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Improving hydrological modelling in cold regions with satellite observations

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Global warming is accelerating snow-glacier retreat and shifting hydrology in cold regions, which affects sustainable development of downstream residents. There is a need for improved knowledge of snow-glacier dynamics and their impacts on hydrology. Hydrological modelling and satellite remote sensing are important tools to help us achieve this need. However, representation and evaluation of internal hydrological processes (e.g. snow-glacier dynamics and evapotranspiration over permafrost) in hydrological modelling is often limited by the lack of in-situ data. Satellite remote sensing provides free observations that can be used to derive snow-glacier extents and evapotranspiration (also surface energy balance components), but the accuracy varies and needs to be validated. Objectives of the project are to (1) develop novel satellite-based retrieval algorithms for snow-glacier extents and evapotranspiration over cold regions (2) integrate satellite estimates to improve hydrological modelling. Tibetan Plateau will be one of studied areas.

The student will develop knowledge and research skills in remote sensing and modelling. He/she will receive extensive research training and collaborate with international scientists. High-quality academic publications will be expected.

The project will also be supervised by Hongkai Gao (East China Normal University).

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in relevant subjects such as Hydrology, Remote Sensing or Physical Geography. This project requires computer programming skills (experience in any of Matlab, Python and R would be great), numerical and analytical skills. Experience in hydrological modelling and/or processing of satellite data would be essential.

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£15,009 2019/20 [tax free])) for UK/EU students for 3.5 years. Unfortunately funding is not available for International (non EU) students.

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