Doctoral researcher (m/f/d) MarDATA-7 Geophysical Softwaredevelopment

Deadline: July 04, 2021

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90 %) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10 %) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences. Currently GEOMAR disposes over an annual budget of approx. 80 million Euro and has approx. 1000 employees.

The research unit Marine Geodynamics of the research division Dynamic of the Ocean Floor is offering a position as

Doctoral researcher (m/f/d) MarDATA-7 in Geophysical Computer Science and Marine Data Science in the project “Cooperative 2D inversion of seismic texture and CSEM data to delineate hydrogeological parameters of offshore aquifers”

starting on September 1st, 2021.

Project Description:

The Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research GEOMAR Kiel applies state-of-the-art geophysical tools to detect and characterize offshore groundwater occurrences. To explore these low salinity pore water anomalies in the seafloor, controlled source electromagnetic and reflection seismic data are often collocated to improve the hydro-geophysical interpretations. Here, seismic images allow the identification of different lithological units to estimate the associated porosity structure, whereas electrical resistivity models show variations in both seafloor porosity and the pore fluid freshening. While the current interpretation workflows for the individual data use novel algorithms, the integration of the disparate information is still considered qualitative relying on simplified assumptions.

The doctoral research project within the framework of the “Helmholtz School of Marine Data Science” (MarDATA) aims to develop a robust workflow for integrating electromagnetic and seismic data to improve pore water salinity models in coastal regions. The doctoral research project will address whether multi-attribute characterization using unsupervised clustering, supervised classification based on neural networks, or other statistical/image processing methods can be used to identify patterns within the data/models for improved lithological imaging to constrain electromagnetic inversion. The doctoral student will have access to state-of-the-art modelling software as well as extensive field data sets consisting of electromagnetic, seismic, and geochemical data acquired offshore New Zealand and Malta. He/She will be co-supervised by scientists from GEOMAR and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel to address the following sub-tasks:

  • Deriving a variety of attributes from 2D seismic data.
  • Development and application of machine learning workflows for optimal pattern recognition of the seismic attributes.
  • Implementation of the derived lithological patterns as a constraint for electromagnetic inversion.
  • Development and application of electromagnetic inversion and visualization software to derive an improved image of the hydrogeological environment.

The “Helmholtz School for Marine Data Science” (MarDATA) is a graduate school, financed by the Helmholtz Association. It aims to define and educate a new type of “marine data scientists” by introducing and embedding researchers from computer sciences and mathematics into ocean sciences, covering a broad range from supercomputing and modelling, (bio)informatics, robotics, to statistics and big data methodologies. Education of doctoral researchers in joint block courses, international summer schools and colloquia goes beyond a single discipline towards genuine scientific insight into and a more systematic treatment of marine data.


  • Completed university degree in the field of computer science, mathematics, or natural sciences. Eligibility for starting a doctoral degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) needs to be demonstrated before employment begin.
  • Strong programming skills in at least one of the following programming languages: Fortran90, C++, Python, Matlab. Candidates with a natural science degree should be able to demonstrate their programming skills with certificates or code examples.
  • Experienced in either geophysical modelling or machine learning
  • Advanced communication skills in English (written and spoken)

If the required degree is not completed at the time of application, the degree certificate must be handed in before the above start date of the contract and the application must contain plausible evidence that the degree can be finished before that date.

These complimentary skills are desirable:

  • Knowledgeable in software development
  • Independent, goal-oriented and precautious working habit
  • Familiarity with working from the command line on Linux operating systems
  • Willingness to participate in national and international sea-going cruises lasting several days

The position is available for a funding period of 3 Years. The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class 13 TVöD-Bund (100%) of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position. The position cannot be split. Flexible working time models are generally possible. The fixed-term contract shall comply with Section 2 Paragraph 1 of The Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract (German WissZeitVG)

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply.

GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please send your application for this post via email in a single pdf-file mentioning the keyword "MarDATA-COSEEM” in the subject line. Please send your application not later than July 4th, 2021 to the following email address:


As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Amir Haroon (aharoon(at)

Please do not contact us by phone about the present state of procedures. However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword.

GEOMAR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). For further information please visit or

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