Get access

Lagrangian Coherent Structures with Guaranteed Material Separation



Given an unsteady flow field, one common way to compute Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) is to extract extremal structures of the Finite Time Lyapunov Exponent (FTLE). Experience has shown that the resulting structures are often close to material structures (i.e., material lines or material surfaces). Moreover, it has been proven that for an integration time converging to infinity, they converge to exact material structures. However, due to the finite integration time in FTLE, they are generally not exact material structures.

In this paper we introduce a modification of the FTLE method which is guaranteed to produce separating material structures as features of a scalar field. We achieve this by incorporating the complete available integration time both in forward and backward direction, and by choosing an appropriate definition for separating structures. We apply our method to two test data sets and show the differences to classical FTLE.