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PhD Satellite gravite based estimates of mantle viscosity for geodynamic modelling

The PhD candidate will produce estimates for viscosity of the Earth’s mantle, which is the parameter that controls deformation. Such estimates are currently …

4 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The PhD candidate will produce estimates for viscosity of the Earth’s mantle, which is the parameter that controls deformation. Such estimates are currently produced from seismic measurements. The aim of this project is to add gravity data and include variable mantle composition. The candidate will use existing software for integrated lithospheric modelling based on Fortran. The software will be extended to allow constraints from global gravity field models and isostasy in the lithosphere. The forward model is the basis for inversion techniques to obtain the mantle viscosity that best fits to constraints. Case studies are the North American craton and the Barents Sea region.

The maps of mantle viscosity are an important product for geodynamic modelling studies. The estimates of mantle viscosity will be implemented in a numerical model for Glacial Isostatic Adjustment. This model is based on the combination of a commercial finite-element software and a Python program, which is recently developed in the group. Measurements of the GIA process are available in the form of geologic sea level data, uplift and gravity rates. With an accurate GIA model predictions of GIA induced mass change and sea level change are produced.

The project focuses on petrological and geodynamic modelling and application of constraints from available data. The candidate will benefit from cooperation with the project ‘3D Earth’ funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). Cooperation and work visits are foreseen to the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies


Applicants are expected to have an MSc degree (or the equivalent) in one of the following areas: Earth science, planetary science, physics, engineering, or a closely related area. A background in numerical modelling is desirable. Applicants must be proficient in spoken and written English.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

The successful candidate will be granted a temporary employment contract with the university for a period of 4 years (48 months), with an evaluation at the end of the first year. Within the contract period, the candidate is expected to produce a dissertation (PhD thesis) of sufficient quality for him/her to be awarded a PhD.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.