Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a population of 2,500 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The faculty is organised in four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences, and Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning.
The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts an international tenured staff of over 40 scientists and more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. It hosts a range of excellent laboratory facilities.
One of the facilities is the Paleomagnetic Laboratory Fort Hoofddijk, which is equipped with state-of-the-art paleomagnetic instrumentation: two DC-SQUID magnetometers, two high-sensitivity spinner magnetometers, thermal and alternating field demagnetization equipment, and a magnetically shielded room for dedicated paleomagnetic measurements in a low-field environment. One DC-SQUID magnetometer with 'in-line' ARM and IRM facilities is fitted out with a fully automated robot system. Specific instruments for rock-magnetic and environmental magnetic measurements are available.
The Departement of Earth Sciences is currently looking for a:
Postdoctoral Fellow in Tectonics and Paleomagnetism
Project title: Oroclinal bending and palaeolatitude reconstructions in the Eurasian-Arabian collision zone
Paratethys was a large epicontinental sea, stretching from Germany to China at the beginning of the Oligocene (~34 Myr ago), that progressively retreated by a complex combination of basin infill, glacio-eustatic sea-level lowering and tectonic uplift to its present-day remnants: Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Lake. The influence of Paratethys on global change is still a great unknown, mainly through lack of relevant studies in this terra incognita, although model studies suggest a major effect of sea retreat on climate and environment.
The postdoc will reconstruct Tethyan plate kinematics and continent-continent collision in the Alpine-Himalayan chain, with emphasis on the southern extent of the Paratethys region. This research will involve determining the paleolatitude position of the Africa-Arabia-derived continental (micro)plates and their tectonic rotations through time, in the context of basin development and the history of oceanic gateways, which is being studied in complementary projects. Accompanying projects in the same research group also involve the India-Asia collision to the East.
The tectonic framework for Paratethys development will specifically be studied in two regions that are characterised by their arc-shape: the Lesser Caucasus and the Talysh-Alborz fold-and-thrust belts. Paleomagnetism will provide the rotation patterns in the arc-shaped regions that possibly resulted from oroclinal bending. Exact dating of formation of these arcuate belts will provide constraints for their formation mechanisms such as the collision of intervening continental fragments (e.g. the South Armenian Block and/or Arabia) with Eurasia, slab roll-back mechanisms or a combination of these possibilities.
To accurately date the sampled sedimentary and volcanic rocks, we will use absolute and relative dating techniques (40Ar/39Ar, biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy). We also aim at geochemically characterising the volcanic exposures in terms of their origin (e.g. volcanic arc versus back-arc). For high-precision paleolatitude results we will process a large number of data, enabled by the use of the robotized magnetometer in Utrecht, with the aim to correct the data for inclination (and hence paleolatitude) error.
The position is financed through the Netherlands Top Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Sciences (ISES). A full description of the project is available via our website http://www.geo.uu.nl/~forth.
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a PhD degree in geology or geophysics. We require experience in structural geology and (large scale) tectonic and geodynamic processes. Experience in palaeomagnetism is a distinct advantage.
He/she should communicate easily in English, both verbally and in writing, evidenced by a track record. Candidates should be able to work independently but are part of a team. The postdoctoral fellow must be able and willing to help in supervision of BSc-MSc-PhD students in a number of Paratethys related projects.
Terms of employment:
The successful candidate will be offered a full-time postdoc position for 3 years. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary is dependent on experience and will start between € 2.744 and € 3.755 per month. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3% (salary rates per 1-7-2012). We also offer a pension scheme, a health insurance allowance and flexible employment conditions. More information: terms of employment.
For informal enquiries, contact prof. dr. Cor Langereis, e-mail: C.G.Langereis@uu.nl.
You may also wish to visit the websites of the Institute of Earth Sciences at http://www.geo.uu.nl/ivau or the pages of the Paleomagnetic Laboratory at http://www.geo.uu.nl/~forth where a full description of the project is available.
How to apply:
Visit http://www.geo.uu.nl/vacancies, find the equivalent of this advertisement and fill in the application form. Please, attach your motivation for the position, a statement of your research interests, a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact addresses of at least two referees (with e-mail contact addresses).
The position will be open until filled, but we plan a first evaluation of applications on September 1, 2012. The preferred starting date is October 1, 2012 or a.s.a.p. thereafter. Ideally, the successful candidate will participate in fieldwork planned in October 2012.