APPEL A CANDIDATURE :Thèse en géomorphologie fluviale et géochimie Financement : CNRS

29 avril 2019

APPEL A CANDIDATURE  : Thèse en géomorphologie fluviale et géochimie
Financement : CNRS

Titre : Impact des aménagements fluviaux sur la dynamique et la composition des transferts et dépôts sédimentaires du Rhin supérieur : couplage d’approches géomorphologiques et géochimiques

Direction :
Laurent Schmitt - Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE) - Université de Strasbourg François Chabaux - Laboratoire d’Hydrologie et de Géochimie de Strasbourg (LHYGES) - Université de Strasbourg
Dominique Badariotti - Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE) / OHM Fessenheim - Université de Strasbourg

Contexte et objectifs de la thèse :

Le projet de thèse se propose de reconstruire la dynamique spatio-temporelle des dépôts sédimentaires dans le Rhin Supérieur et de leur composition minéralogique et chimique en relation avec l’évolution industrielle, agricole et urbaine de cette région, depuis les débuts des aménagements du Rhin, jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Ce travail s’appuiera sur la combinaison d’approches de géomorphologie, de sédimentologie et de traçages géochimiques et isotopiques. Le travail de thèse participera aux efforts développés actuellement pour reconstruire l’histoire de l’évolution du socio-écosystème du Rhin supérieur, sur une fenêtre temporelle couvrant : 1. les périodes antérieures aux aménagements du Rhin (plusieurs siècles), 2. celles des aménagements du Rhin du XIXè siècle jusqu’aux transformations les plus récentes marquées par la canalisation du fleuve et l’industrialisation de cette région (XXè siècle) et 3. celle récente de l’annonce de la fermeture du CNPE (Centre Nucléaire de Production d’Electricité) de Fessenheim.
Le croisement d’analyses géochimiques des sédiments historiques du Rhin avec une caractérisation géomorphologique fine des paléo-chenaux du fleuve, qui ont constitué des pièges à sédiments fins potentiellement pollués (hotspots de polluants ; Eschbach et al., 2018), est particulièrement prometteuse. Cette recherche interdisciplinaire, géochimique et géomorphologique, apportera des éléments d’informations majeurs pour l’établissement de l’état actuel du socio-écosystème de Fessenheim (établissement d’un point zéro), indispensable pour évaluer comment l’arrêt puis le démantèlement du CNPE Fessenheim impactera son socio-écosystème. Il devrait également conduire à des retombées opérationnelles en termes de restauration fluviale. L’ensemble du travail devrait aider au développement de méthodologies transposables à d’autres contextes fluviaux.

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CALL FOR PhD CANDIDATES : Thesis in fluvial geomorphology and geochemistry funded by CNRS (France)

Title: Impact of river engineering works on the dynamics and composition of sedimentary
transfers and deposits along the Upper Rhine: coupling geomorphological and
geochemical approaches

Faculty advisors:
Laurent Schmitt - Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE) - University of Strasbourg
François Chabaux - Laboratoire d’Hydrologie et de Géochimie de Strasbourg (LHYGES) -
University of Strasbourg
Dominique Badariotti - Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE) / OHM Fessenheim -
University of Strasbourg

Background and objective of the thesis:


This project globally aims at reconstructing the spatio-temporal dynamics of sedimentary
deposits in the Upper Rhine and their chemical composition in relation to the industrial,
agricultural and urban evolution of this region, from the 18th century onwards. It thereby focuses
on three main time periods:
1. prior to the engineering works of the Rhine (several centuries);
2. main engineering works during the 19th-20th centuries (e.g. canalization of the river and
regional industrialization);
3. modern times, encompassing the closure of the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim.
Based on a combination of geomorphological, sedimentological, geochemical and isotopic
tracing approaches, the PhD thesis will contribute to the current efforts to reconstruct the history
of the Upper Rhine socio-ecosystem. The coupling of geochemical analyses of the historical
sediments of the Rhine with thorough geomorphological, sedimentological and
geochronological studies of the paleo-channels, which may have worked as pollutant hotspots,
will be a core topic of this project. This will be achieved by mapping the paleo-channels, dating
their formation and coring the fluvial deposits to investigate their mineralogical and
geochemical characteristics. This interdisciplinary research will also provide major information
to establish the current state of the Fessenheim socio-ecosystem and to assess how the closure
and dismantling of the nuclear power plant will impact it. It should also lead to operational
benefits in terms of river restoration. Finally, this project will contribute developing
transposable methodologies to other fluvial contexts.
The first task of the thesis aims at applying and developing geochemical and isotopic tracing
approaches to characterize the sources of the various chemical flows in water and Rhine
sediments and to uncouple the "natural" flows from anthropogenic-influenced flows
(agricultural, industrial, urban...). Different geochemical tracing tools will be used, depending
on the types of contaminants to be traced. This work will be based on an initial inventory to
define the types of tracers according to the types of pollution/activities (thesis in progress
conducted elsewhere). In its initial phase, the PhD student will focus on metal contamination
originating by industries, river infrastructures, agriculture and/or urban activities.
The second task is to evaluate how the temporal analysis of the signals recorded in the fluvial
landforms and sediments of the Rhine (e.g. palaeochannels by-passed by the Rhine rectification
or other floodplain areas) allows reconstructing the past evolution of these contaminations in
the hydrosystem. This work will be based on geomorphology (diachronic geomatics analysis,
study of longitudinal profiles, LIDAR analysis, etc.) and sedimentology (grain size, etc.) to
draw up a detailed mapping of the Rhine paleo-channels, define the fine chronology of their
implementation and select the most relevant ones to core for their mineralogical and
geochemical analysis. A new geochronological method with high stratigraphical resolution will
be used, in collaboration with the University of Freiburg.

Required skills:


The candidate must have obtained a Master 2 in physical geography, geology, environmental
sciences or engineering. Research experience in fluvial geomorphology and geochemistry
would be appreciated. He/she must be part of a multidisciplinary research team composed of
geographers, hydrogeochemists, geochronologists, lawyers and economists and must therefore
show an interest in interdisciplinary research.


Location, remuneration:
France, Strasbourg, Laboratories LIVE et LHYGES (Central Campus of University of
Strasbourg).
Doctoral School: "Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement" (n° 413).
Affiliation: University of Strasbourg.

Type of position and salary: CNRS fixed-term contract (CNRS doctoral contract) of 3 years for
a gross monthly salary of 2135 €, or 1683 € net/month (including social security).
Environmental costs of the thesis: the thesis will be integrated into the IDEX Juxta Rhenum
project of the University of Strasbourg (2018-2019) and the Observatoire Homme Milieu
(OHM) Fessenheim (2019-2026; CNRS). It will be able to benefit from financial support from
these research structures.

How to Apply?
The candidate must send by May, 30 2019 (24:00) at the latest a letter of motivation and a
detailed CV, as well as the names and addresses of two scientific references (possibility of also
sending letters of recommendation), to Laurent Schmitt - laurent.schmitt@unistra.fr and/or
François Chabaux - fchabaux@unistra.fr . Laurent Schmitt and François Chabaux will be able
to provide additional information on the project of the thesis if necessary and may ask to
candidates some complementary information.

An interview of the selected candidates after examination of the letters of motivation and CV
will take place in Strasbourg on Friday June, 6 2019 (morning).

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