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PhD Student (m/f/x) in Seismology
The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association we are part of the largest German scientific organization. With around 1,300 employees (including our guests) we develop a sound understanding of the systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to face global change and its regional impacts, to understand natural hazards and reduce associated risks, and to assess the influence of humans on the Earth's system.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.
Subject to the formal approval of the BMWi funded project "DErisking Exploration for geothermal Plays in magmatic ENvironments (DEEPEN),  for section 2.1 "Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes" (department 2 “Geophysics”), we are looking for a:

PhD Student (m/f/x) in Seismology

Reference Number 4338

The successful candidate will contribute to work package 5 "Data acquisition and analysis" of DEEPEN, where seismological data of a temporary network in the Hengill geothermal field in Iceland are analysed. Additionally, data from an active-passive seismic VSP borehole experiment in Germany will be investigated. The aim is to model guided and scattered waves in fault zones to quantify the structural and hydrological properties of the fracture zones. The project will also investigate how linear strain rates based on fibre optic cable measurements can be integrated into a seismological analysis to support the characterization of the fault zone. A close cooperation with NORSAR, ISOR and ETHZ is planned.

Your responsibilities:

  • accompany field measurements at the Landwüst drilling site and in Iceland
  • analyse seismological data from a temporary network in Iceland deployed in the COSEISMIQ and DEEPEN project
  • adapt waveform modelling tools developped in-house in section 2.1 to the specific problem of the study of guided and scattered waves
  • develop python  tools within the pyrocko package to linear integrate strain data to the seismological array data
  • develop modeling tools to simulate scattered and guided wavefields in steeply dipping fault zones by the use of Green function databases and boundary integral approaches
  • interprete data from Hengill and Landwüst field experiments

Your qualifications:

  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in geophysics or physics
  • solid seismological background
  • documented expertise in software tool development in python, C and other
  • experience in managing big datasets and database programming (e.g. Green function databases)
  • experience in forward modeling of waveforms and time dependent deformation
  • experience in seismological and seismic data acquisition and analysis

Start date: as soon as possible
Fixed-term: 3 years
Salary: This position has been assessed as being salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications.
Working hours: part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam

What we offer:

  • ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • state-of-the-art equipment
  • public service benefits
  • extensive training opportunities
  • professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre
  • flexible working hours and conditions
  • support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • institute day-care centre on site

Did we pique your interest?

If so, we are looking forward to receiving your application by the 15th August 2020. Please use our online application form only.
Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. We therefore very much welcome applications from qualified women. In the case of equal aptitude, severely disabled persons are given preferential consideration in accordance with the Code of Social Law IX.
Your personal data will be treated in line with Art. 6 (1b) and Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with § 26 BbgDSG during the selection process. After the selection process has been concluded, your application documents will be deleted, in line with data protection regulation. 
In case of any further queries relating to the role’s responsibilities, please contact Prof. Torsten Dahm on +49 (0) 331 288-1200 or Dr. Simone Cesca on +49 (0) 331 288-28794. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge on +49 (0) 331 288-28787.


Franca Buge
Franca Buge
Human Resources
Building G, Room 429
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28787

Für Fragen zur Gleichstellung steht Ihnen die Gleichstellungsbeauftragte des GFZ, Frau Dr. Weckmann unter Tel. +49 331 288-2824 bzw. per E-Mail zur Verfügung.

Fragen zur Mitarbeit schwerhinderter Personen beantwortet gerne die Schwerbindertenvertreterin des GFZ, Frau Thiel unter Tel. +49 331 288-1648 bzw. per E-Mail.