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ESR2: Marginal vertical motions (Western Mediterranean and Levant basins)

The Department of Structure and Dynamics of the Earth at ICTJA-CSIC has one PhD positions available within the European Training Network SALTGIANT. The total number of ESR-positions in this network is 15. Details on all 15 positions, as well as the application procedure can be found here

The ICTJA-CSIC based project concerns:


To understand the vertical motions of the Mediterranean margins due to the extreme redistribution of isostatic load during the formation of the MSG, ESR 2 will use large seismic data compilations available from CSIC, Toulouse Univ., and Pavia-ENI, together with deep well logging, for 3 marginal regions: the Balearic promontory, the Alboran Basin, and the Po Basin. This will allow to constrain the vertical epeirogenic motions since the Late Miocene. The seismic data will provide a detailed, 3D imaging of the erosion surface and salt cumulates characterizing the last stages of the formation of the MSG. Assessing the original vertical position of these features will test the consistency of competing proposed hypotheses on their formation across multiple study areas and will put the student in contact with top-quality, up-to -date data sources and geodynamic concepts. The vertical restoration of the original depth of formation of the erosion surface formed during the deposition of the MSG will be carried out through a 3D (planform) backstripping technique, i.e., by isostatically compensating the weight of the post-Messinian sediment and the water column, and by estimating the decompaction of the underlying sedimentary layers. For the isostatic compensation, a diversity of numerical models will be used, with mechanical properties constrained from the lithospheric structure underneath the study region and from previous studies of potential field inversion.

Expected Results

The restoration of the original vertical position of the Messinian strata and the establishment of quantitative links between the mechanical response of the lithosphere and the available and upcoming heat-flow and borehole data.

Elegibility Criteria

  • Eligible candidates shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree (e.g. MSc) entitling him or her to embark on a doctorate (as a PhD student)
  • Mobility Rule: at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date.
  • Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

Specific Requirements

  • Programming skills (Python, C, scripting) and familiarity with linux environments for scientific computing and graphic visualization.
  • Geological background in seismic reflection data and basin analysis.Interest in geodynamics and Earth's surface processes

Selection Process

Candidates apply for one to maximum three positions by sending a mail generated automatically by clicking on the links that can be found here. Candidates provide a CV, a motivation letter, the applicant’s research and technical background as they relate to the position and two reference letters as PDF documents attached to the email.

Aply Deadline April 20th 2018


  • Host institution: Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera - Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Barcelona (Spain)
  • Primary supervisor(s): Daniel Garcia-Castellanos & Ivone Jimenez-Munt
  • Organization: SALTGIANT Consortium
  • Research field: Geosciences
  • Researcher profile: First Stage Researcher (r1)
  • Application deadline: 20/04/2018
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Location: Barcelona Spain
  • EU Research Framework Programme: H2020 / Marie Slodowska-Curie Actions
  • Marie Curie Grant Agreement: 765256
  • Further information: Daniel García-Castellanos
  • Download PDF of full ESR project description (ESR2)
  • Apply here for this position


SALTGIANT is a rare cross-disciplinary network of natural and social scientists dedicated to understanding the formation of the Mediterranean Salt Giant, one of the largest salt deposits on Earth, and its implications for sub-seafloor microbial life, risk assessment in the oil industry, geo-economics of the Mediterranean region and the history of oceanography.

SALTGIANT brings together 24 academic organizations (13 beneficiaries, 11 partners), 6 private sector Oil&Gas companies, 2 mining sector companies, 1 biotechnology company, 1 geopolitics think tank, 1 museum and 1 specialist in transferable skills training from 11 countries to stimulate interdisciplinary and intersectorial knowledge exchange between geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, microbiologist, geographers and historians in a network with PhD students at its core.

SALTGIANT combines (i) geological and geochemical field work, (ii) laboratory measurements and experiments, (iii) numerical modelling at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales and (iv) empirical social sciences data collection and analysis, guaranteeing exposure of the research fellows to state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and hands-on practical training in a field rich in applications of both intellectual and societal relevance.