3 PhD opportunities in Geomorphology with applications of in-situ cosmogenic nuclides / Bern

The Geological Institute of the University of Bern invites applications for 3 PhD projects in quantitative geomorphology where in-situ cosmogenic nuclides will be applied to quantify landscape changes during the Pleistocene.

Quantification of erosional mechanism in the western Andes during the Pleistocene
Two projects have their focus on the quantification of erosional mechanisms on the western side of the Peruvian Andes. This part of the Andes exposes tens of meter thick fluvial conglomerates along the coast and in deeply dissected valleys. We expect that these deposits record strong climatic variations during the Pleistocene. We anticipate to be capable of identifying relationships between the climate history of Peru, the construction of fluvial conglomerates and the chronology of surface erosion rates. We will apply in-situ terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides for the dating of fluvial conglomerates and for the determination of surface erosion rates at the time when the conglomerates have been deposited. Besides the application of this geochemical tracer, the project involves fieldwork including terrace mapping, sedimentological logging, provenance tracing and grain size analyses mainly for the estimation of the streamsʼ runoff during the time the conglomerates were deposited. Additional morphological analysis will be done within a GIS framework.
The project will start in September, when we will also carry out the first field trip in Peru.
Responsible project leader: F. Schlunegger (schlunegger@geo.unibe.ch)

Cosmogenic 36Cl–based determination of periods of high seismicity, western Anatolia
The Anatolian project focuses on the patterns of past seismic activity in the western Turkey, one of the seismically most active and rapidly extending regions in the world. Because seismicity and thus rupture along the high angle normal faults is sporadic, periods of marked uplift of the footwall block alternate with periods of quiescence. During period of quiescence 36Cl builds up in the exposed limestone bedrock scarps, consequently periods of seismic activity and inactivity can be examined based on the distribution of measured 36Cl concentrations. This method affords the opportunity to glean information on the timing of periods of significant rupture and to estimate fault slip rates. Therefore, we will employ in-situ produced cosmogenic 36Cl to reveal patterns of past seismic activity along three major fault systems in western Anatolia. This project includes fieldwork and sampling, laboratory work and using/improving the mathematical and conceptual toolbox, which is developed to identify breaks in the 36Cl concentration vs. height profiles at fault scarps based on a statistical optimization method and to build their chronology. The project starts as soon as we have a suitable candidate, and the first field campaign will be in summer 2013.
Responsible project leader: N. Akçar (akcar@geo.unibe.ch)

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