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Even in systems with a negative vertical density gradient, instability is possible if the density is controlled by two components (e.g. temperature T and salinity S) that diffuse at different rates . In the oceans, temperature diffuses approximately 100 times faster than salt, and so many regions of the ocean are potential candidates for so-called “double-diffusive instability”. Doubly-diffusive effects were observed by several authors before Stern  explained the physical mechanism responsible. Jevons  and Ekman  had previously observed instability at the interface between temperature stratified water and an overlying layer of denser fluid, but neither recognised the significance of double-diffusion. Later, Stommel et al.  showed that a “perpetual salt fountain” can arise when a tube is inserted vertically through the interface between a layer of warm, salty water overlying cold, fresh water. The fountain persists until the system becomes well mixed. This experiment has recently been realised on an industrial scale . There are two forms of double-diffusive instability, referred to as “salt fingers” and “diffusive convection”.
The article of record as published may be found at https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/handle/1912/2803
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Radko, Timour (2014);Double-diffusive flux-gradient laws are commonly used to describe the development of large-scale structures driven by salt fingers – thermohaline staircases, collective instability waves and intrusions. The flux-gradient ...
Radko, Timour (2008);Fully developed two-dimensional salt-finger convection is characterized by the appearance of coherent dipolar eddies which carry relatively fresh and cold fluid upward and salty and warm fluid downward. Such structures ...
Traxler, A.; Stellmach, S.; Garaud, P.; Radko, T.; Brummell, N. (2011);Double-diffusive instabilities are often invoked to explain enhanced transport in stably-stratified fluids. The most-studied natural manifestation of this process, fingering convection, commonly occurs in the ocean's ...