Spatialized Optical Thermometry To Image The Coupling Between Flow And Heat Transport Processes In Geological Fractures

Universities and Institutes of France
December 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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7 Nov 2023

Job Information





Research Field

Geosciences » Hydrology

Physics » Applied physics

Environmental science » Earth science

Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)



Application Deadline

15 Dec 2023 - 00:00 (Europe/Paris)

Type of Contract


Job Status


Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?


Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

We are pleased to announce a PhD position at University of Rennes, France on the modelling of heat transport processes in the subsurface. This position is offered in the frame of the recently funded ERC (European Research Council) starting grant "CONCRETER" (https: // www. bretagne-pays-de-la-…).

Understanding heat transport processes in the subsurface is central to many environmental, geological and industrial processes. This interest is especially stimulated by the observed response of the ground thermal regimes to ongoing climate change, by the growing need in geothermal energy use. Groundwater flow plays a key role in the distribution of heat at different scales. However, while this key role has been generally recognized, existing modeling frameworks have largely sidestepped the complexities associated with the heterogeneity in groundwater flow present at a wide range of spatial scales. The major scientific obstacle that prevents accurate understanding of the impact of subsurface heterogeneity in hydraulic and thermal properties on heat transport is related to our inability to image the hidden interaction between flow and heat transport processes at the pore/fracture scale Heinze and Pastore, 2023, https: //

Recent studies raise questions regarding the relevance of classical models, i.e., models misrepresenting the structural heterogeneity, for modelling heat transport in the subsurface. Thus, in fractured media, our recent studies questioned the validity of the classical parallel plate fracture conceptualization Klepikova et al., 2016, https: //; Klepikova et al., 2021, https: // This PhD project aims to examine the conditions in natural saturated fractured media under which classical formalisms, i.e., disregarding structural heterogeneity, apply and determine when they are expected to fail, and laboratory experiments are unique assets to tackle this issue. This raises technical challenges as current experimental techniques, based on point (sensor) temperature measurements, do not allow capturing the interplay between temperature gradients and 3D flow topologies. In this project, high resolution optical monitoring of the time-evolving temperature field will be achieved by a phosphor thermometry technique Stelter et al., 2021, https: // The method will be applied to image the spatial distribution of temperature in rough geological fractures and to investigate the effects 3-D fracture geometry has on the scaling of heat recovery in both space and time.

The candidate will be carried out in Geosciences Rennes and supervised by Maria Klepikova, Yves Méheust and co-supervised by Benoit Fond (ONERA, France). Géosciences Rennes (https: // is one of the leading European groups in the field of hydrogeology, as evidenced by the recently awarded ERC grants ReactiveFronts (T. Le Borgne), CONCRETER (M. Klepikova), CHORUS (J. Heyman), FEASIBLE (P. Steer) and ITN project ENIGMA (P. Davy). It will provide the ER with well-equipped office spaces including high performance computing cluster and all required computer packages, as well as dedicated engineer and grant managers.


Research Field

Environmental science » Earth science

Education Level

Master Degree or equivalent

Research Field

Geosciences » Hydrology

Education Level

Master Degree or equivalent

Research Field

Physics » Applied physics

Education Level

Master Degree or equivalent


- Sound and quantitative understanding of fluid mechanics

- Experience with computer programming /scripting (Matlab, Python, R) is an advantage

- Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English

- Experience in fluid flow modelling in geological media is an advantage

- Applicants must be able to work independently and in interdisciplinary teams.




Additional Information Work Location(s)

Number of offers available







Where to apply


[email protected]





https: //


Campus de Beaulieu35042 Rennes


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