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Relating Dauphiné twins in quartz with the three-dimensional stress state in the Earth's crust

Employer: KU Leuven
Posted: June 18, 2014
Expires: August 17, 2014
Requisition number: BAP-2014-278

Science jobs from KU Leuven:
Occupation : Full-time Period : Fixed-term contract Place : Leuven Apply no later than : August 31, 2014

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven (Belgium), in collaboration with the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.) is seeking to fill a position of PhD studentship on the subject

Relating Dauphiné twins in quartz with the three-dimensional stress state in the Earth's crust

This research project will be performed at both the KULeuven (Belgium) and the UC California (U.S.A.), under the joint supervision of M. Sintubin and H.-R. Wenk. The project is funded by the F.W.O.-Vlaanderen,providing a PhD scholarship at the Arenberg Doctoral School of the KU Leuven (Belgium). Most of the microstructural, mineralogical and petrographical work will be performed at the KU Leuven (Belgium), while most of the EBSD-OIM and microdiffraction work will be performed at UC Berkeley (U.S.A.). Funding covering travel and accommodation expenses are included in the project. At the KU Leuven, the candidate will also be involved in teaching at the masters level (e.g. microtectonics, structural mapping).

h2. Project

Mechanical Dauphiné twins in quartz are a particular, stress-related intracrystalline microstructure, which is unfortunately not detectable by standard optical microscopy. Recent advances in orientation imaging microscopy (OIM) using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) on a scanning electron microscope (SEM) have revealed that Dauphiné twins are omnipresent in quartz in naturally deformed quartz-bearing rocks in a wide range of tectonometamorphic conditions.

The main objective of the current research project is to further explore the potential use of mechanical Dauphiné twins in quartz as a three-dimensional paleostress gauge by applying the maximum potential of recently developed research methodologies (EBSD-OIM, X-ray synchrotron Laue microdiffraction) on a collection of well-studied low-grade metamorphic vein quartz. A second collection of research material consist of quartz-bearing rocks, of which the fabric and texture are well-studied by a wide range of fabric-analysis and texture-analysis techniques (X-ray, neutron, and electron diffraction techniques). A number of these samples has also been used in deformation experiments. In the current project, these experimentally stressed samples will be used to test and validate the stress-gauge model by monitoring Dauphiné twinning through the well-constrained experimental stress conditions applied on the quartz material.

Using Dauphiné twins in quartz as an ubiquitous recorder of stress, would definitively opennew perspectives in paleostress studies in the Earth's crust. Further advances in a better understanding of the true nature of Dauphiné twinning is also likely to influence our thinking on quartz rheology in crustal deformation conditions.

h2. Profile

Applicants for the PhD studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a Masters qualification in Earth or Material Sciences. Applicants must document their competence in the field of microtectonics, mineral and rock physics,mineralogy, and/or petrology. Applicants should clearly motivate their interest in the research topic.

Applicants should be fluent in English (both in writing and speaking). The knowledge of Dutch is not required, although it may be advantageous with respect to teaching at the KU Leuven.

h2. Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Manuel Sintubin, tel.: +32 16 32 64 47, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than August 31, 2014 via the online application tool

Don't forget to mention NatureJobs when applying.

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