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PhD candidate: In situ experiments to unravel the feedbacks between strain localization and microstructural evolution in rocks, metals, and ice (ERC RhEoVOLUTION M/W

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mercredi 23 juin 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR5243-HELOUR-017
Date of publication : Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Andrea TOMMASI
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 September 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The aim of this PhD project is to design and perform experiments with in situ follow-up of the evolution of both the deformation field and the microstructure to constrain the feedbacks between strain localization and microstructural evolution during ductile deformation. The experiments will use analog materials (ice, magnesium alloys) because rocks do not deform ductilely under the conditions required for the in-situ measurement of the evolution of the microstructure and strain field.
This PhD project is part of the ERC RhEoVOLUTION, which aims to develop new approaches to simulate in a self-consistent way the localization of deformation at different scales in the Earth. The experiments planned in this doctoral project will play a key role in the ERC RhEoVOLUTION, because they will provide essential physical constraints for the development of the numerical models: (1) quantification of the feedbacks between localization of deformation and microstructural evolution, (2) quantification of the evolution of the resulting heterogeneity of the mechanical behavior, and (3) evolution laws for the microstructure and mechanical behavior. The doctoral student will collaborate with the other members of the RhEoVOLUTION team to integrate the results into numerical models simulating the evolution in space and time of the strain and stress distributions in a polycrystalline material with evolutionary rheology. The results of this project will be applied first to the deformation of rocks, but applications in glaciology and metallurgy are also envisaged.
We are looking therefore for highly motivated candidates with strong methodological skills and a keen interest in physical data experimentation and analysis. At the time of the appointment, candidates must have a master or an engineering degree in geology, geophysics, physics, mechanics, or in a closely related field. Good English and group-working skills are essential. Knowledge of crystalline plasticity (ductile deformation process) and physical experimentation, as well as programming will be highly appreciated.

Work Context

This PhD project is part of the ERC RhEoVOLUTION project, how the evolution of rock rheology controls strain localization at different scales in the Earth. To do so, we will develop a framework for modeling self-consistently strain localization in rocks deforming by ductile processes. The experimentation plays a key role in the projet as it provides essential physical constraints for the development of models. The ERC RhEoVOLUTION project team is composed of researchers in Earth Sciences, Glaciology, Materials Sciences and Applied Mathematics working in Montpellier, Grenoble, Nice and Argentina. Most experiments will be performed in the CNRS-INSU SEM-EBSD national facility at Geosciences Montpellier, using the Crystal Probe scanning electron microscope, which is equipped with an EBSD system for fast high-resolution mapping of crystal orientations and a high-temperature deformation stage (cf. http://www.gm.univ-montp2.fr/spip.php?article3230). Experiments on ice will be performed in the cryo-deformation facility at Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement (IGE, Grenoble, FR). The PhD will be supervised by Andréa Tommasi (Géosciences Montpellier) en collaboration avec MA. Lopez-Sanchez (postdoctorant RhEoVOLUTION@ Géosciences Montpellier), F. Barou (responsible by the MEB-EBSD @ Géosciences Montpellier), M. Montagnat (IGE) et T. Chauve (postdoctorant RhEoVOLUTION@ IGE).
The PhD candidate will be based at Géosciences Montpellier, a joint CNRS & University of Montpellier research unit (UMR 5243), attached to the Observatory of Sciences of the Universe - Mediterranean Research Observatory of the Environment (OSU OREME) - http://www.gm.univ-montp2.fr.

Constraints and risks


Additional Information

Projet RhEoVOLUTION website -

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