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Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics


  • 1983–1985 Instructor in Applied Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • 1989–1992 Assistant Professor, Departments of Engineering Sciences & Applied Mathematics and Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University.
  • 1992–present DAMTP faculty member, now Professor
  • 1993–present College Senior Lecturer in Mathematics for Natural Sciences. Trinity College.


The broad areas of Grae Worster's research encompass buoyancy-driven fluid flows, solidification and interactions between the two. He is particularly interested in the evolution of reactive porous media called mushy layers that commonly form during solidification of multi-component melts. Examples include the partially solidified regions formed during alloy production, solidification of magmas and the freezing of sea water to produce sea ice. Latterly, his research has been particularly focused on ice in our natural environment: sea ice, permafrost and glacial ice sheets.

Selected Publications

  • Wettlaufer JS, Huppert HE & Worster MG 2000 The solidification of leads: theory, experiment and field observations. Journal of Geophysical Research 105, 1123–1134.
  • Acton JA, Huppert HE & Worster MG 2001 Two-dimensional viscous gravity currents flowing over a deep porous medium. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 440, 359–380.
  • Chung CA & Worster MG 2002 Steady state chimneys in a mushy layer. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 455, 387–411.
  • Rempel AW, Wetlaufer JS & Worster MG 2004 Premelting dynamics in a continuum model of frost heave. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 498, 227–244.
  • Worster MG 2004 Time-dependent fluxes across double-diffusive interfaces. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 505, 287–307.
  • Notz D, Wettlaufer JS & Worster MG 2005 A non-destructive method for measuring the salinity and solid fraction of growing sea ice in situ. J. Glac. 51(172), 159–166.
  • Peppin SSL, Elliot JAW & Worster MG 2006 Solidification of colloidal suspensions. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 554, 147–166.
  • Peppin SSL, Huppert HE & Worster MG 2008 Steady-state solidification of aqueous ammonium chloride. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 599, 465–476.

Review articles

  • The dynamics of mushy layers (1992) In Interactive Dynamics of Convection and Solidification. NATO ASI Series E219, 113–138. Kluwer.
  • Convection in mushy layers (1997) Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 29, 91–122.
  • Solidification of Fluids. (2000) In Perspectives in Fluid Dynamics – a Collective Introduction to Current Research. Edited by GK Batchelor, HK Moffatt and MG Worster. pp. 393–446. CUP.
  • Interfaces on all scales. (2002) In Interfaces for the 21st Century, edited by M.K. Smith, M.J.Miksis, G.P. Neitzel, G.B. McFadden & D.R. Canright. Imperial College Press. Premelting dynamics. (2006) Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 38, 427–452. (with JS Wettlaufer).
  • Ice. (2007) Euromech newsletter 32, 19–25.

Other Activities


Instability of radially spreading extensional flows. Part 1. Experimental analysis
R Sayag, MG Worster
– Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Stability of lubricated viscous gravity currents. Part 2. Global analysis and stabilisation by buoyancy forces
KN Kowal, MG Worster
– Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Stability of lubricated viscous gravity currents. Part 1. Internal and frontal analyses and stabilisation by horizontal shear
KN Kowal, MG Worster
– Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Controls on microstructural features during solidification of colloidal suspensions
J You, Z Wang, M Grae Worster
– Acta Materialia
Sea-Ice Distribution and Mixed-Layer Depths in Fram Strait
S Agarwal, MG Worster
– arXiv
A one-dimensional enthalpy model of sea ice
D Notz, MG Worster
– Annals of Glaciology
Instruments and Methods A non-destructive method for measuring the salinity and solid fraction of growing sea ice in situ
D Notz, JS Wettlaufer, MG Worster
– Journal of Glaciology
Ice growth in a spherical cavity of a porous medium
I Vlahou, MG Worster
– Journal of Glaciology
Assessment of ice flow dynamics in the zone close to the calving front of Antarctic ice shelves
MG Wearing, RCA Hindmarsh, MG Worster
– Journal of Glaciology
Flow-induced compaction of a deformable porous medium.
DR Hewitt, JS Nijjer, MG Worster, JA Neufeld
– Physical Review E
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Research Group

Theoretical Geophysics




01223 330850