Dr Jim McElwaine


  • 2013-present Professor of Geohazards, Durham University
  • 2012-2013 Senior Research Scientist, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos
  • 2005-2012 EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow, DAMTP, Cambridge
  • 2002-present Visiting scientist, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos
  • 2001-2012 Fellow of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge
  • 2001-2005 Royal Society University Research Fellow, DAMTP, Cambridge
  • 1996-2001 European Union Research Fellow, Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University


Granular flows and fluid dynamics including snow avalanches, pyroclastic flows, gravity currents, segregation and ripple formation.

Selected Publications


  • E. Meiburg, J.N McElwaine. Turbidity currents and powder snow avalanches. In H. Fernando, editor, Environmental Fluid Dynamics Handbook. Taylor & Francis, 2013.
  • Hafiz J. Anjum, Jim N. McElwaine, and Colm cille P. Caulfield. The instantaneous froude number and depth of unsteady gravity currents. J. Hydraulic Res., 2013.
  • Julia Kowalski and Jim N. McElwaine. Shallow two-component gravity-driven flows with vertical variation. J. Fluid Mech., 714:434–462, 2013.
  • N. M. Vriend, J. N. McElwaine, B. Sovilla, C. J. Keylock, M. Ash, and P. V. Brennan. High resolution radar measurements of snow avalanches. Geo. Res. Let., 2013.
  • Alex J. Holyoake and Jim N. McElwaine. High-speed granular chute flows. J. Fluid Mech., 710:35–71, 2012.
  • Jim N. McElwaine, Daisuke Takagi, and Herbert Huppert. Surface curvature of steady granular flows. Granular Matter, 14:229–234, 2012. 10.1007/s10035-012-0339-y.
  • I. J. Hewitt, N. J. Balmforth, and J. N. McElwaine. Granular and fluid washboards. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 692:446–463, 2012.
  • Eric DeGiuli and Jim N. McElwaine. Laws of granular solids i. geometry and topology. Phys. Rev. E, 84(4):041310, 2011.
  • Baptiste Percier, Sebastien Manneville, Jim N. McElwaine, Stephen Morris, and Nicolas Taberlet. Lift and drag forces on an inclined plow moving over a granular surface. Phys. Rev. E, 84(5):051302, 2011.
  • Daisuke Takagi, Jim N. McElwaine, and Herbert H. Huppert. Shallow granular flows. Phys. Rev. E, 83(3):031306, 2011.
  •  I. J. Hewitt, N. J. Balmforth, and J. N. McElwaine. Continual skipping on water. J. Fluid Mech., 669:328–353, 2011.
  • M. J. Ash, P. V. Brennan, N. M. Vriend, J. N. McElwaine, and C. J. Keylock. Two-dimensional FMCW radar imaging of entire avalanche events. In 5th IASME / WSEAS International Conference on Geology and Seismology (GES ’11). WSEAS, 2011.
  • Sampoorna Satheesha, Victoria J. Cookson, Louise J. Coleman, Nicola Ingram, Brijesh Madhok, Andrew M. Hanby, Charlotte A. B. Suleman, Vicky S. Sabine, E Jane Macaskill, John M. S. Bartlett, J. Michael Dixon, Jim N. McElwaine, and Thomas A. Hughes. Response to mtor inhibition: activity of eif4e predicts sensitivity in cell lines and acquired changes in eif4e regulation in breast cancer. Mol. Cancer, 10(1):19, 2011.
  • M. Ash, P. V. Brennan, K. Chetty, J. N. McElwaine, and C. Keylock. FMCW radar imaging of avalanche-like snow movements. In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Radar Conference, pages 102–107, 2010.
  • Betty Sovilla, Jim N. McElwaine, Mark Schaer, and Julien Vallet. Variation of deposition depth with slope angle in snow avalanches: measurements from Vallee de la sionne. J. Geophys. Res., 115:F02016, 2010.
  • B. Turnbull and J. N. McElwaine. Potential flow models of suspension current air pressure. Ann. Glaciol., A51(54):113–122, 2010.
  • T. Borzsonyi, R. E. Ecke, and J. N. McElwaine. Patterns in flowing sand: Understanding the physics of granular flow. Phys. Rev. Lett., 103(17):178302, 2009.
  • A.-F. Bitbol, N. Taberlet, S. W. Morris, and J. N. McElwaine. Scaling and dynamics of washboard road. Phys. Rev. E, 79(6):061308, 2009.
  • L. J. Coleman, M. B. Peter, T. J. Teall, R. A. Brannan, A. M. Hanby, H. Honarpisheh, A. M. Shaaban, L. Smith, V. Speirs, E. T. Verghese, J. N. McElwaine, and T. A. Hughes. Combined analysis of eif4e and 4e-binding protein expression predicts breast cancer survival and estimates eif4e activity. Brit. J. of Cancer, 100(9):1393–1399, April 2009.[19] B. Turnbull and J. N. McElwaine. Experiments on the non-boussinesq flow of self-igniting suspension currents on a steep open slope. J. Geophys. Res., 113:F01003, 2008.
  • B. Turnbull and J. N. McElwaine. Experiments on the non-boussinesq flow of self-igniting suspension currents on a steep open slope. J. Geophys. Res., 113:F01003, 2008.
  • Nicolas Taberlet, Stephen W. Morris, and Jim N. McElwaine. Washboard road: The dynamics of granular ripples formed by rolling wheels. Phys. Rev. Lett., 99:068003, 2007.
  • S. Aumaitre, C. Puls, J. N. McElwaine, and J. P. Gollub. Comparing flow thresholds and dynamics for oscillating and inclined granular layers. Phys. Rev. E, 75:061307, 2007.
  • B. Turnbull, J. N. McElwaine, and C. J. Ancey. The Kulikovskiy-Sveshnikova-Beghin model of powder snow avalanches: Development and application. J. Geophys. Res., 112:F0100, 2007.
  • B. Turnbull and J. N. McElwaine. A comparison of powder snow avalanches at Vall'ee de la Sionne with plume theories. J. Glaciol., 53(180):30--40, 2007.
  • J. N. McElwaine and B. Turnbull. Plume theories versus compact models for powder snow avalanches. In Sixth International Symposium on Stratified Flows, Perth, December 11-14, 2006, 2006.
  • Thomas A. Hughes and Jim N. McElwaine. Mathematical and biological modelling of rna secondary structure and its effects on gene expression. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, 7(1), 2006.
  • M. D. Patterson, C. P. Caulfield, J. N. McElwaine, and S. B. Dalziel. Time-dependent mixing in stratified kelvin-helmholtz billows: Experimental observations. Geo. Res. Let., 33:L15608, 2006.