Post-doctoral Research Associate in Glacier Geophysics

European research project seeks geophysicist with experience in passive seismic investigations of glaciers or other Earth surface environment.

The post

In this post, you will join the European Research Council (ERC) grant RESPONDER: Resolving subglacial properties, hydrological networks and dynamic evolution of ice flow on the Greenland Ice Sheet. You will be responsible for designing and executing experiments with a network of broadband seismometers placed around, and potentially within, boreholes drilled to the base of the Greenland ice sheet. The post will be in the Scott Polar Research Institute, founded in 1920 and recognized as a centre of excellence within the University of Cambridge.


The RESPONDER grant focuses on Store Glacier, which is one of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers. The fundamental goal of the research is to understand how hydrological networks and properties at the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet evolve over seasons and over multiple years, and how that evolution impacts on ice flow in the interior and at the coast where glaciers flow exceedingly fast. The project combines geophysical surveys, direct ice-sheet drilling and numerical modeling in three integrated work packages.

Your role

You will work with Dr Christoffersen and be responsible for deploying networks of broadband seismometers at 'coastal' and 'interior' target sites on Store Glacier, where the RESPONDER grant also will directly observe the basal environment in boreholes drilled with a hot-water drill. You will be responsible for analysing and interpreting passive seismic datasets in a manner that defines the state-of-the-art. You will also engage directly with Prof Bryn Hubbard and his group at Aberystwyth University in Wales, who are responsible for drilling boreholes and are the grant’s second and only other beneficiary. You will work independently and also efficiently in a team tackling inter-disciplinary goals through analyses of wide-ranging scientific data. You will have related previous experience and be motivated and willing to push the state-of-the-science in your field.

Further information

Further particulars and information about how to apply can be found at

Information about the RESPONDER grant can be found at

Informal inquiries should be directed to Dr Poul Christoffersen by email,

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

Expected start date: 1 March 2018 or earlier (as fieldwork starts in June 2018)

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posted: 11 December 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.