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The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,500 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.
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.
For section 4.2 'Geomechanics and Scientific Drilling', we are looking for a:

PhD position (f_m_x)

Reference Number 7203

The central research topic of Section 4.2 aims at understanding the physical processes that control dynamics and mechanical properties in the Earth's crust and mantle lithosphere. This covers the entire spectrum of topics ranging from geomechanics and rock physics to the rheology of crust and uppermost mantle, ranging over the entire spatial bandwidth from the laboratory through mine and reservoir scale to the deformation of tectonic plate boundaries. At the field scale, we investigate seismic and aseismic deformation processes and aim at identifying slip transients covering the entire frequency band of seismic signals.

The ERC research project QUAKEHUNTER (Real-time monitoring of earthquake nucleation for faults near urban areas) aims to (1) determine the most effective approaches to detect fault-related transients preceding moderate to large earthquakes, and (2) to monitor seismic and aseismic processes and infer from them the fault conditions under which earthquake nucleation processes emerge, and the optimal instrumentation required to capture them.

This PhD project focuses on illuminating the faulting structures with an unprecedented resolution by creating next-generation micro-seismicity and focal mechanisms catalogues using classical and AI-based techniques in the broader Sea of Marmara region, NW Turkey, including the Istanbul megacity area. The main goal will be to image seismically quiet patches representing future potential earthquake nucleation hot spots and to identify the main drivers exerting a non-negligible stress loading on target fault structures.

Your responsibilities:

  • Development of next-generation catalogues for the study region
  • Analyses of the kinematics and stress of each region
  • Analysis of local non-tectonic forcing promoting earthquake triggering
  • Publish your results as scientific papers in ISI peer-review journals 
  • Present and disseminate your research results at scientific meetings

Your qualifications:

  • Master in geophysics or equivalent
  • Solid background in the field of seismology
  • Programming skills (AI/ML programming frameworks, e.g. PyTorch or TensorFlow, Python, MATLAB, SQL)
  • Fluency in English (written/oral) 
  • Willingness to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment
  • Interest to participate in field campaigns on the North Anatolian Fault

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 is offered by our in-house Career-Centre 
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance is offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site 
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus 

Start date: 1st July 2023
Fixed-term: 3 years
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 31st March 2023. Please use our online application form only.

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at]gfz-potsdam.de, who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]gfz-potsdam.de.

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Dr. Patricia Martinez-Garzon either via email at patricia@gfz-potsdam.de or phone +49 (0)331-288 28833. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.

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