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Prof. Ross Griffiths FAA

Research School of Earth Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra 0200

T: +61 2 6125 0711
F: +61 2 6257 2737



Current Research

Student Projects



Research Interests

My research interests include a wide range of geophysical and environmental fluid dynamics, all involving experimental and theoretical studies of the physics of fluid flows relevant to the Earth's interior, oceans or atmosphere. I investigate the fundamental fluid processes of turbulent mixing, thermal convection, multi-component convection, solidification, instability in density-stratified flows, and rotating flows. I focus particularly on the three areas:

1. modelling of ocean circulation (e.g. ocean currents, fronts, convection and processes governing the general large-scale circulation);
2. modelling of convection in the Earth's mantle (e.g. upwelling plumes and sinking slabs); and
3. modelling of volcanic processes (e.g. lava flows and solidification of melts).

I am currently concerned with the dynamics of convection and the deep ocean overturning circulation, which is responsible for a large transport of heat from low to high latitudes in the earth's climate system. How does this flow and heat transport work? How do turbulent mixing and stratified exchange flow between oceans and basins work? What could be the effects of an increasing freshwater inflow to the ocean surface at high latitudes with global warming?

Teaching, graduate supervision and student research projects:

I teach ocean-atmosphere dynamics within the undergraduate physics curriculum at ANU and in the Physics of the Earth Honours Program. I offer undergraduate research projects in experimental fluid dynamics and ocean processes suitable for PhB and Special Research Topics in Physics. Honours and PhD thesis projects are available in convection and ocean circulation.

Associate Editor, Journal of Fluid Mechanics:

The Journal of Fluid Mechanics, published by Cambridge University Press, is the most respected research journal in the field. I encourage you to submit research articles on original work of interest in any area of fluid mechanics. You can submit articles to me or any of the Associate Editors online through ScholarOne at