Research Associate in Tectonics

Location
United Kingdom
Posted
Aug 08, 2017
Closes
Oct 02, 2017
Organization Type
University and College
Hours
Full Time
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position to study strain accumulation in the East African Rift, its relationship to fault structures and role in rift evolution. This is one of a 5 postdoctoral positions for the Global Challenges PREPARE project on Enhancing Preparedness for East African Countries through Seismic Resilience Engineering based at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff. Developing countries in East Africa are at high seismic risk because traditional masonry structures are unreinforced and seismically vulnerable and large earthquakes of M7.0 or greater can occur along the East African Rift. Conventionally, seismic hazard assessment is carried out using an instrumental earthquake catalogue alone, but in a region of slow strain, such as East Africa, the catalogue is short in duration in comparison with average recurrence periods of large faults (e.g. 50 years versus thousands of years). In developing countries, the lack of basic information is particularly acute. The critical knowledge gap in research and practice lies in: (1) accuracy of tectonic earthquake source models, from which seismic hazard maps and seismic design spectra are derived, and (2) seismic vulnerability of bespoke constructions in East Africa.

This position will focus on strain mapping in the amagmatic Malawi Rift, using data from the Sentinel-1 satellite and reoccupying a network of 10 campaign GPS sites established in 2016.  The high-resolution maps of the surface strain field will address questions regarding which branch of the rift is active, the degree of strain localization and the distribution between border faults. In conjunction with the postdocs mapping faulting and seismicity, this information will be used to redefine the tectonic earthquake source models for the region. There is flexibility between postdoc positions, and depending on workload and interest, the postdoc could also get involved in using high resolution DEMs from satellite data to map fault scarps in the region, and with other countries in the East African Rift.

In addition to these duties, the Research Associate will be expected to produce work of publishable quality for appropriate high quality peer reviewed journals, present papers at national and international meetings and contribute to the development of collaborative research grants. The successful applicant will hold a Ph.D. in a relevant subject.

 

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