Particle image velocimetry for complex and turbulent flows

Jerry Westerweel, Gerrit E. Elsinga, Ronald Adrian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

218 Scopus citations


Particle image velocimetry (PIV) has evolved to be the dominant method for velocimetry in experimental fluid mechanics and has contributed to many advances in our understanding of turbulent and complex flows. In this article we review the achievements of PIV and its latest implementations: time-resolved PIV for the rapid capture of sequences of vector fields; tomographic PIV for the capture of fully resolved volumetric data; and statistical PIV, designed to optimize measurements of mean statistical quantities rather than instantaneous fields. In each implementation, the accuracy and spatial resolution are limited. To advance the method to the next level, we need a completely new approach. We consider the fundamental limitations of two-pulse PIV in terms of its dynamic ranges. We then discuss new paths and developments that hold the promise of achieving a fundamental reduction in uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-436
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • accuracy and spatial resolution
  • experimental fluid mechanics
  • single-pixel correlation
  • tomographic PIV
  • triple-pulse correlation
  • turbulence statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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