SLATE – Submarine landslides and Their impact on European continental margins
The European Training Network SLATE funded by the European Commission in the frame of the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie program offers an

Early Stage Researcher position
(for the duration of 36 month)
in the area of geophysics, particularly numerical modelling, in the frame of the project
Dynamics and kinematics of submarine landslides as a function of margin architecture (ESR11).

The Early Stage Researcher will be located and employed at the MARUM at the Universität Bremen (Germany). The candidate will be enrolled and become a member of the graduate program at the MARUM and the Department of Geosciences at the Universität Bremen (Germany) as the purpose of the ESR project is research and training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

Project Description
Submarine landslides are a global phenomenon at largely all sediment-bearing continental margins. It has been proposed that many submarine landslides are triggered by earthquakes through slope over-steepening and sediment weakening. In addition, interstitial fluid flow in continental margin sediments has a fundamental role in submarine landslide initiation as sediment failure can be initiated when the shear strength of the slope material decreases in a short time. The most efficient way to decrease the shear strength is the transient increase of pore pressure or respectively overpressure accumulation at the base of the landslide. Other processes that affect the stress state of slopes include the accumulation of pressurised gas beneath the landslides (e.g. due to gas hydrate dissociation) as well as heterogeneous sediment mechanical properties (e.g. embedded mechanically weak layers with varying consolidation state, peak strength, coefficient of friction, and/or cohesion). Hence, continental margin stratigraphic architecture could be identified as major preconditioning factor that defines where and how submarine landslides occur.

The candidate will develop 3D continental margin model utilizing different numerical simulation techniques (e.g. FLAC3D, PFC3D and/or COMSOL Multiphysics). He/she will test the key role of margin architecture, particularly the sensitivity of the slope with respect to: how does pressure localization, fluxes and timing as well as horizontal distribution control localization of slope failure, internal deformation as well as kinematics of submarine landslides. Planned process simulations will enable a better understanding and reassessment of the role of overpressure accumulation and pressure distribution on submarine landslide initiation. Aimed results will reveal deeper insight into trigger mechanisms and kinematics of submarine landslides not only in European waters but also on a global scale.

We are searching for an enthusiastic and dynamic early career researcher who is interested in joining a multidisciplinary research team. Very good written and oral English language skills are required, because the studies will be carried in an international program. The applicant, is expected to visit partners from the SLATE consortium in another European country for extended secondments of up to approx. 6 months and will have to participate in joint network-wide training activities, e.g. our joint annual workshop.

Specific requirements:
  • Completed MSc or Diploma degree in Geophysics, Physics, Geology, Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics or related fields;
  • Basic knowledge in numerical modelling techniques, geophysics, sedimentology or related topics;
  • Skills in scientific computing (in C++) and in visualizing numerical output (e.g. using MATLAB or GMT) would be helpful.
The selected candidate will be employed full-time as an Early Stage Researcher. The position is limited to a term of up to 3 years and funded by the European Commission with a salary 100% TVL-13 linked to the German system.

There are no restrictions on nationality. However, to be eligible for employment according to EU mobility rules, candidates must match the definition of an Early Stage Researcher. Accordingly, ESR11 candidates must not have resided in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment. In addition, the mobility role of the EU pinpoints that the Early Stage Researcher shall at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Applications should be submitted under the reference number A97/17 / SLATE-ESR11 to
Prof Dr Katrin Huhn
Marum, Universität Bremen
Leobener Str. 8
28359 Bremen
or by mail

Documents should include a letter of motivation, a CV, the applicant’s research and technical background as they relate to the position, as well as two reference letters. As the position should be filled at the nearest possible date, the deadline for the application is 25th May 2017 or until the positions are filled.

After the successful passing of the written applications, shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview which will take place at the MARUM, Universitaet Bremen, Germany. Please make sure you are available from the middle June to the first week of July 2017.

The EU commission aims at increasing the number of women in science and therefore explicitly encourages applications from female candidates. In the case of equal personal aptitudes and qualification, priority will be given to disabled persons. Applicants with a migration background are welcome in this mobility program. In addition to the scientific education, the research training group supports families.

For further enquiries please contact Prof Dr Katrin Huhn, - MARUM, Universitaet Bremen, Leobener Straße 8, D-28359 Bremen/

published: 08 May 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.