July 2013
Message 86

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[Met-jobs] PhD position (ANU, Australia): Tsunami Forecasting

From Sébastien allgeyer <>
Date Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:46:27 +1000

The candidate will develop techniques for the rapid inversion of multi-sensor data for earthquake fault rupture and tsunami sources. The different types of data will include near-field and far-field seismic waveforms and continuous GPS measurements, as well as aftershock and sea level data. The research should explore ways in which these results can be used to drive a tsunami forecast that accounts for the complex nature of uncertainty in tsunami initial condition.

Research Project
The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (IOT) tragically demonstrated that tsunamis are a major threat to coastal populations and infrastructure, and led to a flurry of activity in the development of tsunami warning systems (TWSs). Despite this, warning systems in operation today are not as effective as they could be, because their warning levels apply to entire ocean basins or swaths of coastline 1000s of km in extent. This project is aimed at the challenges that need to be addressed in order to build next generation TWSs capable of producing rapid, robust and detailed forecasts. Today’s TWSs typically use pre-computed tsunami scenarios to tailor warnings to specific events, but the suite of scenarios is often limited. Also, because the uncertainty in this process is not presently quantifiable, current TWSs often issue overly conservative warnings.

This project will develop new methods for tsunami forecasting based on the real-time assimilation of different types of data - seismic, geodetic, and sea level. The forecasts should adapt to the changing information on tsunami initial condition inferred from the assimilated data, and should include information about the forecast error that evolves with the inferred uncertainty in this initial condition. This position is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project to undertake research in new methods for real-time multi-sensor data assimilation and tsunami forecasting. It is open to all candidates with a strong background in physics, earth physics, or applied mathematics. Of particular interest are candidates with expertise in earthquake source characterization or tsunami modelling techniques, and who have an interest in real-time, data driven algorithms.

The Australian National University’s Research school of Earth Sciences
The Earth Physics Area of the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) combines world-leading expertise in earthquake, tsunami and data inference science. RSES carries out a diverse range of research into the physics, chemistry, material properties and environmental conditions of the Earth, and hosts the Centre for Advanced Data Inference (CADI). CADI has its own Terrawulf III computing cluster, and in addition the ANU also hosts the national facility for computing infrastructure on campus. RSES also has close interaction with Geoscience Australia, where the seismological component of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning System is located.

For additional information
Please send a cover letter and CV to Dr Sébastien Allgeyer ( or Prof Phil Cummins (

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