Visualization of downwellings in 3-D spherical mantle convection

Shuo Wang, Shuxia Zhang, David A. Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although the Amira visualization package has been available since 1999, not much effort has been made to use this powerful package for addressing the challenging problem that geodynamicists have in visualizing 3-D features of cold downwellings in spherical mantle convection simulations with high spatial resolution. In this paper, we present three approaches that exploit the functionalities of Amira to meet the needs of visualizing the complexity of these dynamic processes. The first task is to use the multiple isosurfaces combined with different colors and transparencies for showing the large-scale features from a global perspective. The second task is to localize the small-scale features of interest by cutting off the rest or splitting off a small part of image from the entire picture so that the details can be viewed locally. The third one is the use of multiple windows simultaneously for showing different portions of the same set data in different displaying formats from various angles of view. We will also present new geophysical findings based on these visualization approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Larry Hanyk and Marc Monnereau for our discussions. We also thank Max Rudolph and Ben Kadlec for their reviews. Support of this research has come from NSF ITR and Middleware grants.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Amira
  • Downwellings
  • Scientific visualization


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