The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for research into the geosphere. With around 1,500 employees, we develop a sound understanding of systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to counter global change, understand natural hazards and sustainably secure energy and raw material requirements.

For the Volcano monitoring group in section 2.1 "Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes" (department “Geophysics”), we are looking for a motivated:

PhD (f_m_x) Volcano faulting and interaction with hydrothermal alteration Reference Number 9378

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This doctoral position is part of the “ROTTnROCK” working group, a synergy project funded by the European Research Council. Candidates with expertise in the subject fields structural geology, geophysics are encouraged to apply. The position will be funded for the entire duration of the PhD programme, which is 36 months, and also covers funds for computer power, field works, visiting conferences and workshops, and publication charges.

Your responsibilities:

We are seeking applications for a doctoral project that aims to better understand the role of hydrothermal alteration during the evolution and dynamics of volcanoes. Faults developing at volcanoes associated with calderas, pit craters, flank instability, dike intrusions and regional tectonics are considered.

  • You will explore the two-way relationship between alteration and faulting: What is the exact location of hydrothermal alteration that occurs at faults crossing volcanoes, and is faulting influenced by alteration due to weakening and permeability changes?
  • You will work with drone and remote sensing techniques at selected calderas and ring faults.
  • You will map the topography, geomorphology and structures, carry out field studies to determine alterations with optical, thermal and hyperspectral sensors, and study the structural control of alteration.

Your qualifications:

  • MSc (or equivalent) in Earth Sciences (Geophysics, Geology)
  • Proven interest and knowledge in volcanology
  • Knowledge in structural geology and geophysics
  • Knowledge in remote sensing, photogrammetry and computer vision
  • Interest in 3D object reconstruction, classification, and machine learning
  • Ability to plan to conduct independent field work
  • Drone pilot license is advantageous (level A1/A3)
  • Fluent in English

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed term: 3 years
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Part-time 75 % (currently 29.25 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 16th June 2024. Please use our online application form only.

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at], who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Dr. Thomas Walter via email at twalter@gfz-potsdam.deIf you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 331 6264-28787.