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The state and fate of mountain permafrost and implications for debris supply in glacierised catchments (OP2229)

   Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering

   Monday, January 24, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Newcastle United Kingdom Climate Science Computational Mathematics Data Science Environmental Geography Geographical Information Systems Gis Geoscience Mathematical Modelling Physical Geography

About the Project

Climate warming is pronounced is many mountainous regions, which is causing degradation of high altitude permafrost. In turn, permafrost degradation reduces slope stability, with implications for the magnitude and frequency of mass movements which can pose a hazard to life and play a key role in landscape evolution, particularly of the mountain cryosphere.

The objectives of this project are:

·      To update an existing global permafrost zonation model [e.g. 1] using climate reanalysis data and to simulate future permafrost zonation using Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) trajectories;

·      Use a land surface model (e.g. [2]) to obtain higher spatiotemporal resolution estimates of permafrost degradation in select glacierised catchments (includes fieldwork component).

·      Explore the implications of permafrost degradation and other preparatory and triggering factors for the continuous (e.g. small rockfalls) or episodic (e.g. rock avalanches) delivery of debris to glacierised catchments.

The latter part of the studentship (point 3) is designed to give maximum flexibility depending on the candidates interests, and which should be elaborated on in a research proposal.

Specific knowledge and skills that you will develop include:

1) Applied knowledge of contemporary climate and permafrost zonation models;

2) An ability to synthesise, manipulate and analyse results from ‘big data’ using high-level programming language(s);

3) Proficiency in deploying cutting-edge field methods (e.g. digital photogrammetry) for quantifying current and past mass movement activity in deglaciating catchments.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the NERC ONE Planet DTP. Each of our studentship awards include 3.5 years of fees (Home/EU), an annual living allowance (£15,650) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, etc).
Home and International applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. Following the UKRI announcement regarding their new 30% UKRI international recruitment policy (to take effect from September 2021) both Newcastle University, and Northumbria University, have agreed to pay the international fee difference for all International applicants (inc. EU) who are awarded a DTP studentship. Interviews will take place in February 2022.
How to apply: View Website

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