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Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

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The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The Department of Environmental Informatics is offering a position for a Master thesis to commence at the earliest convenience.

Master Thesis: Measures for Seawater-Intrusion Remediation in Shallow Aquifers

The rising demand of fresh water, for example for agricultural and industrial use, may lead to overexploitation of aquifers, i.e. pumping rates exceed the natural regain of water resources by recharge or infiltration. Declining groundwater levels and seawater intrusion are possible results. The objective of this work is to evaluate the possibility of using artificial water injections and extractions in terms of creating a negative and positive hydraulic barrier against sea-water intrusion into shallow aquifers. In this work, the overall feasibility of the barrier approach is to be analyzed under possible variations of environmental subsurface conditions and groundwater utilization scenarios.

Your tasks:

  • Literature research on Hydraulic Barriers and their feasibility for reduction of SWI as well as on saltwater intrusion and numerical simulation codes for density dependent flow and transport
  • Scenario definition for saltwater intrusion and the use of active barriers
  • Implementation of numerical models for the defined scenarios
  • Parameter analyses to investigate the most governing parameters and impacts on saltwater intrusion and its remediation by artificial water injections and extractions
  • Calculation of balances for water and mass transported within the study regions and delineation of optimal conditions and operational factors for saltwater intrusion remediation

Your profile:

  • Background in hydrogeology or hydrology
  • Experience in numerical computer simulation
  • Affinity to interdisciplinary work
Thesis supervision will jointly be provided from UFZ (Deparments Environmental Informatics and Monitoring and Exploration Technologies) & Technische Universität Dresden (Institute for Groundwater Management).

We offer:

  • Great insights into the work in a leading research institute
  • Individual supervision with the possibility to contribute your own ideas
  • an own topic to work on independently
  • work in international teams in a well-equipped laboratory