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Available topics for PhD theses

UAV monitoring of streamflow dynamics

The PhD project explores new techniques for monitoring streamflow dynamics using unmanned aerial systems (UAV, UAS). 

The aim is to develop a robust method for streamflow monitoring by UAV, applicable for flow velocity determination in ungauged streams or for assessment of extreme flows. 

The research should develop and test new approaches for indirect quantitative assessment of flow velocity and its distribution in montane channels, using UAV imaging. UAV image velocimetry analysis will be based on the identification and tracking of seeded particles in the stream from hi-speed UAV imaging. The image analysis will extract the particle trajectories and velocities from the imagery stack and determine the flow velocity patterns. The results will be validated by continuous monitoring and in-situ velocity measurement and used for accuracy improvements of streamflow modeling of montane streams. 

The study area is located in the headwater part of the Sumava mountains (Czech Republic), where the research will benefit from the long-term research efforts and the experimental monitoring network.

Changing dynamics of hydrological extremes in montane areas

The PhD project is focused on the analysis of changing occurrence of hydrological extremes in montane basins, identification of their driving forces and predictions of the effects in conditions of climate change.

Geostatstic and modeling techniques are used to analyze the changes in frequency, variability, seasonality, and magnitude of extreme events including both floods and droughts and to predict the potential changes in conditions of climate change. The research is based on long time series of observations, supplemented by experimental high-frequency monitoring at the stations, operated by the Department of physical geography and geoecology.   

Various approaches will be used to study the conditionality and links between causal factors, changes in frequency, seasonality, magnitude or for the search for regularities and possibilities of prediction of hydrological extreme phenomena including both floods and droughts. ranging from geostatistic analysis to non-linear modeling. 

The research is focused on headwater catchments of the Czech boundary mountains. The study sites will comprise selected catchments in headwaters of montane streams in different physiographic conditions with long observation time series, supplemented by experimental high-frequency monitoring at the stations, operated by the Department of physical geography and geoecology.

Changes in recent fluvial dynamics of montane streams 

The PhD project is focused on the exploration of changes in fluvial dynamics of mountain streams by means of the advanced instrumentation monitoring techniques.

The research focuses on the analysis of the changing dynamics of fluvial processes in relation to triggering factors - climate change and related shifts in the dynamics of hydrometeorological processes, forest and landscape disturbances, changes in stream connectivity and anthropogenic modifications of the riverscape.

The thesis uses a combination of advanced techniques of instrument monitoring and numerical analysis and simulation. In particular, the monitoring involves the application of unmanned imaging techniques (UAV), ground LiDAR imaging, RFID monitoring of daytime running and optical granulometry. The tools for geoinformatic analysis and modeling are used for analysis.

The study area is primarily the headwaters of the montane streams in the Šumava (Bohemian Forest) region, possibly completed by the reference streams in areas with different dynamics of fluvial processes.

UAV monitoring and assessment of stream restorations 

The PhD project is focused on the exploration of the potential of UAV technologies for monitoring and assessment of hydromorphological properties of streams. 

The research focuses on the development and application of methods enabling the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and remote sensing techniques for the analysis of the changes of hydromorphological status of streams and for monitoring and assessment of stream modifications. The research should track the changes in the stream hydromorphology and physical habitats, resulting from resulting from stream restorations and should develop an objective method for the assessment. 

Various platforms, sensors and techniques will be applied for the research, including i.e. UAV-based high resolution 2D mapping and 3D reconstructions, multipsectral imaging, thermal imaging to the LiDAR scanning. The tools for geoinformatic analysis and modeling will be used for data analysis.

The study sites will cover selected streams undergoing stream restoration, enabling to cover the variability of the processes in varying environments from natural, rural to urban.

What you could expect?

  • An international team of Czech and foreign students
  • Active team-wide field campaigns for imaging, monitoring, measurement
  • Working with new device monitoring and mapping technologies
  • Working with new geoinformatics tools
  • Regular discussion meetings and workshops giving you feedback on your work

What will be expected from me?

  • Interest in new technologies
  • Independence and initiative in research
  • Interest in learning new approaches
  • Geoinformatic literacy
  • Team spirit
  • Engagement in fieldwork campaigns

How to apply?
For more details and for application please contact me at jakub.langhammer@natur.cuni.cz.