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ONE Planet DTP - Glacier calving – observations and modelling (Ref: OP202055)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project Description:
Glacier calving is the process of ice loss through the breaking of ice from the edge of a glacier. Ice-flow models describe calving in a number of different ways, and there is still no consensus on the best approach. Recent work suggests that calving can give rise to an unstable run-away process and some of the higher-end predictions of near-future global sea level rely on models implementing such an unstable frontal retreat.
In this project, both observational and numerical methods are used to better understand the calving process and how best to implement calving numerically. The aim is to arrive at a description that results in good agreement with observations, while at the same time being numerically robust and flexible enough to fit into an existing modelling framework used in large-scale ice-sheet modelling today. Of particular interest is the possibility of some types of calving-laws giving rise to an unstable retreat. This idea will be investigated and tested using numerical ice-flow models and simplified analytical models. Observational data will be primarily based on remote sensing data from Greenland, Iceland and Antarctica with additional new data sets to be collected from lake-terminating glaciers in Iceland. The near-future evolution of Pine-Island glacier, Antarctica, will be modelled using different types of calving laws, and the importance of calving formulations assess through formal uncertainty-quantification methodology.
The work will be tightly integrated with existing international research projects and other groups currently working on similar problems. The student will benefit and contribute to work conduced at Northumbria University as a part of the NSFPLR-NERC funded project: Processes, drivers, predictions: Modeling the response of Thwaites Glacier over the next century using ice/ocean coupled models.
An interest in ice-flow modelling is an essential. A first degree in math/physics (or similar) is a desirable. Willingness to conduct fieldwork under extreme hostile conditions (Iceland in summer) is a desirable.
For more information, please contact G. Hilmar Gudmundsson ().

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. OP.....) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

We have a minimum of 12 (3.5 year) PhD fully funded studentship awards available for October 2020 entry. Each award includes fees (Home / EU), an annual living allowance (for 2019/20 this is £15,009) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).

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