Call for PhD Candidates: Thesis in fluvial geomophology as part of a CNRS - EDF (2015-2018) research program

Perfil del puesto: 

Thesis in fluvial geomorphology as part of a CNRS – EDF (2015 –2018) research program.

Title: Geomorphic impacts of experimental actions to redynamize the Rhine River downstream of the Kembs Dam.

Faculty advisors: Laurent Schmitt (Professor, Univ. de Strasbourg, CNRS, UMR LIVE) and Hervé Piégay (Research Director, CNRS, UMR EVS).



Over the past two centuries, human activities have drastically altered the Upper Rhine River. Greatest among these engineering works has been the construction of hydroelectric canals parallel to the Rhine during the twentieth century, which diverted the majority of the river's flow of water and sediment from sections of the former river channel. This thesis will focus on the 50 km section of the disconnected "Old Rhine" between Neuf-Brisach and Huningue, France, immediately downstream of the Kembs Dam. In order to address dam effects (modified hydrological regime, downstream incision and bed paving, interrupted sediment transport, habitat simplification), EDF has recently implemented several restoration actions. To restore a more diverse alluvial mosaic of habitats, several tens of thousands of cubic meters of sediment have been injected in this reach. Coupled with targeted erosion management, the goal is to restore a hydromorphologically-active river course and reinvigorate processes of erosion / deposition, mobility of coarse sediments, and diversification of habitat (facies, benches, notches bank erosion, wide particle size range, etc.). Ecological monitoring of these actions is the subject of a concurrent thesis.

The General Objective of the doctoral work is to assess changes in the geomorphology in this reach due to the controlled erosion and sediment recharge conducted by EDF and to assess its sustainability.

Specifically, research will:

1. characterize distances and transport paths of the injected sediments;

2. measure and map the diversification of the substrate sizes (i.e., gravel benches, channel facies, etc.) downstream of sediment injection and erosion management areas;

3. model the geomorphological changes induced (facies, benches, banks, cross sections and long profile) in the short and medium terms;
4. analyze and explain the differences between field observations and the results of numerical simulations conducted by EDF, in order to increase accuracy (DST);

5. assess the relevance of the morpho-sedimentary indicators used thus far.

The methods and tools to be used collaboratively with EDF are: tagging and tracking sediment movement with PIT tags (Passive Integrated Transponders, particle characterization using imagery, LSPIV (Large Scale Particle Image Velocimetry, techniques still being refined), surveying, aerial photography processing, GIS analysis, and cartographic and statistical modeling.

We expect the candidate to be strongly involved in the overall management of the study and to actively participate in the steering committee. Field work expertise (e.g., surveys will be conducted both on foot and by boat, including diving and shallow snorkeling), good writing skills and a strong team-work ethic are also important. Fluency in English is required. Additional fluency in German is preferred (but not essential).

Locations :

France, Strasbourg (first two years) and Lyon (for the third year).

Doctoral School : "Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement" (n° 413).

Affiliation : Université de Strasbourg.

Laboratory: UMR 7362 Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement.

Contacts : Laurent Schmitt ( ; et Hervé Piégay (; 06 63 83 85 69).

How to Apply?

The candidate must have obtained a Master 2 in physical geography, geology or engineering. (S)he must submit application material by August 31, 2015, including a cover letter, a detailed CV, and the names and addresses of two scientific references (or letters of recommendation) to Laurent Schmitt: . Interviews of invited candidates will take place in Lyon on September 8, 2015 in the morning.

Registro / inicio de sesión

Participa de la S.E.G.

Si quieres participar del portal y de la SEG, tienes 2 maneras de hacerlo:




Hazte Socio | Blog | Llibres