Flood Wave

Intuitive visualization of a 3D flow using pathlets. In addition, volume rendering displays the catchment area of an aquifer.

Life of a Mine

Simulation and visualization of shaft construction in a mine. Isosurfaces depict the evolution of the potential head. At the same time 3D pathlets intuitively illustrate the groundwater flow.

PATHS - Pathlet Animation Tool for Hydrogeological Simulations

Imagination and intuition are challenged when modeling water systems, especially regarding subsurface flow phenomena. This is due to the fact that the occurring processes elude direct observability. For example, the system setup can only be developed with the help of a hydrogeological model based on point source information (bore holes, exploration points). The complexity of the problem is further increased by the use of an integrated approach for the complete water system including surface as well as subsurface components.

Simulation results often have to be presented in a comprehensible way not only in front of an audience consisting of specialists (consultants, public authorities) but also in front of decision makers outside this subject area (stakeholders, general public). The main issues of previous visualization approaches are cluttering, occlusion, and depth perception leading to a loss of their illustrative character.

Goal: Visualization Tool for intuitive 3D

Main aim of this project is the development of an intuitive visualization tool for transient 3D flow with the help of pathlets representing short parts of pathlines. They enable the observer to easily capture, understand, and interpret the flow velocity field, especially in the transient case.

Apart from the visualization of water system data for demonstration purposes the project focusses on interactive data exploration and analysis for developers of simulation models as well as software. Thereby, the specific requirements regarding the visualization of groundwater and general water system flow will be accounted for.


Previous Project STRING

During the previous joint project STRING experience in intuitive visualization of 2D water system flow was gained. This type of 2D flow visualization proved advantageous concerning its intuitive character. Despite the success of STRING, not all 3D flow features can be illustrated and detected with this tool due to the 2D image. Hence, the extension of this concept to 3D is pursued maintaining the intuitive character.


The following challenges result from the project objective:

  • enhancement of the visual clarity of the pathlet visualization and the depth perception
  • development of specific filtering algorithms for intelligent data handling
  • enabling interactivity on already existing hardware
  • Ähnlich wie bei STRING basiert die Visualisierung im vorliegenden Projekt auf Grundideen aus dem Bereich der Finite Pointset Method (FPM). Hier sind die Seeding-Strategie und die Bewegung der Pathlets zu nennen, die direkt aus der in der FPM verwendeten Methodik abgeleitet sind.


Type of Project: ZIM-KF Project
Project Partner: delta h Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH

3D pathlet animation of the Rayleigh Taylor instability combined with the visualization of concentrations by volume rendering.

Influence of a flood wave on the catchment area of an aquifer based on a SPRING transport computation with inverted flow.