Visualization of Vector Fields From Sparse Observations of Oceanic Currents in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Presentation by Michael Darling Mentors: Dr. Steven Morey, Dr. Dmitry Dukhovskoy, Dr. James J. O’Brien Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computational Mathematics
Visualization of Vector Fields From Sparse Observations of Oceanic Currents in the Western Gulf of Mexico
Presentation by Michael Darling
Mentors: Dr. Steven Morey, Dr. Dmitry Dukhovskoy, Dr. James J. O’Brien
Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computational Mathematics
Florida State University, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies
This project involves the development of a virtual reality visualization of ocean currents in the western Gulf of Mexico. A vector field will be created through the use of sparse data collection points at oil rigs off of the Louisiana shore. This was done through the use of various programming languages such as Matlab and the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) version 2.0, as well as numerical methods of solving differential equations.
Chlorophyll concentrations in plankton among others show ocean currents through movement of chlorophyll with the current, shown in this color map from the Modis Satellite and the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research
The Cortona VRML Client from ParallelGraphics was used to view these visualizations. This browser plug-in, or a similar plug-in, is necessary to view VRML files.
Above and Right: The Virtual Reality Visualization of ocean currents in the Western Gulf of Mexico represented by 3 Dimensional arrows in a vector field, shown from different angles.
Initially, the plan was to animate this plot of cones, but it was decided that VRML would be a better tool to use because of its 3D visualization features. This is a plot of the station locations and the velocities at the interpolated depths.
Similar to the plot of cones above, at right is a VRML plot of 3D arrows to show oceanic currents at depths below each data station (oil rig). A plot of the ocean floor and the border of Louisiana serves as the background graphic.
The velocity vectors have been scaled based on initial velocity, and are animated to show ocean currents. Above-left: The starting points of the vectors in the vector field. Above-right: Screenshot of the moving vectors from above. See computer presentation for vectors in motion. Color legend: Red: <200 meters. Green: 200-500 meters. White(blue): >500 meters.