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Reference : UMR6112-SUSCON-002
Workplace : NANTES
Date of publication : Thursday, March 26, 2020
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 12 months
Expected date of employment : 1 September 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2675 euros to 3084 euros gross per month according to experience
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : 1 to 4 years
A postdoctoral position funded by the Pays de la Loire Regional Government is open at the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique (CNRS UMR 6112) in Nantes, France. The projet aims to study the formation of gullies on Mars using data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (HiRISE) and Trace Gas Orbiter (CaSSIS) probes among others.
- Analysis of images and digital terrain models in a geographic information system (GIS). Mapping of the various study sites in a GIS.
- Using numerical models that simulate fluid dynamics to understand the behaviour of mass movements.
- Working as a team with the project leader and engineers on the project to coordinate the different research tasks.
- To disseminate the research to other researchers and to the public (e.g. national and international conferences, publications in scientific journals, etc).
The candidate must have a doctorate in geosciences and/or planetary science with a good knowledge of remote sensing. Candidates experienced in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS, e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS) are encouraged to apply. The person recruited will also need to have a good level of spoken and written English, with all team meetings and discussions conducted in English.
The Laboratory of Planetology and Geodynamics (LPG) is a Research Unit of about a hundred people, run under the auspices of the CNRS and the Universities of Nantes and Angers, and in partnership with the University of Le Mans. The person recruited will work on the unit's Nantes site, located on the Science campus of the University of Nantes. The Unit's research is based around four themes: Diversity of Icy Worlds, Telluric Planets, Planet Earth and Marine Systems in Transition. The job associated with this call falls within the framework of the Telluric Planets theme.
This position is financed by a "Rising Stars" grant from the Pays de la Loire regional government. Placed under the hierarchical responsibility of the Unit Director, the person recruited will work in close collaboration with the project leader and coordinator.
Constraints and risks
Short periods of national and international travel are likely.
The "Rising Stars" project focuses on the specific question of determining whether gullies on Mars are formed by the flow of liquid water using remote sensing tools. Data will be systematically collected on: the mass of sediments displaced during the present-day activity of gullies on Mars, as well as the topographic and geological context of these mass movements. These quantitative data will allow the identification of key parameters governing these movements and will provide essential constraints to validate numerical modelling. Previous studies have simply focused on identifying the sites where active processes occur using repeated imaging (e.g. Diniega et al., 2010; Dundas et al., 2012, 2015). With the increase in the volume of stereo imagery available to produce elevation data, we can now produce the metre-scale digital elevation models needed to make such systematic measurements for active gullies on Mars. The questions addressed in this project are: what are the mass and type(s) of material transported by active movements in martian gullies (more than 70 identified sites on Mars)? What are the topographic trajectories of these active movements and their watershed properties? We will use numerical models to determine the types of fluids that can explain the volume and shape of the deposits, the size of the boulders that have been moved and the distribution of erosion and deposition (see de Haas et al. JGR 2019). The expected result is to be able to determine whether liquid water is the cause of the changes we are currently observing in the Martian gullies.
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