Professor Ross Griffiths FAA

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1976-1979: PhD in geophysical fluid dynamics, ANU

1979-1981: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, UK

1982: Research Associate, Institute of Mechanics, CNRS and University of Grenoble, France

1983-2014: Research Fellow/Fellow/Professor, RSES, ANU.

2014-present: Emeritus Professor, ANU

Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society 2014, Inaugual Fellow of the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society in 2011, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science 2001, Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2001, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics in 1991.

Awarded the 2017 John Conrad Jaeger Medal of the Australian Academy of Science; Visiting Professorship INPG, University of Grenoble-Alpes, France in 2016 and 2017; Centenary Medal of the Commonwealth of Australia for service to science in Australia in 2001; Japan Society for the promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship in 1997 (3 months at the University of Hakkaido); the 1991 Priestley Medal of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society; Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer Program in 1980.

Interim Director of the Research School of Earth Sciences, April-October 2006. Head of the Earth Physics section of the School 2006-2010.

Associate Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, 2007-2017.



Research interests

My present research is on the fundamental physics of convection, turbulent mixing in convection and stably stratified flows, and the roles of convection and mixing in the global circulation of the oceans.

My research includes experimental and theoretical studies of ocean currents and density fronts, upwelling plumes and sinking lithospheric slabs in the earth's mantle, and volcanic processes such as gravity-driven flows with coupled cooling and solidification.



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20 selected publications – Professor ROSS W. GRIFFITHS  (1981 - 2013)

For a full list of publications, see my ResearcherID page (link to

• Griffiths, R.W. and Linden, P.F.  The stability of vortices in a rotating stratified fluid.  J. Fluid Mech., 105, 283-316 (1981)

• Griffiths, R.W. and Linden, P.F.  The stability of buoyancy driven coastal currents.  Dyn. Atmos. Oceans, 5, 281-306 (1981).

• Griffiths, R.W., Killworth, P.D. and Stern, M.E.  Ageostrophic instability of ocean currents.  J. Fluid Mech., 117, 343-377 (1982).

• Griffiths, R.W.  Gravity currents in rotating systems.  Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech., 18, 59-89 (1986).

• Griffiths, R.W. Thermals in extremely viscous fluids, including the effects of temperature dependent viscosity.  J. Fluid Mech., 166, 115-138 (1986).

• Griffiths, R.W. and Hopfinger, E.J.  Coalescing of geostrophic vortices.  J. Fluid Mech., 178, 73-97 (1987).

• Campbell, I.H., Griffiths, R.W. and Hill, R.I.  Melting in an Archaean mantle plume:  heads its basalts, tails its komatiites.  Nature, 339, 697-699 (1989).

• Griffiths, R.W. and Campbell, I.H.  Stirring and structure in mantle starting plumes.  Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 99, 66-78 (1990).

• Campbell, I.H. and Griffiths, R.W.  Implications of mantle plume structure for the evolution of flood basalts.  Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 99, 79-93 (1990).

• Fink, J.H. and Griffiths, R.W.  Radial spreading of viscous gravity currents with solidifying crust.  J. Fluid Mech. 221, 485-509 (1990).

• Griffiths, R.W. and Fink, J.H.  Effects of surface cooling on the advance of lava flows and domes.  J. Fluid Mech., 252, 667-702 (1993).

• Griffiths, R.W. The dynamics of lava flows. Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech., 32, 479-520 (2000).

• Kincaid, C. and Griffiths, R.W. Laboratory models of the thermal evolution of the mantle during rollback subduction.  Nature, 425, 58-62 (2003).

• Mullarney, J.C., Griffiths, R.W. and Hughes, G.O. Convection driven by differential heating at a horizontal boundary.  J. Fluid Mech., 516, 181–209 (2004).

• Hughes, G.O. and Griffiths, R.W. A simple convective model of the global overturning circulation, including effects of entrainment into sinking regions. Ocean Modelling, 12, 46–79 (2006).

• Hughes, G.O. and Griffiths, R.W.  Horizontal convection. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 40, 185-208 (2008).

• Hughes, G.O., Hogg, A.Mc. and Griffiths, R.W.  Available potential energy and irreversible mixing in the meridional overturning circulation. J. Phys. Oceanography, 39, 3130-3146, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4162.1 (2009).

• Stewart, K.D., Griffiths, R.W and Hughes, G.O.  The Role of Turbulent Mixing in an Overturning Circulation Maintained by Surface Buoyancy Forcing. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 42, 1907-1922. (doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-11-0242.1) (2012).

• Gayen, B., Griffiths R.W., Hughes, G.O. and Saenz, J.A. Energetics of horizontal convection. J. Fluid Mech., 716, R10, doi:10.1017/jfm.2012.592 (2013).

• Kincaid, C., Druken, K. A., Griffiths, R.W. and Stegman, D.R. Bifurcation of the Yellowstone plume driven by subduction-induced mantle flow. Nature Geoscience, 6, 395-399, doi:10.1038/Ngeo1774 (2013).