This paper describes an experimental study of the phenomenon of buoyancy-driven exchange (countercurrent) flow through openings in a horizontal partition. A density-driven exchange flow was obtained by using brine above the partition and fresh water below the partition. In the first part of the study, flow measurements were made with a single opening, for opening ratios L/D in the range 0.01 to 10.0, where L and D are the length of the opening (in the direction normal to the partition) and the diameter of the opening, respectively. Four different flow regimes are identified as L/D is increased through this range. As a result of the competition between two of these regimes, the exchange flow rate versus L/D relation exhibits a peak. The exchange flow rate was found, for all practical purposes, to be independent of viscosity, enabling a universal correlation between Froude number (dimensionless exchange flow rate) and L/D. The second part of the study was an experimental investigation of the same phenomenon, but with two openings in the horizontal partition. Two openings were observed to give rise to three different flow configurations involving both one-way and countercurrent flows within the openings.

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