We develop a model for the dynamics of a reactive gravity-driven flow in a porous layer of finite depth, accounting for the change in permeability and density across the dissolution front. We identify that the two controlling parameters are the mobility ratio across the reaction front and the ratio of the buoyancy-driven flow to the fluid injection rate. We present some numerical solutions for the evolution of a two-dimensional dissolution front, and develop an approximate analytic solution for the limit of large injection rate compared to the buoyancy-driven flow. The model predictions are compared with some new analogue laboratory experiments in which fresh water displaces a saturated aqueous solution initially confined within a two-dimensional reactive permeable matrix composed of salt powder and glass ballotini. We also present self-similar solutions for an axisymmetric gravity-driven reactive current moving through a porous layer of finite depth. The solutions illustrate how the reaction front becomes progressively wider as the ratio of the buoyancy-driven flow to the injection rate increases, and also as the mobility contrast across the front increases.