Postdoctoral research position in Glacier Geophysics at University of Cambridge
European research project seeks motivated team member with experience in passive seismic investigations.
We are looking for a team member to join the European Research Council grant RESPONDER. The aim of the grant is to understand how properties and hydrological networks at the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet evolve over time, and how that evolution impacts on ice flow in the interior as well as the coast where glaciers flow exceedingly fast.
In this post, you will be responsible for designing and executing experiments with networks of broadband seismometers placed around, and potentially within, boreholes drilled to the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet. You will work with Poul Christoffersen and be responsible for analysing and interpreting passive seismic datasets in a manner that defines the state-of-the-science in your field. You will also engage directly with Bryn Hubbard and his group at Aberystwyth University in Wales, where boreholes instruments, sensors and the hot-water drill are developed. You will work independently and efficiently as a member of a team tackling complex and inter-disciplinary goals. You will work in the field while being based at the Scott Polar Research Institute, founded in 1920 and recognized as a centre of excellence within the University of Cambridge.
The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at a growing rate and has since 2010 caused sea level rise of 1 mm/year. The most severe changes occur in the drainage basins of marine-terminating glaciers, which flow rapidly and drain 88% of the ice sheet. The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the widespread acceleration of these glaciers in recent years was a response to interaction with the ocean and unrelated to basal lubrication of ice flow; yet, observations have since shown that many of these glaciers respond to the growing volume of surface meltwater, which reaches the bed when surface lakes drain. This basal lubrication mechanism is unknown, but exhibits contrasting control on ice flow at the coast and in the interior where surface melting increasingly forms lakes at high elevations. This lack of knowledge is a major source of uncertainty in the current generation of ice sheet models used to predict sea level change. The fundamental goal of RESPONDER is to understand how properties and hydrological networks at the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet evolve over seasons and over multiple years, and how that evolution impacts on ice flow in the interior and at the coast where glaciers flow exceedingly fast.