An Error Analysis of Streaklines as Curves

Kazuhiro Itakura*, Masahisa Tabata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A streakline is a visible curve consisting of fluid particles which emerged continuously from a fixed point in a given flow field. In many cases we do not know the exact velocity field but can get an approximate velocity field. The computation of streaklines includes the discretization error as well as the error caused by the approximate velocity field. We give an error analysis of streaklines as curves in terms of τ and h, discretization parameters of the streakline and of the velocity field. We show that, when the velocity field is approximated piecewise linearly, a computation scheme based on the Heun method is the best choice to approximate streaklines from the viewpoint of accuracy and efficiency. We present simulation results of streaklines emerging from the surface of a circular cylinder at Reynolds numbers 100 and 10000.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJapan Journal of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Error analysis
  • Flows past a circular cylinder
  • Hausdorff distance
  • One-step methods for ordinary differential equations
  • Streaklines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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