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Importance of infra-gravity waves in the hydro-sedimentary dynamics of estuarine environments.
Université de La Rochelle, La Rochelle
Oceanography Geophysics 
Full Description:

PhD advisor and hosting laboratory :

Xavier Bertin, CNRS Research Officer (CR1-HDR)

UMR 7266 LIENSs, CNRS/Université de La Rochelle

2 Rue Olympe de Gouges

17000 La Rochelle

Contact: e-mail : ; Tel : 0546507636

Description of the thesis:


Infra-gravity waves (IG) correspond to sea-level fluctuations with periods of the order of the minute related and due to the presence of groups in the incident waves. While the relevance of IG waves is nowadays well recognized in the hydro-sedimentary dynamics of beaches, their generation, propagation and impacts in estuarine environments are much more unpublished. However, recent field measurements carried out by our team revealed the occurrence of IG waves exceeding 0.5 m in estuaries, inducing fluctuations in current velocities reaching 100 % and dominating temporarily the sediment dynamics. Furthermore, it is likely that this phenomenon contributes to the closure of tidal inlet under storms, a behavior only partly understood to date.

Objectives of the thesis:

The objectives of this PhD thesis are: (1) to characterize IG waves and their propagation in estuarine environments (tidal inlets, lagoons, sandspit), (2) to determine the mechanisms responsible for their generation and (3) to analyze their impacts on estuarine hydro-sedimentary dynamics and morphological changes (inlet closure, erosion etc.). The characterization of IG waves will rely on field measurements already carried out in the scope of the research projects ANR DYNAMO (French funding agency for research), FP7 Risckit (European Commission funding) as well as the project "Chaire Région Poitou Charente" (regional funding) starting in fall 2015. These data-based analyses will be completed by numerical simulations of IG waves by means of a coupled waves and currents unstructured grid modeling system under development in our Lab and which preliminary results are very promising.


National: UMR EPOC (B. Castelle).

International: University of Florida (M. Olabarrieta), Unesco-IHE (D. Roelvink).

Profile of the candidate:

Master Degree or equivalent degree in Physical Oceanography, Coastal Engineering or related field. Good standards in mathematics, physics and programming (Fortran 90, Matlab) are required for this thesis.

Recruitment procedure:

Interested candidates are invited to send electronically a resume, a motivation letter and their grades during their Master. An interview will be organized in late July to decide between the selected candidates and discuss practical arrangements.

Posted on: 04 July 2015Deadline to apply: 22 July 2015Start Date: 01 October 2015 Duration: 36 months
The Fund category is Public Funding - Region (State) and the salary is 15-20k€ annual gross
Doctoral School is Sciences of the environment - Gay lussac in the Poitou-Charentes Region.

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