Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.

The Department of Earth Sciences is now looking for highly-motivated, high-potential applicant to fill a:

Post-doctoral position in geothermal energy
research (3 yrs)

Project title: Reservoir compartmentalisation and stress heterogeneity: inferences from InSAR (Interferometry by Synthetic Aperture Radar) time-series data processing for surface displacements, subsidence inversion to reservoir geometry and advanced stress models.

The project is EU-funded within the framework of GEMex: Cooperation in Geothermal energy research Europe-Mexico for development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems and Superhot Geothermal Systems (a Horizon 2020 project).

The objective of this post-doctoral research project is to assess the field compartments in reservoir models of the Los Humeros field (west TMVB, Mexico) constrained by geodetic data (INSAR and GPS). This will be achieved by using inversion techniques to model reservoir geometry and identify reservoir compartments from vertical (and horizontal in EW direction) surface displacements. An additional aim is to derive reservoir stress heterogeneity on faults due to reservoir depletion (Los Humeros) and late quaternary thermal field changes (Acoculco) from novel high resolution forward models for stress disturbances on pre-existing faults and fractures. These models should be capable to assess both the effects of reservoir depletion and active magmatic processes, which are of relevance to Los Humeros and Acoculco, respectively. The project results will shed light on reservoir dynamics, understanding observed seismicity due to reinjection (Los Humeros) and provide predictive models for induced seismicity with EGS (Acoculco) and stress heterogeneity in Los Humeros due to reservoir production.

>Methods: INSAR time-series processing for volcanic environments (Martins et al., in prep.), data inversion to subsurface strains and reservoir compartmentalisation (Fokker et al. 2006; Fokker and Van Thienen-Visser, 2015) and analytical predictive models for stress perturbation for stress changes related to thermal and pressure changes (Fokker et al., 2015). The latter methods have been recently expanded to evaluate stresses up to thousands of faults and fractures at reservoir level, including an interface with numerical (reservoir) simulation grids (Van Wees et al., in prep.)


We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc with a recent PhD in Geophysics, Mathematical Geology or Mathematics/Physics and affinity in one or more of the following areas: tectonic deformation processes, satellite data processing, geophysical modelling, geostatistics.

We will value your experience with active tectonic case studies, INSAR processing, stress behaviour or a related geophysical field. Moreover you are expected to be able to work in a multidisciplinary, international environment, where good English oral and writing skills are essential.

Terms of employment:

We offer a temporary position as post doc for three years. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and starts between € 2,943,- and € 3,555.-. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. In addition, we offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions.

Facilities for sports and child care are available on our main campus (where the Department of Earth Sciences is situated), which is located only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht.

About the organisation:

The Utrecht Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. With a population of 2600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments: Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning.

The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international group of more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

Additional information:

Informal enquiries may be sent to Prof Dr Jan-Diederik van Wees, Dr Peter Fokker, or Dr Damien Bonté.

How to apply:

To apply, please follow this link and the guidelines mentioned there. The application deadline is January 31, 2017. Evaluations and interviews are planned soon thereafter. We seek to initiate the position as soon as possible and not later than April 1, 2017. Online screening may be part of the selection. Commercial response to this ad is not appreciated.

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posted: 19 December 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.