Multivariate spatiotemporal analysis of Boom Clay pore water chemistry

SCK•CEN Mentor

Rogiers Bart,, +32 (0)14 33 31 23

Expert group

Engineered and Geosystems Analysis

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Honty Miroslav , , +32 (0)14 33 32 23


The HADES underground research laboratory, located in the Boom Clay at a depth
of 225 metres, plays a central role in research into the safety and feasibility
of geological disposal of radioactive waste. Experts use it to develop and test
industrial technologies for building, operating and closing a waste repository
in deep clay. Scientists conduct large-scale experiments under realistic
conditions in the deep clay formation over a long period of time to assess the
safety of geological disposal in poorly indurated clay. The Boom Clay pore water
chemistry is being monitored closely as well, to quantify the changes to the
in-situ conditions that this kind of subsurface infrastructure induces. The
dataset however has not really been looked at from a statistical point of view
to date.


The main research questions are:
- Can we detect different classes within the data?
- Are there clear trends in space and time, and can we model them?

The student is expected to
- perform exploratory data analysis on the data,
- investigate the use of dimensionality reduction and clustering techniques to
  delineate different classes in the data,
- quantify the trends in space and time, potentially involving regression,
  spatial statistics and time series analyses

Previous experience with R is highly recommended.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Academic bachelor