Non-lithostatic fluid (thermo)dynamics of subduction interface dehydration reactions

PhD position in numerical modelling of seismic cycles in subduction zones

Main host institution: INSTITUTO ANDALUZ DE CIENCIAS DE LA TIERRA, Granada, Spain

Main secondement Institution: ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

The Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (IACT) at Granada (CSIC and University of Granada) seeks to appoint a PhD student in Non-lithostatic fluid (thermo)dynamics of subduction interface dehydration reactions. The successful applicant will join the IACT’s Petrology and Geochemistry Research Group and work in a multi-disciplinary environment under the supervision of Dr. Carlos J. Garrido and Dr. Vicente López Sánchez-Vizcaíno.

Research: Investigation of the pressure, stress, and temperature evolution in natural systems undergoing metamorphic devolatilization reactions is essential for the reconstruction and understanding of the dynamic of fluid expulsion and volatile cycling in subduction zones and the influence of fluids release on seismic activity The main objective of the PhD will be the investigation of the role of fluid dynamics in the thermodynamics and kinetics of metamorphic dehydration reactions by combining thermo-mechanical modelling with petrological and geochemical studies of natural analogs with a special emphasis on serpentinite dehydration reactions.

Tasks and Methodology: 1) Quantify the role of non-lithostatic fluid pressure in controlling dehydration reactions at depth and implement modifications in current thermodynamic numerical codes for simple dehydration reactions, with a focus on serpentinite dehydration; 2) Petrological and geochemical study of natural analogs. Implement them in simple 1D thermo-mechanical models to investigate their effects on metamorphic equilibrium and kinetics.

Research Methodology: Structural and petrological mapping, metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, thermodynamic and thermo-mechanical modelling.

Candidate Profile: Candidates must hold an MSc in Earth Sciences, Geophysics or a related discipline. Experience in thermodynamics, geodynamics, metamorphic petrology, numerical modelling and programming languages is highly advantageous.  See below for futher ele

The successful candidate will be hired by the CSIC to work at the IACT, and will be enrolled in the Earth Sciences PhD Program of the University of Granada. The candidate will benefit from first-class research facilities and the unique cultural and international environment of University of Granada. The candidate will also spend at least 6 months working  the ETH Zürich—the second mentor institution—under de supervision of Prof. Jamie Connolly (thermodynamic modelling) and Prof. Taras Gerya (thermo-mechanical modelling). The candidate will also collaborate with Dr. Benoit Dubacq (UPMC, Univ. Paris VI), as well as with others ZIP’s PhD students working on related research topics.

For further information, please contact Dr. Carlos J. Garrido (, Prof. James Connolly ( or Prof. Taras Gerya  (

Expected starting date:   January – May 2014.

 New deadline to apply: Nov, 13th 2013.