The study of the mechanisms controlling the stratification in closed fluid regions is an important branch of geophysical fluid dynamics. Part of this subject can be handled with a simple linear model, consisting of a buoyancy layer at the non-horizontal boundaries of a container and an advective-diffusive interior coupled by volume continuity. The model is valid under the following conditions: firstly, the buoyancy-frequency characterizing the solution must be sufficiently large to give rise to a flow pattern of boundary layer type and, secondly, the non-horizontal walls must not have too large thermal conductivity.
The main purpose of the present paper is to summarise previous work done by the authors in this field and to present some consequences of their theory not previously discussed.
Three important cases are discussed; certain stationary solutions, the decay of a given stratification and the build up of a stratification in a homogeneous fluid. The experimental results concerning the afore-mentioned cases are presented.
1979. Vol. 13, 51-65 p.