On the Elusive Concept of Lagrangian Coherent Structures

Chapter
Part of the Mathematics and Visualization book series (MATHVISUAL)

Abstract

Many of the recently developed methods for analysis and visualization of time-dependent flows are related to concepts, which can be subsumed under the term Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS). Thereby, no universal definition of LCS exists and different interpretations are used. Mostly, LCS are considered to be features linked to pathlines leading to the ideal conception of features building material lines. Such time-dependent features are extracted by averaging local properties of particles along their trajectories, e.g., separation, acceleration or unsteadiness. A popular realization of LCS is the finite-time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE) with its different implementations. The goal of this paper is to stimulate a discussion on the generality of the underlying assumptions and concepts. Using a few well-known datasets, the interpretation and usability of Lagrangian analysis methods are discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)BerlinGermany

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