State of the art in flow visualization in the environmental sciences

  • Roxana BujackEmail author
  • Ariane Middel
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Visual Data Exploration


Flow plays a major role in environmental sciences, because many of the Earth’s physical and biological processes involve movement. Yet, there are major differences between theoretically available and practically applied visualization techniques to represent flow. This paper surveys various techniques in computational and environmental flow visualization. Techniques from the computational flow visualization community are classified into geometric, texture-based, topology-based, and feature-based approaches. Environmental flow applications are categorized into four application domains (atmospheric science, ecology, geosciences, and urban environments). Computational and environmental visualization approaches are compared to exhibit gaps and suggest solutions on how to bridge the gap. Outcomes from this literature review will inform the development of strategic initiatives for both future flow visualization research and flow visualization in the environmental sciences.


Flow visualization Environmental visualization State of the art 



We would like to thank Lloyd Treinish, Benjamin Jaimes, Francesca Samsel, Mark Petersen, Gregory Abram, Pascal Nardini, Divya Banesh, and Felix Raith for providing visualizations for this paper. Research presented in this article was partly funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the IRTG 2057 “Physical Modeling for Virtual Manufacturing Systems and Processes” and by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program of Los Alamos National Laboratory under Project Number 20190143ER.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Data Science at Scale TeamLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  2. 2.School of Arts, Media and EngineeringArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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