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Visualizing the Evolution and Interaction of Vortices and Shear Layers in Time-Dependent 3D Flow
April 2011 (vol. 17 no. 4)
pp. 412-425
Tobias Schafhitzel, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Kudret Baysal, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Mikael Vaaraniemi, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Ulrich Rist, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Daniel Weiskopf, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart
In this paper, we present a visualization and tracking system for coherent structures. For this purpose, we propose to consider shear stress—the stretching and shear of particles inside a flow—in vortex dynamics. Based on a discussion and comparison of recent methods for computing shear stress, we introduce visualization techniques in order to provide a representation of shear layers according to their physical interpretation. This paper contributes a combination of theory in fluid mechanics and the corresponding visualization: 1) shear layer criteria are assessed according to how well they can be combined with common vortex identification criteria; 2) sheets of maximal shear are introduced as an appropriate visual representation of shear layers; 3) a visualization method is described for simultaneous tracking of vortices and shear layers as well as their interaction; and 4) the relevance of shear layers in vortex dynamics is demonstrated by means of several examples. We have implemented these new techniques in an interactive visualization system for time-dependent 3D flow. The system is used by fluid mechanics experts in their research of shear-vortex interaction.

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Index Terms:
Flow visualization, tracking, coherent structures, vortex dynamics, shear layers.
Tobias Schafhitzel, Kudret Baysal, Mikael Vaaraniemi, Ulrich Rist, Daniel Weiskopf, "Visualizing the Evolution and Interaction of Vortices and Shear Layers in Time-Dependent 3D Flow," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 412-425, April 2011, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2010.65
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