Submission #48

Submission information
Submitted by Anonyme (not verified)
Tue, 10/20/2015 - 07:35
Implementing SoilGen, a mechanistic soil genesis model, to the VSoil Platform
The CEREGE (Centre Européen en Géosciences de l’Environnement) is a large UMR with multiple tutorship (CNRS, IRD and Aix-Marseille University and more recentely INRA) specialised on geosciences of the environment. A large part of its research expertise is on geochemistry based on a large analytical platform in isotopic mass spectrometry (3 IRMS, 2 TIMS, MC-ICP-MS, ICPMS quadrupole). In addition, this Department hosts the national facility ASTER (Tandem accelerator delivering a working terminal voltage of 5MV) dedicated to AMS. A team of this group is specialised in soil science, more particularly on the geochemical evolution of soils under human and climate change constraints for the INRA (National Institute of Research in Agronomy) part of it. The proposed intership will take place in the soil science theme.

Description of the project and duties:
To understand the soil functioning and address challenging issues related to agriculture and soil production, mechanistic models are required. These models describe the processes involved in evolution and production of soil. SoilGen is a unique model that simulates the evolution of soil considering major physical, chemical and biological processes that drive the formation and evolution of soil. It is especially important for its potential in predicting the future of soils.
However, complexity, lack of modularity and long simulation runs has been limiting its further progress. To overcome these limitations and improve its performance, the SoilGen model is being implemented into a modelling platform in which all the processes are defined separately and the connections between them is created by the platform automatically.
To implement the model into the platform, first all the processes had to be isolated within the source code (the original model is written in pascal language). Then the isolated processes have to be re-coded in the platform which works with FORTRAN language and the coded pieces has to be tested in terms of performance and efficiency and last to build the connections between processes and re-create the whole model in the framework of the platform.
The first phase of the implementation is finished. The second phase has been initiated and the intern is meant to mainly work on this phase of the project (coding and testing).
Collaborating with a PhD student who is has been working on this project for few months, it is expect that the computer science intern will help to improve the quality and functionality of the pieces that have been coded and eventually start to test and report the performance of created processes alongside the PhD student.
This is an opportunity for a programming student who is interested in relating computer modelling to applied science. The experience will allow the candidate to gain scientific programming skills and grow insight in computer language conversion and to improve his/her creative skills in writing efficient programs.

Entry requirements:
Programming skills, knowing FORTRAN is an advantage.
Ability to communicate in English to work with foreign partners in this project
The candidate should show interest in science and desire to work with programs written by others
The candidate will be based on Europôle Méditerranéen de l'Arbois in Aix en Provence and will recieve a bonus corresponding to the hours of work.

Fri, 11/20/2015