Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The position concerns modelling the interior dynamics and evolution of terrestrial and icy planetary bodies and its link to surface expressions. Preferred starting date November 2019, the position is for 2 ½ years.

This postdoctoral position is integrated into the project "PLATONICS - Shaping PLAnetary tecTONICS by solid-state convection incorporating damage and inheritance", a research project with Dr. Tobias Rolf as PI, funded by the Norwegian Research Council for the period 2018-2022. The project is affiliated with several research groups at CEED, primarily with the Earth-&-Beyond- and the Earth-Modelling-Teams. The primary objective of PLATONICS is to investigate the role of history-dependent rheology in the evolution of terrestrial (Earth, Venus) and icy planetary bodies (e.g., Europa, Ganymede) and to evaluate its importance for shaping the surface tectonics of such bodies. The focus of this postdoctoral fellowship will be established with the successful candidate and possible topics include (but are not limited to):

1. Improvements in the self-consistent generation of Earth-like plate tectonics

Despite continuous improvements in recent years, dynamic models linking the Earth's record of plate tectonics and the dynamics of the deeper interior remain fragmentary. Even the most successful of these models do not sufficiently consider the tectonic history and its inheritance in the subsequent evolution of the plate-mantle system. Investigating the impact of such complexities in global mantle convection models featuring plate-like behavior is a possible focus of the project.

2. Scenarios for Venus' tectonic and magmatic history and its divergence from Earth's

Venus and Earth have similar bulk properties, but from the viewpoint of present-day surface tectonics both bodies appear fundamentally different as Earth features plate tectonics, while Venus does not. Why, how and when this divergence has evolved remains enigmatic, but the vastly different surface conditions may promote different styles of rheological damage and healing, which impact the history of surface tectonics. Investigating these aspects in dynamic evolution models of both planets is a possible focus of the project.

3. Deformation of the icy shells of icy moons and Material transport across the shell

The deformation of cold ice is in many aspects similar to that of silicate rocks, so that understanding deformation in the outer shells of icy moons adds important insight into the variety of surface tectonics, which may differ substantially across the Solar System bodies. On some icy moons, the signature from subsurface oceans may have been detected, but how it may have reached the surface remains enigmatic. Modelling the deformation of icy shells and investigating possible ways of material transport from the subsurface ocean across the ice shell to the surface is a possible focus of the project.

Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Earth and/or Planetary sciences or a closely related field. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date.

For more information and how to apply, se here:

posted: 26 March 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.