The present study is undertaken in order to gain an understanding of certain aspects of convective transport in a magma chamber. We have chosen to represent the chamber by an enclosure with localized heating from below. Results of both laboratory experiments and computer modeling are reported. The experimental apparatus consists of a transparent enclosure with a square planform. An electrically heated strip, with a width equal to 1/4 of the length of a side of the enclosure, is centered on the lower inside surface of the enclosure. For the experiments reported here, the top of the fluid layer is maintained at a constant temperature and the depth of the layer is equal to the width of the heated strip. The large viscosity variation characteristic of magma convection is simulated by using corn syrup as the working fluid. Measured velocity and temperature distributions as well as overall heat transfer rates are presented. The experiment is numerically simulated through use of a finite element computer program. Numerically predicted steamlines, isotherms, and velocity distributions are presented for the transverse vertical midplane of the enclosure. Good agreement is demonstrated between predictions and measurements.

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