OK, this one is off topic for the list, mostly.
However, it is such a cool sounding project
combining geology, chemistry and human history
from the Roman times to the present, I had to
forward it, on the off chance that one of you here might be interested.
--Kareina, who can't go for it by reason of being
too busy trying to finish up a PhD project to be free to take up another one...
>Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 12:50:27 +0100http://kareina.livejournal.com/
>From: Daniel Koehn <koehn@...-MAINZ.DE>
>Subject: PhD student scholarship in Mainz
>PhD student scholarship (3 years) in Sinter studies of Roman aqueducts
>as a data source for palaeoclimate, neotectonics and human culture at
>the Tectonophysics Institute in Mainz, Germany under the supervision
>of Cees W. Passchier.
> The ancient Romans, mostly known for their military prowess, also
>excelled in town planning and the building of infrastructure such as
>roads, sewers and aqueducts. Over 800 aqueducts are presently known
>which once fed the baths and fountains of the Roman Empire, some up to
>500 km long, with bridges and inverted siphons crossing valleys, and
>tunnels of up to 95 km long. Since aqueducts were commonly fed from
>sources in limestone, massive layers of travertine (sinter), fibrous
>calcite, were deposited in the interior, growing about 1mm per year in
>thickness. Such sinter deposits can be up to 50cm thick representing a
>continuous record of calcite deposit over 500 years. The travertine
>deposits have a crystal structure and annual layering that reflect
>flow hydraulics and fluctuation in water temperature and water level,
>while fluctuations in its chemical composition reflect the variable
>chemistry of water from the source. Sinter in individual aqueducts
>therefore provides information on local climate and soil use. Since
>crystals in calcite veins of rocks form in a similar way as travertine
>in aqueducts, we can use information from travertine to better
>understand the formation of carbonate veins in metamorphic rocks.
>Earthquakes and human interference disrupts or modifies sinter
>deposition, making it a great source of information on past
>earthquakes, ancient engineering and local economics (maintenance
>level of the infrastructure). A combination of data from sinter of a
>number of neighbouring aqueducts can be used for relative dating and
>can provide a unique database on neotectonics, local climate, aqueduct
>engineering and local economic history
>This project will be carried out on aqueducts in Greece and Turkey by
>a PhD student at the University of Mainz, supervised by C. Passchier,
>B. Schöne and F. Sirocko.
>The student involved in this project is expected to do fieldwork in
>Greece and Turkey and conduct a detailed study of the geometry of
>sinter deposits in different parts of the aqueduct such as main
>channels, bridges, tanks and the springs . This study will be
>condcuted in cooperation with local archeologists. During this
>fieldwork, samples will be taken from the most suitable sites of the
>The student must have a Masters in science.
>Please send an application (pdf-file) to cpasschi@....