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PhD Grant at Ifremer, Numerical modelling strategies to investigate regional sediment fluxes and trawling effects, France
Sediment transport in the coastal zone results from natural forcing factors (river discharge, wave- and current-induced resuspension) and human impact (among which trawling). They result in morphological evolutions (fine sediment build-up in calm areas, tidal flat accretion, coastal erosion, depletion of offshore sedimentary resources due to sand extraction), in modifications of the sea floor composition and associated benthic communities; they are also responsible for the turbidity in the water column, which is a major controlling factor of the primary production.

Investigating sediment fluxes at a regional scale is required for applications linked to ecosystem and fisheries dynamics, and in order to assess overall sedimentary sources and sinks (the regional approach will also be required in relationship with the coastline morphological evolutions, and to assess the coastline response to sea level elevation). Existing data (time series and satellite data) as well as a 3D sediment dynamics numerical model (MARS3D, http://wwz.ifremer.fr/mars3d) will be used in order to assess regional fluxes in the Bay of Biscay. The pertinence of using subgrid-scale modelling techniques will be assessed to better reproduce resuspension processes in the shallowest areas. The model will help characterize the space and time natural variability of sediment fluxes, define a sedimentary circulation pattern in the Bay of Biscay, and will quantify the effect of trawling on these fluxes and on the longterm evolution of the sand and mud fractions in the Grande Vasiere (prawn fishing ground).

The candidate must be experienced in coastal physical oceanography with a background in numerical modelling.

Contact Florence Cayocca (Ifremer)

More info here.

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