Earth’s history has been punctuated by episodes of enhanced and reduced tectonic activity. In particular, it is still not clear when and why subduction became the dominant mode of cooling of the Earth’s mantle. We are interested in studying the long-term couplings between Earth’s deep dynamics, including convection of its mantle, subduction of oceanic plates and upwelling of mantle plumes with the Earth’s surface erosion. In particular the lubrication of subduction zones by sediments throughout Earth’s 4.5 billion years history may have played a role in dictating the mode of mantle flow and how, in turn, this may relate to variations in Earth’s climate and its control on erosion efficiency, especially through glacial periods (see https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1258-4).
The purpose of the ERC-funded MEET (Monitoring Earth Evolution Through Time) international project is to untangle these questions concerning Earth’s dynamic evolution using unique observational evidence from melt inclusions in olivine and zircon crystals and coupled mantle/surface/atmosphere numerical models (https://media.gfz-potsdam.de/gfz/sec25/doc/MEET.pdf). The geochemical/petrological part of the MEET project is hosted by University of Grenoble, France, leaded by Alex Sobolev and by University of Madison, USA, leaded by John Valley. The modeling part of the MEET project is hosted by GFZ and is leaded by Stephan Sobolev from the Geodynamic Modeling Section. The post-doctoral researcher will become a member of the international MEET project team. The post-doctoral researcher's major role in the project will be to develop a large-scale surface process model to be coupled to deformation caused by flow in the underlying mantle and to study how different modes of mantle flow may influence the routing of sediment at the Earth’s surface under different climate settings representative of the Earth’s deep past.
The post-doctoral position will be hosted at the GFZ in Potsdam in the Earth Surface Process Modelling (ESPM) group of Jean Braun, where numerical models are developed and used to investigate a wide range of physical, chemical and biological processes and interactions occurring at the Earth’s surface that are driven by tectonic processes and modulated by climate (https://github.com/fastscape-lem). The ESPM section hosts approximately 20 researchers (PhD students, Post-docs and senior scientists) from diverse backgrounds and with varied research interests. The postdoc is also expected to closely collaborate with members the Stephan Sobolev’s MEET group at the Geodynamic Modeling Section at the GFZ and Georg Feulner’s ESMO group at the PIK (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research).
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