Around most of its margin the Antarctic Ice Sheet is shielded from the warmth of the Southern Ocean by colder waters that have been cooled to near the freezing point by heat loss to the atmosphere. That protective ring of cold water is absent in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas for reasons that are not fully understood. The widespread thinning of the inland ice sheet observed throughout that sector is generally attributed to an increase in the flow of warm waters to the ice sheet margins. This project will initially focus on data collected during British Antarctic Survey cruises to the Bellingshausen Sea, using them to define the processes that bring warm water onto the continental shelf, the pathways it follows to the ice sheet and the transport of meltwater away from the ice. The analyses can then be extended in time and in space, using additional data from more-studied regions to the east and west, as well as the output from computer ocean models. Various research directions are then possible. The project could focus on the question of longer-term change and its potential impact on the ice sheet in the future, through a critical analysis of the output from climate models. On longer timescales still there is seabed evidence of mid-Holocene changes in ocean conditions and a re-advance of the ice sheet. Such behaviour could be investigated with an ice sheet model, potentially run within a coupled ice-ocean framework. The project will be undertaken in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey.
The student will gain experience in the analysis of oceanographic data collected with a range of sensors deployed on various platforms, and of numerical model output. Inverse theory will be applied to the problem of solving under-determined systems of equations. Experience could also be gained in running ice, ocean and coupled models.
Prerequisites: A numerate background (first degree in maths/physics or similar) is essential. Previous experience with the manipulation and analysis of large datasets and some knowledge of computer programming (e.g. Python/Matlab/Fortran) would be desirable.
For more information, please contact Adrian Jenkins ([email protected]
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.
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).