Post-doctoral fellowships in Marine Geophysics and Modelling

UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø
Faculty of Science and Technology - Department of Geosciences

The Department of Geosciences has two vacant Post-Doctoral fellowships coming up in the area of geophysics to work on seismic data processing and interpretation and ice-sheet modelling. The positions are also affiliated to the newly funded Norwegian Centre of Excellence, iC3: Centre for ice, Cryosphere, Carbon and Climate, which is hosted at the Department of Geosciences. The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer. The positions are fixed term positions for a duration of three and two years, respectively. Appointment to the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is mainly intended to provide qualification for work in top academic positions. It is a prerequisite that the applicant can carry out the project over the full course of the employment period.

About the Department

The Department of Geosciences is part of the faculty of science and technology. The department has three main research groups in (1) Geophysics, Glaciology and Oceanography, (2) Sedimentary Systems, Paleoclimates and Environments, and (3) Solid Earth Sciences, Mineral Resources and Geohazards. The staff consists of c. 20 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD candidates, researchers, technical and administrative staff. Our main activities are research, education, and communication with a focus on the northern regions and the Arctic. The activities focus on past and present climate, environment, geohazards and resources. Our students and staff work on land and at sea, using many methods and technologies to collect data. The department is a major user of the new ice-breaking research vessel "Kronprins Haakon", as well as UiT's research vessel "Helmer Hanssen". The department hosts a Centre of Excellence: iC3 (Centre for Ice, Cryosphere, Carbon, and Climate), which will investigate the role of the large ice sheets in the global carbon budget. The Department of Geosciences will lead iC3 in close collaboration with the Norwegian Polar Institute and NORCE. Previously, the department was host for another CoE, CAGE (Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate), which was a world leader in research on gas hydrates and how methane emissions affect the marine environment and the climate system.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus research university and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective. Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

The positions' field of research

The post-doctoral positions will engage with a number of externally-funded projects and be placed according to their respective background and skill set.

The two-year postdoctoral fellowship has a two-fold task working and contributing in two separately-funded projects.

The Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is a hydrocarbon-rich province hosting numerous reservoirs that are either being exploited or allocated for future carbon storage. Nearly 10,000 of the wells accessing these geological traps have either been plugged and abandoned or headed for decommissioning in the next decade. The integrity of these wells has been recently questioned and suspected leakage could have diverse environmental implications, as well as posing potential issues for the extensive carbon storage campaigns planned for the next decades. Observations are patchy and no systematic work has been carried out to understand the subsurface, possible fluid migration pathways, seepage rates, or the role of the history of the well to determine if the anomalies are related to natural seepage or drilling activities. In this task, the candidate will integrate data from several UiT expeditions including bathymetry, hydroacoustic, seismic and water-column data, with a large well and seismic data base from the Norwegian National Data Repository for Petroleum data with the overall aim to improve our understanding of fluid migration systems at abandoned boreholes in the Barents Sea.

The second task focusses on a better understanding of the potential for storage of CO2 in basalt sequences on continental margins. The advantages of basalts as underground carbon storage sites are (1) that CO2 reacts with the mineral phases to precipitate as carbonate in few years, and (2) that thick and extensive basalt sequences in volcanic provinces are very common offshore away from populated areas. However, the technical and commercial success of carbon storage in basalts requires the development of new workflows, methods and sensors. The researcher will work with processing, interpretation and modelling of 3D and 4D seismic data to understand the response of CO2-saturated basaltic rocks and detection thresholds of CO2, and to develop monitoring strategies for this environment.

The three-year postdoctoral fellowship will focus on the Tampen area in the northern North Sea. This area is well known for extensive leakage of gas from the shallow subsurface. Seismic sections from the area display numerous anomalies associated with shallow gas, and the area is classified as a "High risk area" with regards to hitting shallow gas during drilling. The overall aim of this part of the project is to fully evaluate the origin and pathways of the subsurface plumbing system associated with the seafloor seepage of hydrocarbons in the Tampen area and constrain the influence of structural features and glacial evolution on distribution and intensity of this seepage and. The project will compare and characterize seepage close and further away from existing (abandoned) wells and assess how the well path may influence the natural seepage system in the area. The project includes improving existing ice-sheet models and modelling the dynamics of subglacial gas hydrate systems and trapped gas accumulations in response to the retreat of the ice sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~25 ka), its ensuing effects on isostatic rebound and sea-level, and its potential implications for deep and shallow petroleum reservoirs, including pressure anomalies.

Required qualifications

  • The successful candidate holds a doctoral degree (Norwegian or equivalent) within geophysics, geoscience or a related field, with good cooperative skills and a desire to work in a cross-disciplinary team.
  • Documented high quality research in a relevant field, demonstrating ability for significant scientific production during and after the PhD.
  • Documented experience with seismic data analysis (either/or processing, interpretation, inversion, modelling)
  • Documented experience with studying above-mentioned geological systems using geophysical techniques with particular focus on understanding of concepts in fluid flow processes and structural geology.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

Desirable qualifications

  • Demonstrated competence in relevant numerical modelling tools and/or observational or experimental applications in the marine environment in particular.
  • Demonstrated competence in computing languages and machine-learning techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience in computational, observational, or experimental methods and their relevant application in geoscience studies.
  • Demonstrated experience with hydroacoustic data processing and interpretation.
  • Experience with attracting external research funding and leading scientific research projects.

Additional required personal qualifications include:

  • Independence, creativity and engagement
  • Ability to initiate new activities
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Excellent work ethics
  • Disposition to travel and work with different groups, good networking skills

The assessment will emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position. The candidate must be willing to engage in the ongoing development of his/her discipline and the university as a whole.

Application

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system on https://www.jobbnorge.no/search/en, where these positions will be announced soon.

The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee's mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants' qualifications based on the written material presented by the applicants. Your application must include:

  • Application letter with a statement of motivation and research interests.
  • A research plan (max 1 page) describing the applicant's vision and scientific ambitions including synergies with the research aims of the department and the centre.
  • A detailed CV, including a complete list of education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience, project acquisition and coordination experience, and other qualifying activities.
  • Copies of educational certificates, PhD diploma, transcript of records and letters of recommendation.
  • A complete list of publications and academic merits and awards (if not included in the CV).
  • Description of your academic production (published and unpublished), stating which works you consider most important.
  • List of reference persons who may be contacted by the Department of Geosciences: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number).
  • Documentation of required and desirable language proficiency. See how Nordic applicants can document their capabilities by attaching their high school diploma.

The applicants who are assessed as best qualified will be called to an interview. The interview should among other things, aim to clarify the applicant's motivation and personal suitability for the position. A trial lecture may also be held.

For further information about the position please contact: Professor Stefan Bünz, email: Stefan.Buenz@uit.no

We offer

  • A cross-disciplinary, interactive and challenging working environment.
  • National and international mobility to work closely with the project collaborators and to present the work in conferences.
  • Possibility of joining research cruises to collect experimental data
  • Opportunity to develop academic components of the career, i.e., working closely with PhD and master students.
  • Guidance and support to identify and apply to relevant grants.
  • Good salary.
  • A fantastic hosting hometown - Tromsø, always generous with extreme experiences and nature adventures both in summer and winter.

More information about moving to Norway: http://uit.no/mobility

UiT also has good welfare arrangements for employees including beneficial arrangements for pension and insurances.

posted: 25 January 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.