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Opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

Geophysical Processes and the Oceanic Crust


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Remote Sensing

RO# Location
64.15.06.B3088 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Andrei Abelev 202.404.1107


Research is conducted on the geophysical and geological processes that generate and modify oceanic crust and the overlying sedimentary section. Quantitative physical and statistical models of sea-floor generation and lithospheric plate reconstructions are being tested by the use of airborne and shipborne geomagnetometry and gravimetry, satellite radar altimetry, multibeam bathymetry, backscatter imagery, and seismic-profiling methods. Advanced navigation techniques, particularly global positioning system interferometry, are required in these studies. Blue-water ocean sedimentary processes under investigation include clathrate formation and methane venting through seafloor “pockmark” craters, low-viscosity sediment flows, iceberg plow marks, mud volcanoes, and sediment diapirs (gravitational instabilities). Shallow-water sedimentary processes of interest are those which modify the seafloor on short timescales, such as storms, currents, and seasonal changes in seafloor/shallow sub-bottom methane bubbles. Research also encompasses physical oceanographic topics such as (1) dynamic sea-surface topography, (2) bathymetric and acoustic seafloor backscatter evidence for deep currents, and (3) the effects of seafloor topography on ocean currents. Special attention is being given to the determination of the tectonic fabric, basement depth and crustal age, structure and composition, and their relevance to theoretical and experimental research on acoustic propagation in the oceans. A major ongoing problem is the conversion of remote-sensing data (magnetic, gravity, and altimetry) to useful environmental parameters such as acoustic backscattering highlights, sub-seafloor composition and structure, and to seafloor topography (bathymetry), particularly in sediment rich regions such as the Arctic. In all of the above topics, research is moving from deep ocean to shallow water/littoral regimes and from descriptive analysis to quantitative process modeling.

Acoustic scattering; Coastal zones; Currents (marine); Ocean acoustics; Ocean crust; Seafloors;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$89,834.00 $3,000.00
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