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Landscape evolution modelling for enhanced geohazard risk management along the Bailong River Corridor, Gansu, China

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: CENTA18-LU11
Start date: October 1st 2019
Closing date: January 21st 2019
Interview date: Week beginning February 11th 2019

Primary supervisor: Dr Tom Dijkstra
Secondary supervisor: Prof Qiuhua Liang / Dr Alessandro Novellino (BGS) / Prof Meng Xingmin (Lanzhou University, China).

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College.

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Project Detail

This exciting PhD will develop physical process-based, present-day and future geohazard risk scenarios for the Zhouqu area of the Bailong River Basin, Gansu Province, China - a very dynamic natural environment where lives, livelihoods and critical infrastructures are at risk from flooding, debris flows and landslides (several are more than 3km in length). The area is developing rapidly and to achieve long-term sustainable development, it is urgently needed to identify the spatial and temporal patterns of multiple, and often interacting geohazards.

The project aims to disentangle the complex web of interactions between exogenic dynamic processes and local lithotype properties that shape landforms by expanding a geomorphological transport model (cf. Xia and Liang, 2018) considering (i) landslide activity, (ii) fluvial dynamics, (iii) soil erosion, (iv) tectonic processes, (v) climate factors and their spatio-temporal interactions. The research will also assess the current and future multi-geohazard risk and possible interactions between landslides and fluvial processes under a range of scenarios that reflect changes in climate and regional (societal) development. Close collaboration with Lanzhou University and the Wudu Geohazards Emergency Response Centre will ensure relevance to regional geohazard risk management and sustainable development, and end-user uptake of research findings.

Find out more:
For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website ( or contact Dr Tom Dijkstra (), Prof Qiuhua Liang (), or Dr Alessandro Novellino ().

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Environmental Science, Earth Science or Engineering and an aptitude for computer-based process modelling. A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

Contact details

Name: Dr Tom Dijkstra
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 226192

How to apply

To apply:
1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from or :

2. All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering”. During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.
Please quote CENTA18-LU11 when completing your online application.

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2019. The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,777 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a research training support grant of £8,000. Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder only students with a UK/EU fee status will be considered for this position. Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions.

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