PhD project at the University of Auckland and GNS Science, New Zealand: Seismic Analysis of Seafloor Pockmarks

We are seeking an enthusiastic student with a background in geophysics and strong interest in 3D seismic processing and interpretation to analyze seismic data from seafloor pockmarks on the Chatham Rise.

A vast area of > 50,000 km2 on the Chatham Rise and Bounty Trough east of New Zealand's South Island is covered by seafloor pockmarks. Based on geophysical, geochemical, and paleoceanographic data, we hypothesize the pockmarks are linked to episodic release of CO2 from limestones atop the subducted Hikurangi Plateau. This hypothesis forms the basis of a collaborative research campaign by the University of Southern California, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, GNS Science, NIWA, GEOMAR, and the University of Auckland aiming at scientific drilling by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

We are planning to acquire 3-D seismic data together with densely spaced echosounder profiles and multibeam data over different types of pockmark fields. Data acquisition is planned for July 2020 on New Zealand's R/V Tangaroa.

The PhD student will focus on seismic data analysis, aided by echosounder profiles, multibeam bathymetry, and backscatter data, with the aim of reconstructing formation of seafloor and buried pockmarks. Results will be tied into regional data to investigate links to faults and deeper crustal structure. These data will form the basis for proposing sites for possible future coring and IODP drilling. More information can be found at Auckland's Marine Geosciences Blog.

The ideal candidate has a strong quantitative background for performing seismic data analysis ranging from processing to interpretation. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Ingo Pecher (U. Auckland) and Dr. Jess Hillman (GNS Science) and collaborate with the team behind our IODP initiative. For further information, please contact Ingo Pecher (

The project is supported over three years by the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund. Funding includes a stipend of NZ$27,500 per year and tuition fees. Applicants should send their CV, transcripts, and the names of two referees to Ingo Pecher. Screening of applications will start immediately and continue until filled.

posted: 28 January 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.