Extracting 3D vortices in turbulent fluid flow

Jialin Zhong, Thomas S. Huang, Ronald J. Adrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This paper presents a computational framework to extract salient patterns called vortex structures from 3D turbulent fluid flows. These structures can be characterized as regions of dominating rotational motion in the velocity fields and intensity concentrations in the corresponding vorticity fields. A pointwise linear representation is employed to approximate the kinematics of the flow field and the fluid motion is classified according to motion analysis or topological patterns. The regions of vortex structures are identified as those dominated by rotational motion or those of focus-type singularity. The 2D vortices as a special case of 3D vortices are detected by searching for regions of vorticity concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical points
  • Pattern recognition
  • Vector field segmentation
  • Vortex structure analysis and extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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