26-27 Jan | FREE virtual study fair | REGISTER NOW 26-27 Jan | FREE virtual study fair | REGISTER NOW
University of Sheffield Featured PhD Programmes
University of Southampton Featured PhD Programmes
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Featured PhD Programmes

Controls on sub-arctic coastal zone dynamics, Skeiðarársandur, SE Iceland (OP2250)

   Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering

  Dr Seb Pitman  Monday, January 24, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Newcastle United Kingdom Climate Science Geoscience Hydrogeology Hydrology Marine Geology Remote Sensing Soil Science

About the Project

Background: Climate change is driving rapid changes in sub-arctic glacier fed coastal systems worldwide, resulting in concomitant changes in proglacial topography and sediment flux. These coastal systems are observed to prograde by up to 4kms over several days following episodic and catastrophic glacial lake outburst floods, before rapid retreat as a result of erosion and reworking by energetic waves. In a landscape dominated by these episodic, high magnitude sediment inputs, it is unclear how the coastline is evolving over longer timescales. The combined influences of climate-induced sea-level rise, isostatic uplift, glacial recession, and large fluxes of sediment to the coast make predicting and managing the behaviour of these systems complex. In Iceland, critical local infrastructure around Skeiðarársandur is at severe risk of compromise, with erosion rates near the main highway reaching 8/m year over the last 100 years. Understanding how glacial-derived sediments can persist at the coast in the face of rising sea levels is therefore of critical importance for the management of these systems over the coming decades.

Aims & Objectives: This project will examine the key factors controlling coastal zone dynamics on one of worlds largest active glacier meltwater fed outwash systems (Skeiðarársandur). This project aims to quantify how climate-driven accelerations in sea-level rise and glacial melting have influenced shoreline evolution over the last decades, and make predictions as system responses should these climate-driven accelerations continue.

Methods: Remote sensing and field data acquisition will allow: (1) mapping of coastline, river mouth and barrier position; (2) mapping of distribution of coastal depositional forms; (3) characterisation of coastal zone sedimentology and architecture through ground penetrating radar; (4) deployment of timelapse cameras.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the NERC ONE Planet DTP. Each of our studentship awards include 3.5 years of fees (Home/EU), an annual living allowance (£15,650) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, etc).
Home and International applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. Following the UKRI announcement regarding their new 30% UKRI international recruitment policy (to take effect from September 2021) both Newcastle University, and Northumbria University, have agreed to pay the international fee difference for all International applicants (inc. EU) who are awarded a DTP studentship. Interviews will take place in February 2022.
How to apply: View Website


Ballantyne, C.K., (2002) Paraglacial geomorphology. Quat. Sci. Rev., 21, 1935–2017. | French, J.R., Burningham, H. (2013) Coasts and Climate: Insights from Geomorphology. Prog. in Phys. Geog: Earth and Environment 37 (4): 550–561.

Email Now

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs