The project aims at an interdisciplinary study of the Gibraltar Strait ecohydrodynamics using observational data analysis and modelling/data assimilation techniques. A high-resolution 3D hydrodynamic model of the strait will be applied, two-way nested to a coarse-resolution model, incorporating the Western Mediterranean Sea and a part of the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. The high-resolution model will enable the simulation of small-scale flow structures under the influence of high frequency wind/tidal forcing and of the irregular strait topography. Besides adding new elements to the knowledge of strait dynamics, the study proposes the investigation of biochemical fluxes between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean using hydrological/biochemical databases and a 3D coupled hydrodynamic/biochemical model. The exploitation of the established nested modelling system by an operational forecasting application will be investigated using assimilation of high resolution remote sensing data. The results of the project will enhance our understanding of the dynamics governing the exchange at the Gibraltar Strait and of its influence on the Mediterranean marine ecosystems. The applicant will receive an advanced training in several technological/scientific skills, including advanced 3D modelling of the physical/biological coupling in sea straits, the bi-directional model nesting technique, the Variational Inverse Method for data analysis and data assimilation schemes, which are of great importance for operational oceanography purposes. The researcher will perform the work at the MARE center in the University of Liege, a leading interdisciplinary European institute with expertise in these areas and the resulting skills are of high priority in the advancing oceanographic community of EU.
Call for proposal
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