Apologies for multiple postings
I am seeking a PhD Student to be involved in a new research project from 2010: “Effect of fluids on the strength of the mid-crustal coupling zone on major faults, based on insights from New Zealand’s Alpine Fault.”
Ideally, applicants should have a good basic understanding of structural geology and petrology, field experience with structural techniques, and a reasonable level of fitness and rain resistance. Some mathematical background will be necessary to understand basic rheological equations and construct computer models.
The PhD project is designed to characterise the extent of fluid interaction with deforming rock in the Alpine Fault zone at mid-crustal depths, and examine the effects of variable fluid interactions on the deformation behaviour of the system. It is intended the student will:
1) Undertake field mapping and sampling from key outcrops distributed along the length of the Alpine Fault zone on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. They will build on our existing knowledge of the exposed sequence, but focus on the materials exhumed from the localised core of the fault zone.
2) Delimit the extent and nature of zones displaying structures characteristic of fluid-present or fluid-absent conditions during deformation. This will require description of rock microstructures and microchemical variations, using optical and electron microscopic methods. Fluid inclusion studies, and FTIR methods may also be employed. During this phase of the project, the student will visit and work under the advisement of Dr Nicholas Timms at the Department of Applied Geology at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia.
3) Construct mechanical (computer) models, using finite element code. The models will incorporate realistic rheological parameters for the deforming fault rock sequence, based on the microstructural observations, as well as realistic along and across-strike variations in fault properties determined by the combined field and microstructural analyses. Model predictions will be compared with strain distribution (surface and at depth), GPS data, earthquake solutions and the geological record of the Southern Alps. This phase of the project will be co-advised by Dr Phaedra Upton at GNS Science, Dunedin.
The student will need to apply for a University of Otago PhD Scholarship - the deadline for this application is 30 October. Top-up living expenses and project funding will be provided through the Marsden Research Fund.
Please send enquiries, with a current cv and academic record, to [log in to unmask]
Dr. Virginia G. Toy
University of Otago
PO Box 56 (postal) OR Leith Walk (courier)
Ph: +64 9 479 7506
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