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Waterfalls, Hillslopes & Sediment: Understanding critical controls of landscape evolution


   School of Social Sciences and Humanities

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  Dr Edwin Baynes, Dr Dimitri Lague, Dr Philippe Steer  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Loughborough United Kingdom Climate Science Environmental Engineering Environmental Geography Fluid Mechanics Hydrology

About the Project

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/

Project Detail

 Waterfalls have long been considered iconic and popular features of any landscape, but are also critical in controlling the pace and pattern of landscape evolution over both short and long timescales. Despite their importance for the evolution of landscapes, the physical processes that drive waterfall erosion remain poorly constrained with many studies favouring a simplified ‘stream power’ based approach despite recent work highlighting numerous and important complexities in the physical reality.

 This PhD will harness laboratory modelling and fieldwork in a combined approach to tackle some outstanding questions that remain regarding waterfall processes and their role in landscape evolution. Specific landscapes for field study will be determined during the early stages of the project, but will include locations where driving factors can be isolated and quantified, such as bedload sediment supply in the Rangitikei River, New Zealand. Unique analogue model experiments will be performed under controlled laboratory conditions at the Université de Rennes 1 (France), allowing a range of different climate and tectonic scenarios to be tested and specific waterfall processes quantified including the role of flow hydraulics and sediment supply. 

 The findings from this project will lead to a step-change in the understanding of waterfall erosion processes, with exciting implications for the modelling of wider landscape evolution and interpreting past landscape change.  

Find out more

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website (https://centa.ac.uk/) or contact Dr Edwin Baynes ([Email Address Removed]).

 Entry requirements

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Earth Science, Physics, Environmental Science or Civil Engineering or an appropriate Master’s degree.

How to apply

 To apply:

  1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from https://centa.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/ or here).
  2. All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select “Geography and Environment”.  During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.

Please quote CENTA22-LU4 when completing your application.


Funding Notes

The studentship is funded for 3.5 years starting from October 2022 and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum (in 2021/22) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,500 in 2021/22) and a research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000. Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions. International students (including EU) are eligible to apply but the difference between the UK and International tuition fee cannot be covered by the Research Council grant and must be met from other sources.
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