference work entry
  • First Online:
Beaches and Coastal Geology

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series ((EESS))

  • 73 Accesses

The term raised beach has been applied since early in the past century to any former shoreline deposits that today are found emerged, above present high tide level (de la Beche, 1839). Holocene raised beaches are frequently marked by shell accumulations. Natural examples contain mixed species of all sizes. Kitchen middens of shellfish-eating early man are often associated with the raised beaches (Fairbridge, 1976); but the shell mounds, which may contain several billion specimens, are distinguished by mono-specific edible forms (also charcoal, tools, and so on). Raised beach shells were noted by early classical philosophers on the coasts of Greece, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. They were commonly interpreted as evidence of the Noachian Flood. Most raised beaches are marine, but some, as in glacial or pluvial lakes, are lacustrine. An extensive bibliography was summarized by Richards and Fairbridge (1965; with several supplements).

Some authors have felt that the adjective raised...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 569.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  • Chambers R., 1948. Ancient Sea Margins. Edinburgh: Chambers, Orr and Co., 388p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Charlesworth, J. K., 1975. The Quaternary Era, 2 vols. London: Edward Arnold, 1700p.

    Google Scholar 

  • de la Beche, H. B., 1839. Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon, and West Somerset. London: Longmans, 648p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doering, J. A., 1960. Quaternary surface formations of southern part of Atlantic coastal plain, Jour. Geology 68, 182–202

    Google Scholar 

  • Fairbridge, R. W., 1971. Quaternary shoreline problems at INQUA 1969, Quaternaria 15, 1–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fairbridge, R. W., 1976. Shellfish-eating preceramic Indians in coastal Brazil, Science 191, 353–359.

    Google Scholar 

  • Flint, R. F., 1966. Comparison of interglacial marine stratigraphy in Virginia, Alaska, and Mediterranean area, Am. Jour. Sci. 264, 673–684.

    Google Scholar 

  • Geikie, J., 1881. Prehistoric Europe. London: E. Stanford, 592p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hillaire-Marcel, C., and Fairbridge, R. W., 1978. Isostasy and eustasy of Hudson Bay, Geology 8, 117–122.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nansen, F., 1905. Oscillations of shore-lines, Geog. Jour. 26, 604–616.

    Google Scholar 

  • Omoto, K., 1977. Geomorphic development of the Soya coast, East Antarctica, Tohoku Univ. Sci. Repts., ser. 7 (Geog.), 27, 95–148.

    Google Scholar 

  • Richards, H. G., and Fairbridge, R. W., 1965. Annotated Bibliography of Quaternary Shorelines (1945-64). Philadelphia: Academy of Natural Sciences Spec. Pub. 6, 280p. (Supplement for 1965–1969, publ. 1970, n. 10, 240p.; and subsequent issues.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Tooley, M. J., 1974. Sea-level changes during the last 9000 years in northwest England, Geog. Jour. 140, 18–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zeuner, F. E., 1959. The Pleistocene Period, 2d ed. London: Hutchinson, 447p.

    Google Scholar 


Download references


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 1982 Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company

About this entry

Cite this entry

Fairbridge, R.W. (1982). Raised beach . In: Beaches and Coastal Geology. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, New York, NY.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-87933-213-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-387-30843-2

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

Publish with us

Policies and ethics