Geoscience

The programme:

We offer PhD programmes in all research fields represented at the Department which cover most disciplines of Earth Science. Our research relates to Earth surface processes with focus on clastic and carbonate sedimentology, basin analysis, soil science, hydrology and glacial geology. We study large depositional systems of the past, sediment re-distribution processes and land-shaping mechanisms with particular reference to the role of water, ice and wind. Stratigraphy and timing of geological events is investigated using palaeontological and absolute dating techniques such as luminescence, radiocarbon, stable isotope and cosmogenic isotope dating. We apply microfossils to decipher the history of life and study depositional archives in both terrestrial and marine settings to reconstruct environmental changes in particular during the Tertiary and Quaternary periods. Climate fluctuations and related evolution of plant and animal realms are another focus of our research. Applying state-of-the-art analytical techniques we investigate groundwater systems at different spatial dimensions. Deep Earth studies are represented by a range of disciplines including mineralogy, petrology, volcanology, plate tectonics and the dynamics of the lithosphere, whereby Greenland is one prominent research area. Geophysical studies, in particular seismic and electromagnetic methods are another focus of our research. A rapidly developing field at the Department is quantification and numerical modelling of geological phenomena. In our approach to Earth Sciences we emphasize multi-faceted and interdisciplinary studies combining field, theoretical, experimental and numerical methods.

Research facilities available:

The Department has a unique set of research facilities at the disposal of PhD students. These include two fully equipped geophysical/geological field stations in Denmark, five modern laboratories at the Department (mineralogy and petrology, sedimentology, palaeontology, geophysics and basin analysis, soil and water), a wind tunnel, the Mars-simulation laboratory, the luminescence laboratory, the Sky-TEM facility, and equipment for seismic acquisition (onshore and offshore) and processing together with work-stations for seismic interpretation. Our analytical park includes among others an electron microprobe, an X-ray diffraction (XRD) unit, an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) unit, a Siemens ring-shear apparatus and a Sympatec laser diffraction machine.

Affiliated centres/departments:

Affiliated units include: (1) HydroGeophysics Group (HGG) , (2) Centre for Past Climate Studies, (3) Marslab, and (4) Nordic Laboratory for Luminescence Dating (NLL).

Examples of employment after graduation:

Our former PhD students (nearly half of which come from abroad) find employment both in Denmark and around the world in research and industry. Common employers are universities, GEUS, oil companies in Denmark and Norway, geological consultancy agencies and county municipalities.

Geographic location:

Most of our PhD students are placed directly in the Department of Geoscience building (Hoegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, building 1670, DK-8000 Aarhus C), whereas some are located in the affiliated units. Regular half-annual meetings of our PhD student community, their supervisors and the Head of the PhD Field Committee that give everybody a chance to present their projects to a broader audience and discuss any matters related to the course of the PhD studies take place in the main building as above.

International cooperation:

All our PhD projects are intimately tied to international research activities, typically within frameworks of research programmes funded by national agencies and the industry. In a number of cases our foreign PhD students have previously studied geology at our Department as exchange students within the LLP-Erasmus framework, where we actively cooperate with around 20 universities across Europe. Nearly all of our PhD students spend 3-6 months at a foreign university.

Approx. number of PhD students:

On average, our Department has around 25 PhD students at any time.