Master student, Alpine flooding - Grenoble, France

A motivated Master student is sought for an internship at the Institute for Geosciences and Environmental research (IGE) in Grenoble, France, on the variability of Alpine flooding in a changing climate.


The key objective is to compare paleoflood reconstructions with paleohydrological simulations (based on PMIP outputs) over the last millennium.

Duration is six months (spring/summer 2019) with a fellowship of ~570€/month. In the case of a successful internship, this study will probably be continued in the frame of a PhD.

Supervisor: Bruno Wilhelm (IGE). Co-supervisors: Benoit Hingray (IGE) and Pierre Brigode (Géoazur, Nice, France).


Hydrometeorological extremes, such as river flooding, are natural hazards that cause widespread impacts on socio-ecosystems. In the context of climate change, the frequency and magnitude of these events should change, which is an increasingly important issue for societies and their developments.

However, the climatic processes leading to such events are still poorly understood, especially in mountain areas where processes occur over a very wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Therefore, better understand these processes and accurately assess the evolution of risks remain priority issues for the scientific community and stakeholders.


The overall objective of this internship is to better understand the variability of Alpine floods in relation to climate changes, and more specifically to test the ability of climate models to correctly simulate changes in the frequency of floods in a changing climate. However, it is difficult to undertake this assessment because in-situ data (eg precipitation or flow data) rarely cover more than a few decades, making it difficult to identify significant changes in flood frequency.

In this context, this internship offers an original and innovative approach based on the joint study of i) long-term observations of floods from natural archives and ii) climate simulations covering the last millennium (PMIP3). The study will focus on a selection of large Alpine watersheds subject to different climatic influences, for which the variability of flood occurrence is known during the last millennium through sedimentological reconstructions.


The trainee will set up a chain of climate (application of the ANALOG method to PMIP outputs) and hydrological (GR4J) modeling in order to simulate the hydrological variability during the last millennium. The comparison between the "observed" and the "simulated" series will then make possible to discuss the ability of models to reproduce the variability of floods in a changing climate and associated forcing.

This internship will be carried out within the HMCIS team of the IGE, and will benefit from the data collected as part of the international project PAGES Floods Working Group. It will also benefit from the programmatic framework of the CDP Trajectories project, the IDEX UGA.


Student level: Master 2.

Required Skills: Advanced skills in R; Knowledge and/or interest in climate and hydrological modeling; Interest/curiosity for paleoclimatology


To apply, send a motivation letter, a CV and master's notes before 2 December 2018 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.