Currently available NEXUSS CDT PhD projects
NexUSS projects open for applications (2018 entry)
MATTHEWS_UENV18NEX - Observing the ocean surface layers with autonomous underwater vehicles
Observing the ocean surface layers with autonomous underwater vehicles
The detailed vertical structure of the ocean near its surface has a major impact on how the ocean exchanges heat and momentum with the atmosphere, which then affects weather and climate. However, this near-surface structure is difficult to measure accurately with conventional oceanographic observations. The recent proliferation in the use of ocean gliders has provided a potential new data source of these near-surface measurements. Gliders are ideally suited to measure near-surface ocean characteristics, as they are streamlined and free flying, and do not disturb the delicate near-surface structures they are attempting to measure. For example, recent glider observations in the Indian Ocean have revealed the detailed structures of diurnally formed surface warm layers in the upper few metres of the ocean. However, gliders are normally ballasted and optimised for flight at mid-depths. Together with the standard parameters used for surface manoeuvres at the beginning and end of each dive, the glider flight characteristics are sub-optimal for obtaining the best possible near-surface measurements. This project will investigate the effect of optimising glider flight characteristics on the quality of near-surface measurements.
The student will liaise with all glider missions run out of UEA and SAMS during the project. Once each glider is correctly trimmed and is gathering high quality data, a small number of dives will be used to evaluate the improvement in near-surface data to changes in a number of glider flight parameters (associated with general flight and near-surface manoeuvres). A glider mission typically generates 500-1000 dives, so this will not be detrimental to the overall mission. The student will also be part of the piloting team in each of these missions. In parallel, the student will use the large data base of glider dives already generated by the UEA and SAMS glider groups, to evaluate the effect of glider flight parameter changes on near-surface data quality from historical missions. A set of recommendations will be developed, to optimise both near-surface measurements but at minimal cost to the quality of deeper measurements. The science questions to be addressed are the formation of surface diurnal warm layers, barrier layers, and near-surface mixing processes, and their impact on ocean-atmosphere fluxes.
The NEXUSS CDT provides state-of-the-art, highly experiential training in the application and development of cutting-edge Smart and Autonomous Observing Systems for the environmental sciences, alongside comprehensive personal and professional development. There will be extensive opportunities for students to expand their multi-disciplinary outlook through interactions with a wide network of academic, research and industrial / government / policy partners. The student will be registered and hosted in the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS) at UEA in Norwich but will spend time based at SAMS in Oban working with engineers to share best practice for glider operations. Specific training will include:
- ocean glider piloting, operation, and data analysis
- oceanography, ocean dynamics, ocean physics
- computing and processing of large data sets
- seagoing and marine data collection skills
- use of glider hydrodynamical models use for optimising glider flight characteristics and near-surface measurements
his project has been shortlisted for funding by the NEXUSS Centre for Doctoral Training. Undertaking a PhD with the NEXUSS CDT will involve attendance at mandatory training events throughout the course of the PhD.
Selected candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC/EPSRC studentship - in 2017/18, the stipend is £14,553.
In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a stipend. For non-UK EU-resident applicants NERC/EPSRC funding can be used to cover tuition fees, RTSG and training costs, but not any part of the stipend. Individual institutes may, however, elect to provide a stipend from their own resources.
This PhD studentship is expected to begin in September/October 2018. Both full-time and part-time study are possible (those planning to study part-time may wish to discuss this with the supervisor before applying).
Matthews AJ, Baranowski DB, Heywood KJ, Flatau PJ, Schmidtko S, 2014: The surface diurnal warm layer in the Indian Ocean during CINDY/DYNAMO. J. Climate, 27, 9101-9122.
Webber BGM, Matthews AJ, Heywood KJ, Kaiser J, Schmidtko S, 2014: Seaglider observations of equatorial Indian Ocean Rossby waves associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation.J. Geophys. Res., 119, 3714-3731.
Queste BY, Fernand L, Jickells TD, Heywood KJ, Hind AJ, 2016: Drivers of summer oxygen depletion in the central North Sea. Biogeosci., 13, 1209-1222.
Dale AC, Barth JA, Levine MD, Austin JA, 2008: Observations of mixed layer restratification by onshore surface transport following wind reversal in a coastal upwelling region. J. Geophys. Res. (Oceans), 113, C01010, doi: 10.1029/2007JC004128
Dr Andrew Dale (SAMS)
Dr Ben Webber (Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UEA)
Dr Bastien Queste (Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UEA)
- Start date October 2018
- Studentship Length 3 years 8 months
- Acceptable First Degree Engineering, Geophysics, Mathematics, Oceanography or Marine Science, Physics, Natural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Meteorology, or Climate Sciences
- Minimum Entry Standard 2:1 or equivalent
Previously advertised NEXUSS PhD projects
Listed below are projects previously advertised for funding within the NEXUSS CDT.
Applications for these projects are no longer open and they are provided for information only:
Ship-seq: Nanopore sequencing of polar microbes on board icebreakers (MOCK_UENV17NEX)
Marine Mammal Detection from Autonomous Surface Vehicles (CASE award with Gardline Marine Sciences) (MILNER_UCMP17NEX)
Optimising ocean gliders for near-surface measurements (MATTHEWS_UENV17NEX)
Automated Underwater Imagery Analysis (CASE award with Gardline Geosurvey Ltd) (FINLAYSON_UCMP17NEX)
GPU-Accelerated 3D Visualisation and Analysis of Migratory Behaviour of Long Lived Birds (LAYCOCK_UCMP17NEX)
A coupled CFD and observational approach to improve measurements of ocean turbulence from gliders (PALMER_UENV16NEX)
Autonomous carbon system observations from gliders (AutoCarb) (KAISER_UENV16NEX)
Optimising ocean glider sampling of internal waves and eddies (HALL_UENV16NEX)
The environmental determinants of dispersal and migratory behaviour of long lived birds (FRANCO_UENV17NEX)
Plug and play monitoring – developing novel solutions for marine observations with divers as citizen scientists (KAISER_UENV17NEX)
Mapping ocean mixing using autonomous gliders: Indian Ocean and Antarctic shelf seas (HALL_UENV17NEX)
Automated UAV and satellite image analysis for wildlife monitoring (MACKIEWICZ_UCMP17NEX)
Shear Madness: New Ways to measure Ocean Currents from a Glider (HEYWOOD_UENV17NEX)