We invite applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) to join the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University as part of the project “Multi-scale investigation of rheology and emplacement of multi-phase lava”. The project is funded jointly by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council and the USA’s National Science Foundation, and involves collaboration among Prof Ed Llewellin (Durham), Dr Einat Lev (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, University of Colombia), Prof Alan Whittington (University of Texas at San Antonio), and Prof Julia Hammer (University of Hawaii). 

The Durham component of the project will undertake laboratory investigation of the rheology of two- and three-phase analogue lavas, as an integral part of the broader study, which focusses on the emplacement of lavas during the 2018 eruption of the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) of Kilauea, Hawaii. Analogue suspensions of bubbles and rigid particles in Newtonian liquids will be prepared and their rheology characterized using Durham’s state-of-the-art rheometry suite. The successful applicant will undertake two broad suites of experiments:

  1. Textural characteristics will be matched to the range of natural textures from the LERZ eruption, and a bespoke model for the evolving rheology of the LERZ lavas will be developed. Results will feed into numerical models for emplacement of the LERZ lavas.
  2. A general and fundamental study of the rheology of multiphase suspensions with bubble and particle fractions in the mid-range. This is the range that is most relevant to flows of lava and magma, but is currently poorly understood.

The successful candidate will work with members of the international project team to integrate rheological results within the broader study.

This post is fixed term for 18 months.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1st February 2021.

The closing date for applications is 03 January 2021 at midnight. 



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