PostDoc “Geophysical glaciology of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica” – Deadline 28 October 2021


Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica has nearly doubled its flux in the last thirty years. The rheology and topography of the bed affect how quickly ice retreats and thus contributes to global sea-level rise. As part of the US-UK-led International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, AWI are collaborators in the ice- and modeling-based project GHOST to examine the bed and interior of Thwaites Glacier – whether it could rapidly collapse, raising sea level by more than 3 meters, or whether the retreat might slow or pause.

As part of a team of geophysicists and modelers working closely together to determine the highest priority survey targets and data needs from the field, this project will provide continuous active seismic data to yield profiles of bed topography and characterization of bed properties at high spatial resolution. The data will be used to improve reconstructions of past dynamics and model projections of future behavior of sea-level rise.


You will

  • collate subglacial properties of Thwaites from literature studies and from project partners to prepare for on-site data processing and interpretation;
  • participate in the field deployment of AWI’s active vibroseismic source/snowstreamer system as part of the GHOST traverse (Nov 2022 – Feb 2023). This will include data processing in the field for quality control and provide the basis for decision making.
  • perform post-field season seismic data processing, providing a seismic image of the ice internal structure and sub-surface, in the depth domain. This will allow analysis of seismic event attributes (e.g. sediment seismic wave speed, reflection coefficients, phase changes);
  • Interpret field data;
  • provide a comprehensive characterization of the subglacial properties of Thwaites Glacier and publish the results.


  • Proven expertise and a PhD (or equivalent) in the field of geophysics, geosciences, physics or related disciplines.
  • Well-founded knowledge in glaciology and scientific experience with active source geophysics (radar or seismics).
  • Previous experience in application of geophysical methods on ice sheets and glaciers.
  • Distinct interest in the scientific exchange and communication with the project members and interdisciplinary collaborators is expected.
  • A publication record adequate for the career stage.
  • Good language skills in spoken and written English.

Further Information

For further information please contact Dr. Coen Hofstede (, +49(471)4831-1174) or Prof. Dr. Olaf Eisen (, +49(471)4831-1969).

This is a full-time position, limited to 22 months. It is also suitable for part-time employment. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German “Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation” (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

Postdocs must register with AWI’s postdoc office PROCEED, thereby gaining access to a set of tailor made career development tools.


We look forward to your application!

Please forward your application with letter of motivation explaining why you want to join us, two references of recommendation and a list of publication by October 28th, 2021 exclusively online.

Reference number: 21/180/G/INSPIRESN-b.

To join the info session please click the following link.

via AWI 
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