Doctorate in glacier geophysics

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Professorship of Glaciology jointly with the Exploration and Environmental Geophysics Group (EEG) of ETH Zurich has an opening for a doctorate in glacier geophysics. The primary objectives of the project are centred on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (SNMR) investigations of glacier water pockets (GWPs).

Start dates of the doctorate are flexible, but we envision a start as of January 2023.

Project background

GWPs are elusive bodies of liquid water that can form underneath or within glaciers. Being invisible from the surface and very difficult to detect, GWPs pose a real danger in glacierized environments and the areas downstream. Within the doctorate, the candidate will be involved in conducting a series of dedicated geophysical surveys to identify and precisely characterize a set of present-day GWPs. This will happen through:

  • targeted GPR surveys from both helicopter-borne and ground-based platforms
  • SNMR surveys for selected sites, and
  • repeated monitoring of sites hosting a GWP

While GPR data can be expected to provide strong hints for the presence of a GWP, SNMR will be essential to determine its water content and spatial extent.

Job description

Key elements of the doctorate include the planning, preparation and implementation of field surveys with GPR and SNMR, data processing and analysis, as well as the development of novel approaches to detect, locate and quantify GWPs. The results will contribute towards techniques to monitor temporal and spatial changes of such GWPs.

Your profile

You should hold a Master's degree in geophysics, physics, mathematics or electrical engineering, and should have a keen interest and preferably experience in challenging fieldwork on glaciers. Solid knowledge in data processing, forward modelling and inversion is a pre-requisite, as is the willingness to acquire a profound understanding of state-of-the-art methods. Similarly, we require experience with scripting languages such as Matlab, Python, or others.

The working languages in our group are English, German, French and Italian.

Your workplace

Your workplace

We offer

We are a dynamic international and interdisciplinary research group working on glaciology and cryospheric geophysics.

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Curious? So are we.

We are looking forward to receiving your online application, including your CV, a motivation letter and supplementary documents (grades, references), until November 31, 2022.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. We explicitly encourage female candidates to apply.

For further information (no applications), please contact Prof. Dr Hansruedi Maurer (  ), Dr Marian Hertrich ( ), or Prof. Dr Daniel Farinotti ( ).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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