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Post-doctorate in physical volcanology

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Reference: 2024-1566029 (choisir le service public) BAP: A - Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences ITRF category: Study engineer Category: A

Type of contract: Post-doctoral research contract

Publication date: 14/05/2024

Contract duration: 1 year

Deadline for applications: 15/06/2024

Remuneration 2563€

Expected starting date: 01/07/2024

IPGP, 1 rue Jussieu, 75005 Paris

The institut de physique du globe de Paris

A world-renowned geosciences organisation, the IPGP is associated with the CNRS and an integrated institute of the Université Paris Cité. Bringing together more than 500 people, the IPGP studies the Earth and the planets from the core to the most superficial fluid envelopes, through observation, experimentation and modelling.

The research aeras are structured through 4 main unifying themes: Interiors of the Earth and Planets, Natural Hazards, Earth System and Origins.

The IPGP is in charge of labelled observation services in volcanology, seismology, magnetism, gravimetry and erosion. And the IPGP’s permanent observatories monitor the four active French overseas volcanoes in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion Island and Mayotte.

The IPGP hosts powerful computing resources and state-of-the-art experimental and analytical facilities and benefits from first-class technical support. The IPGP provides its students with geosciences training that combine observation, quantitative analysis and modelling, and that reflects the quality, richness and thematic diversity of the research conducted by the IPGP teams.

Team Department

The research conducted by the volcanology team revolves around three main themes in constant interaction with the IPGP’s volcanic and seismological observatories:

Long-term evolution of volcanic systems

Magmatic degassing and eruptive processes

Volcanic hazards, risks, and environmental impacts

These themes encompass both volcanic systems in subduction zones (such as the Lesser Antilles arc, Central America, South America, and Italy) and hotspot volcanism (like Reunion, Comoros) and rift volcanism (such as Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo). Priority is given to the three French volcanoes (Soufrière de Guadeloupe, Montagne Pelée in Martinique, Piton de la Fournaise in Reunion), as well as volcanic activity in Mayotte, which falls under the IPGP’s surveillance.

The team composition includes geologists, geochemists, and geophysicists, with researchers from the IPGP (based in Paris and in volcanic and seismological observatories) collaborating with researchers from the GéoSciences Réunion Laboratory at the University of Réunion, all integrated into the IPGP Volcanology Team. This interdisciplinary approach is essential for addressing these themes effectively.


> Presentation of the missions within the context

The magma ascent rate is a key factor in controlling eruptive dynamics, greatly influenced by complex interactions among magma viscosity, pre-eruptive volatile budgets, magma gas escape through permeability, and pre-eruptive storage conditions (pressure, temperature, composition, magmatic plumbing configuration, and its evolution). Currently, methods used to estimate these pre- and syn-eruptive ascent rates are based on a combination of geophysical, geochemical, and petrological techniques, none of which provide a complete picture of the process. Recent research has developed and utilized some of these methods, but there is a need for a better understanding of what is being measured and the reliability of these measurements. Furthermore, the links between observations made in natural deposits or obtained in observatories and models are not always clear and need to be more thoroughly detailed. Combining petrological and textural observations of natural volcanic deposits with numerical models could be key to solving this problem.

A one-year post-doctoral position is available at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. During this contract, the researcher will be tasked with using existing petrological tools and numerical magma ascent models to refine estimates of magma ascent times. The objective is to determine a robust method for quantifying magma ascent velocity by coupling petrological analyses of natural samples with numerical modeling (i.e., conduit models, volatile saturation models) to constrain eruptive dynamics and future eruption scenarios.

> Number of agents: 1

> Position of responsibility: Post-doctorate

> For researchers: Chaire d’Excellence Université de Paris


> Description of the activities

– Development of a method to enhance the accuracy of magma ascent time estimates using the diffusion of volatile elements in volcanic crystals and glasses.

– Petrological analyses of samples of interest (Scanning Electron Microscopy, Electron Microprobe, Ion Microprobe, Raman Spectroscopy, etc.) including major elements, trace elements, and volatiles.

– Integration of analytical measurements with existing numerical magma ascent models (such as MAMMA, Confort 15).

– Writing high-quality scientific articles to communicate these research findings to the community and participation in international conferences/workshops to disseminate these results.

– Participation in the scientific life of the IPGP team – attending seminars, meetings, etc.

– Supervision of undergraduate/master’s students for their internship projects.

Expected Skills

> Specific training :

Strong observational skills are essential. The candidate must have experience in sampling, analyzing, and interpreting volcanic deposits. Good experience in sample analysis using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) is also necessary. Previous experience with ion microprobe (SIMS/NanoSIMS) is desirable as well. Additionally, experience in numerical modeling and statistical analysis, along with a solid foundation in Python, Matlab, and/or Fortran programming languages, will be highly appreciated.

> Professional qualities

– Excellent oral and written communication skills to convey high-quality research to a specialized audience.

– Ability to work independently to solve complex problems.

– Strong motivation and good teamwork skills.

– High interest in collaborating with volcanic observatories.

– Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Obligations and risks

> Work schedules: 38h50 per week

> Professional trips:

The candidate may be required to travel to participate in international conferences or workshops, engage in fieldwork, visit the volcanic and seismological observatories of the IPGP, and analyze samples.

Training and experience required

> To apply, candidates are required to have a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences with previous experience in volcanology, petrology, geochemistry, and/or work with a volcanic observatory at the time of hiring.

> Publication of articles in high-quality scientific journals

How to apply

> Send your CV and cover letter to F. Costa at

> Deadlines for applications: 26/04/2024

> Contacts (2 contacts are required for the interview)