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Durham University

Department of Geography

News Archive

Post Doctoral Research Associate - Post: 002437

(8 August 2016)

The Geography Department at Durham University seeks to appoint a full-time (1.0 FTE) Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) to provide maternity cover for 12 months from 1st September 2016. The candidate will form part of the research team working on the project: Coastal Processes and Rates of Behaviour (COBRA).

The role will be integral to the wider project, focused upon monitoring and modelling coastal erosion (see: Specifically, the PDRA role will conduct research in one (or more) of the following topics, dependent upon the skills and experience of the successful applicant. Working with the project team, a package of work will be built around the chosen topic jointly with the successful candidate.

1.Analysis of laser scan surveys for coastal monitoring. This includes data capture in the field and data analysis in the office. Interpretation of the data generated will form the majority of activities, which will be used to define and determine the research objectives and the monitoring program as it develops. The analysis will require advanced use of 3D laser scanning, statistical analysis of databases and modeling of the datasets generated. The PDRA will be required to plan, schedule and manage the data collection to be undertaken in close collaboration with the project technician and research students. Experience in the use of laser scan data in geoscience applications would be advantageous.

2.The development of numerical modeling of nearshore wave climates using freely available codes to consider the role of climate change on the delivery of wave energy to eroding shorelines. The PDRA will explore ways of integrating modelled outputs with field monitoring data, which will involve collaboration with colleagues in Durham on defining model boundary conditions, constraining model input parameters based upon analysis of long-term offshore wave climate and environment data, and sensitivity analysis of the model behavior in response to future scenarios of wave climate change. Experience of numerical wave modelling would be beneficial.

3.The analysis of long-term microseismic time-series data, for quantifying wave impacts on coastlines. This topic builds upon monitoring work in North Yorkshire undertaken as part of the COBRA project, captured using broadband seismometers installed in the cliff top. The PDRA will work on combining wave gauge data, weather data and seismic data, to explore links between wave loading and erosion on rocky coastal cliffs. Experience of seismology, and processing of large seismic datasets using open source processing tools would be beneficial.

4.The post-processing of high-resolution time-series point cloud data, using open source programming for handling large datasets. The PDRA will focus upon extraction, analysis and display of change through time derived from sequentially captured laser scan datasets to monitor rockfalls. Outputs will focus upon real-time analysis of erosion, and the wider presentation and dissemination of monitoring data on web-based platforms. Experience and skills in programming, 3D data visualization and analysis would be advantageous.

5.Mapping and modelling of rock mass structure holds vital information for understanding the controls on the nature and location of rockfall from coastal rock cliffs. This package of work will characterize, using a combination of field measurements and terrestrial remote sensing, variations in rock mass structure on coastal rock cliffs. This includes opportunities to develop skills in the use of 3D imaging, and feeding field data into numerical models of rock slope stability. Experience of structural geology, field mapping and rock mass modelling would be advantageous.

6.Fracture evolution in actively failing rock cliffs. Fracture of intact rock is also an important process in the evolution of coastal rock cliffs. Existing field data suggest that this process is time dependent but our understanding of this process is limited in the dynamic stress conditions experienced in these environments. The PDRA will work in our dedicated landslide laboratory to develop our understanding of fracture evolution in cliff settings using high pressure triaxial testing and 3D acoustic emissions monitoring. Experience of geotechnical laboratory testing would be advantageous.

For further details regarding this post please contact Dr Nick Rosser:-


Telephone: 0191 3341918

Closing Date: 7th September 2016