Geography: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship at Swansea University: Stability of Antarctic Ice Shelves: Implications in terms of sea level rise

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 1 August 2018

Project Supervisors:  
Supervisor 1 ‚Äď Dr Emmanuel Le Meur, Universit√© Grenoble AlpesSupervisor 2 ‚ÄstDr Stephen Cornford,¬†¬†Swansea UniversitySupervisor 3 ‚ÄstProfessor Adrian Luckman, Swansea UniversitySupervisor 4 ‚Äď Dr Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Universit√© Grenoble Alpes
Start date:  1 October 2018
Project Description: The Antarctic Ice Sheet has been losing mass for the last 25 years, primarily through the acceleration of its outlet glaciers in response to the weakening of the floating ice shelves that fringe the continent. While state-of-the art models capture the major processes implicated in the flow of the glaciers, they do not represent all of the important processes in the ice shelves, to the extent that Antarctic ice dynamics represents the largest single source of uncertainty in 21st century sea level rise. 
The project aim is develop a new software component for the world-leading ice sheet model, Elmer/Ice (Gagliardini, et. al., 2013), test it against field and satellite observations, and use it to forecast the fate of Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. The upgraded model will be validated by comparing its results with field data, some of which the student may have the opportunity to collect, from a network of GPS beacons stationed on the Astrolabe Glacier in Adélie Land, East Antarctica, and with satellite observations of the well-documented collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula. The final stage of the project will be use the upgraded model to simulate a possible future collapse of the Larsen C ice shelf, an event that may be underway already following the calving of one of the largest icebergs ever observed, the 160 km long A68 iceberg, in 2017. 
The project will be supervised by Dr Emmanuel Le Meur and Dr Fabien Glliet-Chaulet at Universite Grenoble Alpes, and by Dr. Stephen Cornford and Prof. Adrian Luckman at Swansea University, and will make use of the state of the art high performance computing facilities at both universities. A total of 18 months will be spent at Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de lEnvironnement, Université Grenoble Alpes, and 18 months in the Department of Geography, College of Science at Swansea University.


The candidate should hold a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or be expect to gain one by October 2018, or have a university degree equivalent to a European Master's (5-year duration). The successful candidate will need to develop scientific programming skills, so that experience with differential and integral calculus is essential and experience with Fortran 90, C, or Python programming is highly desirable.
For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests.  We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement. Competence in French is highly desirable, and would be a substantial advantage for day to day activities.
Due to funding restriction, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


Do you wish to become an international student next year?
Demonstrate your English skills with IELTS.


This fully-funded three-year College of Science, Swansea University/Université Grenoble Alpes scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,777.


Please visit our website for more information.

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