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Tracing sources, pathways and fate of nutrients in river systems in the Pearl River Delta using remote sensing techniques

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Z Zhou
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

PhD Studentship & Secondment in China under the SEW-REAP Programme

Supervisors: Dr Zheng Zhou, Dr Greg Holland, Professor Yunpeng Wang, Dr Ben Surridge and Dr Peter Wynn

The Pearl River Delta (PRD) is one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world and one of the main hubs of China’s economic growth. With fast industrial, agricultural and urban development, water pollution has become a major environmental and human health concern, affecting more than 60 million people living within the area. Pollution has also seriously depleted available water resources for human use in the region. The water pollution in the PRD as a whole is poorly understood, particularly the sources, pathways and fate of inorganic nutrients, including ammonium, nitrate and phosphate.

This project will use multi-temporal remote sensing data to extract the water quality parameters addressed and map them in different spatial scales. In the estuary of the Pearl River, we will use high-frequency satellite data (such as MODIS, MERIS) to map water quality distribution and monitor its temporal variations whereas in inland areas, we will use high-resolution satellite data (such as HJ, ZY and GF) to map water quality changes. Several co-temporal field cruises with satellite passing will be conducted to measure the water spectra and take samples. Water quality parameters will be measured in-situ or in laboratory for building retrieval models and verifications. The key of this project is to find the relationships between nutrients and those optical parameters easily detected by remote sensing techniques. These sampling works can be carried out with those for isotopic analysis, which will ensure the results from isotopes and remote sensing can be compared and analyzed in crossing way.

GIG-CAS has accumulated many satellite data in the study area. It benefits from advanced analytical instruments and high performance computer systems to conduct laboratory analysis and data processing works. Also GIG-CAS has completed river basin model constructions, which are running continuously to compute the run-off, erosion, sediment as well as pollutants loadings in each catchment at each rainfall event. This information is very useful to trace the sources and pathway of water quality changes after combining with isotope and remote sensing results.

It is anticipated that most data collection and processing, lab work and modelling will be conducted in China.

Further information: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/sci-tech/downloads/phd_247.pdf

Academic requirements: First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject.

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2016

Provisional Interview Date: 6 April 2016

Start Date: June 2016 or October 2016

For further information or informal discussion about the position, please contact Dr. Zheng Zhou ([Email Address Removed]).

Application process: Please upload a completed application form (download from http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/lec/pg/LEC_Funded_PhD_Application-Form.docx) outlining your background and suitability for this project and a CV at LEC Postgraduate Research Applications, http://www.lec.lancs.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgresearch/apply-online.

You also require two references, please send the reference form (download from http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/lec/pg/LEC_Funded_PhD_Reference_Form.docx) to your two referees and ask them to email it to Andy Harrod ([Email Address Removed]), Postgraduate Research (PGR) Co-ordinator, Lancaster Environment Centre by the deadline.

Due to the limited time between the closing date and the interview date, it is essential that you ensure references are submitted by the closing date or as soon as possible.

Funding Notes

Provides a monthly stipend at an average of ~£1100 (tax free) per month funded by EuropeAid SEW-REAP programme and GIG-CAS for 36 months, which must also cover flights to China and Chinese language tuition. You will need to pay your own UK/EU tuition fees for the duration of your PhD, http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-courses/research-fees/. Successful applicants will be strongly encouraged and supported in applying for further funding that is available to visiting students at Chinese Academy of Sciences institutes. These CAS University scholarships are both generous and prestigious while chances of success are comparatively high. Unfortunately studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.

How good is research at Lancaster University in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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