This paper discusses the design, construction, and initial operation of the solar pond at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This 232 m2 pond is the third facet of a threefold approach to the study of hydrodynamic effects in double diffusive systems, such as solar ponds. The first two facets are flow visualization experiments and one-dimensional laboratory tank tests [1]. Data from these experiments, in addition to other data from the literature, are used to validate the one-dimensional dynamic performance pond model developed by one of the authors [2]. Our particular interest is the boundary-layer structure at the interfaces between the convecting and nonconvecting zones, interaction between the zones, and surface zone effects including diurnal heating effects and wind-induced turbulence. A pond, such as the one this paper describes, provides possible insight into several pond physical processes that may not occur in smaller-scale laboratory experiments due to edge effects, or may be impossible to simulate.

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