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SPIN ESR 1.2: Distributed acoustic sensing for natural hazard assessment

Host institution: ETH Zürich, Seismology & Wave Physics Group
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main supervisor: Andreas Fichtner (ETHZ, CH)
co-supervisors: Cédric Schmelzbach (ETHZ, CH)

Application deadline: application closed Earliest possible starting date: May 1st, 2021

General information

This PhD position is one of the 15 Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions within the SPIN project. SPIN is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA).

SPIN will focus on training 15 PhD candidates in emerging measurement technologies in seismology. We will research the design of monitoring systems for precursory changes in material properties, all while optimizing observation strategies. The unique interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral network will enable PhDs to gain international expertise at excellent research institutions, with a meaningful exposure of each PhD to other disciplines and sectors, thus going far beyond the education at a single PhD programme.

Project description

Recent, pioneering studies have shown the possibilities of using distributed fibre-optic sensing (DAS) for seismic observations. DAS has enormous potential in natural hazard applications, where very dense seismic instrumentation is needed but impossible to achieve with conventional sensors. This includes the monitoring of glaciers, potentially unstable slopes, and earthquake-induced ground motion in densely populated urban areas.
While experience on the observational and experimental aspects of DAS is quickly accumulating, our capability to analyse DAS data such that their rich information can be fully exploited, remains under-developed. Within this context, this project aims to properly quantify observational uncertainties of DAS waveforms and to integrate them into the design of suitable misfit functionals. This is intended to lead towards DAS-based full waveform inversion methods and applications for both earthquake source properties and 3D Earth structure.