Háskóli Íslands

PhD fellowship on “The sources and influence of aerosols in the Arctic on glacier energy balance”

Starting date: As soon as possible after approval, but not later than 1 September 2013.

Duration: 36 months

Place of work: University of Iceland, Institute of Earth Sciences (http://earthice.hi.is)
(the project includes longer stays, ~12 months total, at NILU, Norway, and Finnish Meteorological Institute and University of Helsinki, Finland).

Research area and project description:
The project will focus on the source mechanics and impact of deposition of airborne aerosols (dust, volcanic ash, and black carbon) on the glacier surface albedo and possible consequences for the future climate evolution in Arctic regions. The study will make use of data collected from glaciers in Iceland during the summers since mid-1990's; ~10 automatic weather stations on Vatnajökull ice cap since 1996, and 2 stations on Langjökull ice cap since 2001. The aim is to describe the effects of dust and ash dispersion on snow and glacier melt. The field observations include: a) both incoming and outgoing shortwave and longwave radiation balance, b) data to estimate the turbulent heat fluxes of the glacier boundary layer, c) the specific mass balance observed in-situ at location of stakes, d) time series of digital elevation maps, and e) glacier runoff. Time series of field data from the glaciers in Iceland show a wide range of impacts of albedo changes on glacier melting. 

The project will also make use of data collected in Sodankylä on snow albedo, in particular during the SNORTEX experiments, and data from dedicated CRAICC experiments on the deposition of black carbon and ash on snow and it’s effects on snow albedo and snow melt.

Satellite observations of glacier surface albedo (~5 km spatial resolution at daily to weekly temporal resolution) will be calibrated and verified by ground based observations of albedo.

Albedo changes related to snow/ice impurities in Iceland are likely driven by deposition of dust in normal years and by deposition of volcanic ash after major eruptions, such as the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and 2011 eruption in Grímsvötn. With FLEXPART, the project has a model at it's disposal that has proven to be capable of simulating volcanic ash dispersion. The model is currently extended to also simulate dust mobilization and the subsequent dust transport and deposition. FLEXPART can deliver spatio-temporally resolved size-resolved dust deposition fields, which can be used directly to compare with observations of albedo and/or run-off.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree, in geophysics or other relevant fields, with excellent data processing and modeling skills.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:
Throstur Thorsteinsson, Associate Professor – ThrosturTh@hi.is

Application procedures:
You must send the following information, in English, to ThrosturTh@hi.is

  • Cover letter.
  • Academic background. Transcripts and diploma(s) in one merged file (don't have to be official at this stage). Please enter your un-weighted grade average calculated and based on your transcript’s grading scale, BSc and MSc separately.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • References (as a minimum 1 must be sent)
  • Financing (if any)

Application material (pdf only, max 10 MB, no zip):

Deadline for application: 1 February 2013.

If selected you have to apply formally to the University of Iceland. Final applications by the selected candidate is required in electronic format (https://ugla.hi.is/umsoknir/index.php) and should be sent after the decision by the selection committee, with a copy to Hafdís Eyjólfsdóttir, project manager of graduate studies, tel: +354 525 4473, e-mail: hafdisey@hi.is. Details regarding the requirements for applying to the PhD program at the Faculty of Earth Sciences can be found at https://english.hi.is/sens/faculty_of_earth_sciences/application (note that the application deadline does not apply).

Þú ert að nota: brimir.rhi.hi.is