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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Experimental Rock Deformation - Grade 7

University of Liverpool - Faculty of Science and Engineering - Institute of Environmental Sciences - Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences

Location: Liverpool
Salary: £34,805 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th September 2021
Closes: 4th November 2021
Job Ref: 034587

The Rock Deformation Laboratory invites applications for the position of post-doctoral research associate to work on a NERC-NSF funded grant addressing the question: Earthquake nucleation versus episodic slow slip: what controls the mode of fault slip? In this project, we will combine laboratory experiments and numerical modelling to determine the controlling factors leading to stable fault creep, episodic slow slip, or earthquakes. Specifically, we will address the key hypotheses proposed to explain episodic slow slip, including stability transitions related to very slow slip rates and elevated temperatures, the influence of pore fluid pressure including dilatant strengthening, and spatial variations in fault properties and conditions. The PDRA will be focussed on laboratory experiments to measure the frictional properties of typical fault core materials. The results will be modelled by, and in collaboration with, Prof. Nadia Lapusta and her group at Caltech to constrain the underlying physics and overall slip behaviour of fault zones through field-scale numerical modelling.

The Rock Deformation Laboratory in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecology at the University is a leading global facility for research into the fundamental processes of rock deformation. It has a large equipment base and a reputation for innovative development of equipment and novel experiments. The laboratory is supported by excellent microstructural facilities at Liverpool which are renowned for cutting-edge research into microstructural characterization.

The successful candidate will undertake the experimental side of the project, under the guidance of Prof. Dan Faulkner, with input into the modelling aspects of the larger-scale behaviour (in collaboration with Professor Nadia Lapusta and her group). The candidate will be expected to present research findings at major international conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The post is available until 31st October 2024.

For full details and to apply online, please visit:

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