PhD position available on Andean tropical glaciers at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences / University of Grenoble (France).
We invite application for a 3-year position at the Institute of
Environmental Geosciences (IGE) / University of Grenoble (France) on:
*Analysis of climatic factors controlling the mass balance of a tropical
glacier and of sensibility to climate changes during the Little Ice Age
by application of a distributed energy balance model*.
The surface mass balance of the Andean tropical glaciers has been
monitored by the IRD since 1991 (especially in the GLACIOCLIM monitoring
network) but climatic factors controlling their seasonal and
inter-annual variability are not well known. A characteristic of
tropical glaciers is that ablation and accumulation processes are
closely related; due to frequent changes of surface albedo, the melt
rate strongly depends on the quantity and distribution of snowfall
during the year. Thus, it is necessary to clarify the effects on the
surface mass balance of the properties of the South American monsoon
controlling the wet season, and of the frequency of occurrence of
southern cold fronts that cause heavy snowfalls throughout the year
(Sicart et al., 2016). Following the work by Sicart et al. (2011) on one
hydrological year, the surface energy balance distributed model of Hock
and Holmgren (2005) will be applied on Zongo glacier (Bolivia) to
analyze the seasonal and inter-annual variations of surface mass balance
during the entire observation period (twenty years of data). Then, the
student will conduct sensitivity studies of surface mass balance to
changes in meteorological factors identified as important (e.g.,
properties of cloud cover or precipitation) to reconstruct the climatic
conditions that caused the glacial extensions during the Little Ice Age
in the seventeenth century (Rabatel et al., 2008; Jomelli et al., 2011).
The full-Stokes 3D model ELMER/Ice will be used to take into account the
glacier dynamics (Réveillet et al., 2015). Simulations of future glacial
changes may also be carried out based on established climate projections.
The project will be conducted in direct collaboration with the
University of Alaska Fairbanks and visits to the University of Alaska
will be planned to collaborate with project partners. Fieldwork in
Bolivia will be planned within the GREATICE project to collect
calibration and validation data in support to the modelling work.
Profile: skills in glaciology, micrometeorology and climatology,
numerical simulation, programming
Start of employment: October 2017.
Project Supervisors: Jean Emmanuel Sicart (IRD, IGE, France) and Regine
Hock (Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska)