iCRAG 2 year MSc Studentship: RM1.4 MSc1

Aggregate Potential of Irish South Coast Offshore Palaeovalleys (AggrePOP)

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University College Cork, are seeking an MSc by Research candidate within the Raw Materials Spoke of Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). The successful candidate will be based at UCC in the Marine Geology group and will work with academics and researchers in iCRAG partner institutions.

The MSc by Research will delimit and quantify (resource location, thickness and quality) marine aggregate resources off the south coast of Ireland. Geophysical data (collected and new) will enable generic resource development models generation and volumetric estimates. Aggregate quality will be appraised through the determination of physical properties (grain size, grain shape, grain surface texture) and petrochemistry to determine product suitability and high value niche product potential.

Sparker and multi-channel micro-airgun seismic data was collected in April 2017 targeting south coast aggregate resources, which, along with INFOMAR multibeam echosounder data will allow a 3D evaluation of palaeoevalley aggregate systems off the south coast of Ireland. This project will target the offshore extension of the Rivers Bandon, Lee, Blackwater, Colligan, and Suir. These are known to contain valuable aggregate resources which will be quantified.

Vibrocoring and sediment sampling will proceed in October 2018 enabling a reconnaissance assessment of aggregate quality and downcore variability based on a maximum of 30 vibrocores and bulk seabed samples. Particle size will be conducted using the latest generation Malvern MS3000 Laser Particle Sizer (<2mm) and in-house grain form image analysis software (GFIA) (>2mm). In addition, GFIA will be used to define particle shape (indices and variability). A suite of tests, developed in-house, will be conducted on the aggregates to assess their suitability as high-value aggregates. By quantifying the physical and petrochemical characteristics of the aggregates, the resources evaluated in term of suitable European Standard compliant products as well as identify high-value niche products.

Data will interpreted to develop a geological development model to provide a "geo-logic" enabling a greater understanding of, and aiding a predictive capacity for, further marine aggregate exploration. To this end, data will be available through a data viewer (e.g. GeoSEAS borehole viewer).

Candidates should hold a second class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a Geology, Marine Science or a related discipline. Candidates should have a strong interest or experience in sediment characterisation, marine geophysics, benthic sedimentary processes and will be expected to participate in offshore field measurement activities.

The MSc is funded for 2 years and carries a stipend of 18,500 pa plus fees (non EU applicants welcome). There are additional funds available to cover field /conference travel and other costs. Applications, which must including a CV, a covering letter explaining your interest in the position, and contact details for three referees, should be emailed to a.wheeler@ucc.ie. The deadline for applications is 5pm, September 15th 2018. For more information please contact Prof Andy Wheeler.

posted: 15 August 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.