A three-dimensional finite-element thermal model has been developed to generate weld profiles, and to analyze transient heat flow, thermal gradients and thermal cycles in cast IN-738 superalloy gas tungsten arc welds. Outputs of the model (cooling rates, the thermal gradient G and the growth rate R) were used to describe solidification structures found around the weld pool for three different welding speeds at constant heat input. Calculations around the weld pool indicate that the cooling rate increases from the fusion line to the centerline at all welding speeds. It was also observed that the cooling rate (G × R) and the ratio G/R fall with welding speed. For instance, as the welding speed is increased, the cooling rates at the centerline, fusion line and penetration depth decrease. Moreover, it was observed that as the power and welding speed both increase (but keeping the heat input constant), the weld pool becomes wider and more elongated, shifting from circular to elliptical shaped. The calculations were performed using ABAQUS® FE code on the basis of a time-increment Lagrangian formulation. The heat source represented by a moving Gaussian power density distribution is applied over the top surface of the specimen during a period of time that depends on the welding speed. Temperature-dependent material properties and the effect of forced convection due to the flow of the shielding gas are included in the model. Numerically predicted sizes of the melt-pool zone and dendrite secondary arm spacing induced by the gas tungsten arc welding process are also given.