Pacific Ocean Sea Levels

Published data were used to analyse the long-term mean sea level trends at eleven locations located in the Pacific Ocean.  Stations were located in Japan, USA, Canada, Panama, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

The data used were all from the website of PSMSL (the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) which maintains a huge, worldwide database of sea level data.   Only raw data were used (ie as originally recorded, without any adjustments).


Pacific Sea Level Map 2
Table Pacific

The span of records of the data ranged from 69 years to 161 years (the earliest record, at San Francisco, commencing in 1855).

The plots shown below are of the annual means at each of the eleven locations. On each plot a linear “best fit” trendline has been added.



Hosojima (Japan) 1930-2015

Hosojima PSMSL


Ketchikan (USA) 1919-2015

Ketchikan PSMSL


Victoria (Canada) 1910-2015

Victoria PSMSL


Seattle (USA) 1899-2015

Seattle PSMSL


San Francisco (USA) 1897-2015

SanFrancisco PSMSL


La Jolla (USA) 1925-2015



Honolulu (USA) 1905-2015

Honolulu PSMSL


Balboa (Panama) 1908-2015

Balboa PSMSL


Antofagasta (Chile) 1946-2014

Antofagasta PSMSL


Sydney (Australia) 1886-2015

Sydney PSMSL


Dunedin (New Zealand) 1900-2015

Dunedin PSMSL



  • The annual mean sea level trend-lines for all eleven stations are remarkably linear with no indication of inceasing or decreasing trend in recent decades.
  • There is a wide range in the slope of the trendlines (-7.5 to +22.3 cm/century) at different locations reflecting the different isostatic rebound at different locations.  Hosojima, Ketchikan and Antofagasta have negative long-term trends (ie the local sea level is falling relative to the land).


The Author:

This article was written by Brian Gunter of Narooma, NSW. In his previous life Brian was an engineering hydrologist involved over many years in the analysis of rainfall and river flow data for the planning of water resources projects in Australia, Asia and Africa. In recent years he has been one of the Marine Rescue NSW (previously Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol) volunteer weather observers who operate the Narooma station for the Bureau of Meteorology.


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