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Name of scholarship/program

Investigating subglacial processes using remote sensing

Important description
A number of approaches exist for monitoring glaciers. Traditional methods involve monitoring reference points located on the glacier surface using differential GPS measurements made over time. However, difficulties in easily accessing glaciers and the costs involved have led to the development of methods that can be applied to satellite and airborne observations. One such approach is through analysis of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) observations which are capable of providing amplitude and phase information. These measurements can be used to characterise the spatial variation of the glacier surface and to detect and precisely quantify surface displacement. This project will use high spatial resolution Interferometric SAR (InSAR) imagery from the TerraSAR-X satellite to calculate glacier velocity. The InSAR-derived velocity estimates will be integrated with a suite of surface measurements to relate glacier velocity to subglacial processes. These include observations from traditional GPS, in situ subglacial wireless probes and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). The aim is to understand what drives the response of glaciers to climate change.

The student will be provided with training in the development of environmental sensor networks as part of the internationally acclaimed GLACSWEB team http://envisense.org/glacsweb/ . Training will also be provided in remote sensing and image processing and analysis techniques. A range of software is available for data processing and SAR image analysis which includes ENVI and ERDAS Imagine. Therefore, the provision of this grant would enable interdisciplinary training of a student in a wide range of skills including field glaciology, remote sensing, GPS and GIS whilst also gaining experience working as part of a research team.

The research student will join Southampton's Earth Surface Dynamics group and GECEO. The school maintains high quality Glaciology Field Equipment for research on glacial processes. This includes a TOPCON differential GPS, new Kärcher HDS1000DE hot water drill, borehole camera, borehole sediment sampler and ice auger. The petrographic microscope for till thin section analysis is housed in the Palaeoenvironments Laboratory. Full training in all necessary techniques will be given.

Eligibility and other criteria

Candidates must have or expect to gain a first or strong upper second class degree, in an appropriate discipline, not necessarily Geography. Details on how to apply are available from Graduate School, Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, Telephone 023 8059 2216, email geog-pgr@soton.ac.uk . Informal enquiries may be made to Supervisor (email supervisor@soton.ac.uk ). For the latest information on postgraduate opportunities within the School of Geography, please visit our website at http://www.soton.ac.uk/geography/postgrad/opps.html .

Application deadline
* February 17, 2014

Additional information, and important URL

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