Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 408–421 | Cite as

Analysis and treatment of errors due to high velocity gradients in particle image velocimetry

  • P. Meunier
  • T. Leweke
Original Paper


This paper deals with errors occurring in two-dimensional cross-correlation particle image velocimetry (PIV) algorithms (with window shifting), when high velocity gradients are present. A first bias error is due to the difference between the Lagrangian displacement of a particle and the real velocity. This error is calculated theoretically as a function of the velocity gradients, and is shown to reach values up to 1 pixel if only one window is translated. However, it becomes negligible when both windows are shifted in a symmetric way. A second error source is linked to the image pattern deformation, which decreases the height of the correlation peaks. In order to reduce this effect, the windows are deformed according to the velocity gradients in an iterative process. The problem of finding a sufficiently reliable starting point for the iteration is solved by applying a Gaussian filter to the images for the first correlation. Tests of a PIV algorithm based on these techniques are performed, showing their efficiency, and allowing the determination of an optimum time separation between images for a given velocity field. An application of the new algorithm to experimental particle images containing concentrated vortices is shown.


Velocity Field Particle Image Velocimetry Velocity Gradient Correlation Peak Particle Displacement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors EquilibreUMR 6594 CNRS/Universités Aix-Marseille I & IIMarseille Cédex 13France

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