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ONEPlanet DTP - Glacial Impacts on Global Chemical Cycling and Climate Feedbacks (OP2200)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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Dr J Graly No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project aims to understand the impact of subglacial geochemical processes on global chemical cycling and how these impacts will change in an increasingly deglaciating world. Past research has identified large chemical fluxes emerging at glacial termini and in the subglacial environments of large ice bodies. However, questions remain regarding the degree to which the chemical activity beneath glaciers is driven by atmospheric CO2 drawdown or by oxidation of sulfur and organic matter, which have opposing effects for global geochemical cycling. Contrasting the subglacial environment to deglaciated proglacial forelands is also a subject of interest.

Research will focus on glaciated volcanic islands, newly emerging lands which are hotspots of chemical weathering. Fieldwork is likely to be on Iceland and Jan Mayen. Water, sediment, and sediment-bearing ice will be collected from glaciers and ice caps at both sites. Analyses will focus on the chemistry, sedimentology and mineralogy of these samples, as relevant to determining the underlying chemical pathways active in the subglacial system. The doctoral student will have broad freedom to develop a plan for analysis including employing a range of stable or radioisotopes. Of particular interest are the isotopic constituents of dissolved inorganic carbon, glacial ice, and newly formed minerals such carbonates and clays.

The project will train the doctoral student in a wide range of field and analytical skills relating the geochemical analysis of rock, sediment, and water. It will be connected with ongoing research in Greenland and Antarctica led by supervisor Graly and will include collaborations with international colleagues. Upon completion, the student will be qualified to pursue an academic career employing chemical and isotopic methods to analyse earth system feedbacks or to pursue a range of industry or government positions (e.g. energy, environmental) that depend on the analysis of geochemical or mineralogical data

Funding Notes

Each of our studentship awards include 3.5 years of fees (Home), an annual living allowance (£15,285) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).
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