Are you interested in setting up innovative model solutions to better understand marine morphodynamics and thus contribute to a climate-proof coast? At the Water Engineering & Management department we are looking for a PhD researcher to strengthen our team. We are an active and dynamic group of researchers pioneering in the modelling and engineering of marine and fluvial systems.
Alongside another PhD student and a postdoc, you will be one of the researchers in the MELODY project: ModEling LOwer Shoreface Seabed DYnamics for a Climate-Proof Coast. Recently funded by the Dutch Research Council, MELODY aims to better understand sand transport and morphodynamics at the lower shoreface. This zone forms the essential link between the offshore seabed and the nearshore zone, thus controlling how climate change, and the activities to cope with it, affect our coast.
Specifically, your subproject aims to unravel the nonlinear scale interactions among the variety bed forms present in the lower shoreface using process-based morphodynamic models. After reviewing the literature regarding the potential processes underlying the interaction between tidal sand waves and larger-scale topography (sandbanks, shoreface-connected ridges, lower shoreface), you will study the influence of a sand wave field on larger-scale flow patterns, e.g. over a shoreface-connected ridge will be investigated. This will first be done in an idealized setting, then in a more complex geometry of a (quasi-)realistic background topography, and will produce parametric roughness relationships to account for the presence of sand waves in larger-scale flow models (to be used by MELODY’s other PhD student). This is done systematically using a combination of idealized and complex models (e.g., Delft3D), particularly applying spatial averaging techniques. Then, by incorporating a strongly schematized background slope, you will develop an idealized (2DV) sand wave model to investigate the influence of this slope on sand wave characteristics in the stage of formation. Next, partly fed by schematization of the detailed forcing and sand transport based on the work of the other PhD student, a more complex (3D) morphodynamic model will be developed that accounts for the influence of various types of background topography on finite-amplitude sand wave dynamics, explicitly allowing for human intervention in this background topography. Bathymetric data are available from Rijkswaterstaat and Netherlands Hydrographic Service.
Being part of MELODY implies close interaction with your direct supervisors at UT and your fellow researchers (i.e., the other PhD student working on sand transport processes, as well as a postdoc making the translation to marine and coastal management). To warrant the link to practice, we will have recurring user group meetings with professionals from the Netherlands, as well as a group of international experts. Furthermore, you will present your work at national and international conferences and write your findings in journal papers and a PhD thesis.
For more information and to apply (before January 21st), visit: https://www.utwente.nl/en/organisation/careers/!/321/phd-position-in-morphodynamic-modelling-of-tidal-sand-waves-to-understand-scale-interactions-in-the-lower-shoreface.