PhD position in Water Isotopes and Paleoclimatology

Organization: University of Basel
Location: Switzerland
Duration: 4-year PhD position
Pay/Volunteer: The salary will be within the frame of the SNF guidelines (
Deadline: July 1st, 2022
Description: The characterizations of variations in the hydrological cycle on a regional scale is an important task in paleoclimate research. Water isotopes in speleothem fluid inclusion are a powerful proxy for investigating the past water cycle as they are directly related to the isotopic composition of rainfall above the cave. In order to understand the climatic and environmental signals based on water isotopes we need to understand the driving factors of the water isotopes in modern precipitation. For this project, you will initiate a cave drip and precipitation water isotope survey at different cave sites in Switzerland in order to understand their variability, especially related to the source of moisture. You will set up and test a new fluid inclusion extraction line which will be used to apply the speleothem fluid inclusion water isotope paleo-thermometry to Holocene and Pleistocene stalagmites in order to provide quantitative temperature estimates. In addition, you will characterize speleothem fluid inclusions using digital image analyses. The project involves stable isotope analyses (hydrogen, oxygen and carbon) on precipitation, drip water and speleothems that will be performed in the stable isotope laboratory of the Quaternary Geology group. Furthermore, the candidate will have the opportunity to join fieldtrips to Swiss caves.
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