The thermal stability of a layer of water between two vertical parallel plates maintained at different temperatures, T1 and T2, is investigated for the conduction regime. Three cases are considered include where: (a) the maximum density layer is within the water region; (b) is at the boundary; and (c) is outside the water region. Cubic polynomials are used to represent the density-temperature relation in the temperature range 0–55°C. The numerical results show that the critical states of stability do not depend on Prandtl number but instead depends on the combinations of T1 and T2. Of the three cases considered, the first case is the most unstable. In all three cases, the instabilities set in as a traveling wave, moving against gravity, for most T1 and T2 combinations. Stationary waves were also found for case (c).

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