The convective stability of a horizontal layer of water with salt and heat addition from below was studied experimentally. The layer was bounded above and below by porous metal plates through which heat and salt could diffuse. A well-mixed region of warm, salty water below the lower plate and another of cooler, fresher water above the upper plate set the temperature and concentration difference for the intervening quiescent layer. With a fixed, constant concentration gradient established between the plates the temperature difference was slowly increased until convective motions were observed. The instability boundary for this system lies within the unstable region predicted by linear theory for a horizontal layer with constant gradients and stress-free boundaries and approaches the linear boundary at high Rayleigh numbers.

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