09 diciembre 2014

Two PhD scholarship in sedimentology

Two PhD scholarships in sedimentology are available at the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (Marine Science Institute of Rimouski, ISMER/UQAR, Canada).

A) Seasonal variation of sediment dynamics in subarctic intertidal zones

Sediment dynamics in intertidal zones depends on current and wave conditions, but also on sediment properties and biostabilization by microbial biofilms, which changes according to daily and seasonal biological cycles. In the St. Lawrence Estuary, subarctic conditions provoke strong seasonal variations, with conditions similar to those observed in temperate environments in summer and the presence of sea ice in winter.

The project objectives are (1) to examine seasonal variation in sediment biostabilization by biofilms, (2) to conduct the first study of winter intertidal sediment dynamics, and (3) to determine the seasonal evolution of sediment dynamics in the intertidal zone in the subarctic St. Lawrence Estuary.

Key parameters controlling sediment dynamics will be monitored in the field during different seasons: hydrodynamic conditions, sediment transport, erosion threshold, erosion and accretion rate, sediment grain size, and biofilm characteristics.

B) Modelling of coastal sediment transport

Sediment transport in the coastal zone controls bathymetric evolution and coastal erosion. Due to difficulties in measuring sediment transport directly, especially during storms, numerical modelling is an interesting alternative. Modeling also permits the study of future conditions, particularly climate change impacts, which threaten the present coastal equilibrium by reducing winter sea-ice cover, raising sea level, and changing wave climate.

The project objectives are (1) to define the relationship between offshore waves and sediment dynamics near the coast, (2) to evaluate the impact of different extreme storm conditions on coastal erosion, (3) to evaluate the impact of climate changes, particularly the decline in winter sea ice cover and sea level rise, on sediment transport and coastal erosion.

A numerical model of hydrodynamics and sediment transport will be implemented for two sectors in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. This model will be adapted to include influence of winter sea ice. It will be calibrated and validated with field measurements (currents, waves, and sediment transport). The model will then be used to evaluate the future sedimentary response under different scenarios of storms, sea level and winter ice cover.

Students will enroll in the oceanography PhD program of the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR, http://www.uqar.ca/programmes/description/3292/). TheInstitut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER) is a research institute of UQAR with about 20 professors in different disciplines of oceanography. The marine geology group has a wide range of field and laboratory instruments for sedimentology research.

To apply, send to Urs Neumeier: (1) Curriculum vitae, (2) Cover letter, (3) University transcripts (B.Sc. and M.Sc.), and (4) Name and contact information of two references.

To apply or for more information, please contact:

Urs Neumeier
Professor in marine geology
Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski
310, allée des Ursulines
Rimouski QC G5L 3A1
E-mail: urs_neumeier@uqar.ca
Phone: 418-723-1986 ext. 1278