Within the framework of the joint NWA-ORC-programme Living on Soft Soils: Subsidence & Society project of Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University and Research, Deltares Research Institute, TNO, Wageningen Environmental Research and Utrecht University we are seeking motivated PhD candidates to work on this collaborative research programme.
The threat of land subsidence, the knowledge hiatus on process-interplays causing it, and lacking mid- to long-term coping strategies, ask for an integrated research programme that addresses the issue of land subsidence in a holistic way, whereby insights about physical-chemical-biological system functioning, development, evaluation and implementation of measures as well as an assessment of their governance and legal implications co-evolve. The overall aim of this programme is to develop an integrative approach to achieve feasible, legitimate and sustainable solutions for managing the negative societal effects of land subsidence, connecting fundamental research on subsidence processes to socio-economic impact of subsidence and to governance and legal framework design.
The programme consists of 4 scientific work packages:
WP1: Measuring and monitoring of land subsidence
WP2: Land subsidence mechanisms and associated greenhouse gas emissions
WP3: Impact analysis of land subsidence
WP4: Measures and governance approaches to cope with land subsidence
This project is funded by and contributes to the Dutch Research Agenda – Research along routes by consortia (NWA-ORC) aiming to stimulate research and innovation focused on the NWA routes, designed and implemented by interdisciplinary consortia spanning the entire knowledge chain, in which relevant social partners (Deltares Research Institute, TNO, NAM, Tauw BV, Sweco, Municipality of Gouda, Platform of Soft Soil Municipalities, Province of Utrecht, WDOD, HDSR, STOWA, Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom relations, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Wageningen Environmental research) are also represented.
Work package 1 focusses on making remote sensing data on total subsidence useful for human-induced soft-soil shallow subsidence analysis and forecasting, by optimizing its processing and by filtering for subsidence due to other factors: background natural ones (tectonic and hydroglacio-isostatic) and human-induced processed in the deeper substrate (drinking water from aquifers at intermediate depth; salt mining and gas field exploitation at kilometers depth).
- Delft University of Technology is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on Geodesy and Remote Sensing (1.0 FTE)
- Utrecht University is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on Subsidence & Society: Relative sea-level rise related subsidence (1.0 FTE) (position Work Package 1.3).
Work package 2 (WP2) focusses on the mechanisms of land subsidence, as occurring under human land management, as a consequence of drainage (polder water management) and loading (made ground overburden, constructions), and includes greenhouse gas (GHG) emission due to oxidation of organics by topsoil aeration. Subsidence in soft clayey soils and peat soils is considered the result of shrinkage, primary consolidation, viscous behaviour (creep), the loss of fibre strength, and organic matter oxidation. WP2 wants to resolve the interactive effects and relative contribution of these processes in total subsidence and GHG emissions. WP2 aims to study and quantify the process contributions and interactions for the full range of soft soils existing in the Netherlands.
For this work package
- Utrecht University is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on Coupling microbial oxidation pathways to subsidence vulnerability in peat soils (1.0 FTE) (position Work Package 2.1).
- Utrecht University and Deltares Research Institute are seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on understanding long term viscous and short term elastic soft soil deformation leading to land subsidence (1.0 FTE) (position Work Package 2.2).
- Wageningen University & Research is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on measuring and modelling the effects of soil management on peat subsidence and emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide (position Work Package 2.3).
- Utrecht University is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on Physical and chemical subsurface processes in Holocene sediment leading to land subsidence 91.0 FTE) (position Work Package 2.4).
Work package 3 focusses on impact analysis through making data-rich spatial forecasts, starting from the actual situation (WP1 handled datasets) and process understanding (WP2 handled insights), adding modules for categorised damage prediction (WP3), and repeated for alternative scenarios (climate variability, economic scenarios, with and without WP4 adaptive and mitigative measure designs).
For this work package
- Delft University if Technology and Delateres Research Institute are seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on Damage on Assessment of Buildings and Infrastructures (1.0 FTE) (position Work Package 3.2).
Work package 4 focuses on the identification of technical and economic measures to mitigate and adapt to subsidence as well as governance and legal strategies that facilitate their implementation. The objectives of WP4 are to: i) identify suitable mitigation, adaptation and compensation measures, ii) develop economic and financial tools aiming at supporting parties to carry the costs of damage and/or implementation of measures, iii) provide recommendations for strengthening governance capacities for dealing with existing and new challenges (e.g. drought, salinization due to sea-level rise) in water management and spatial planning, iv) develop equitable and legitimate legal frameworks to effectively implement new strategies of dealing with subsidence.
For this work package
- Utrecht University is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on Subsidence & Society: enhancing governance capacities for dealing with land subsidence (1.0 FTE) (position Work Package 4.2).