PRACTICES, PITFALLS AND GUIDELINES IN VISUALISING LAGRANGIAN OCEAN ANALYSES
Keywords: Visualisation design, Visual guidelines, Lagrangian analysis, Oceanography, IPCC visual style guide
Abstract. The Lagrangian analysis of particulate matter, biota and drifters, which are dispersed by turbulent fluid currents, is a cornerstone of oceanographic studies, covering diverse study objectives. The results of Lagrangian simulations and observations is predominantly visualised by means of easy-access plotting interfaces and simple presentation techniques. We analysed over 50 publications from the years 2010–2020 with respect to their visual design to deduce common visualisation practices in the domain. Individual figures are analysed towards adherence to visualisation best-practices, algebraic visualisation guidelines and the IPCC visual style guide. In this article, we present the resulting best-practices and common pitfalls in the design of Lagrangian ocean visualisations. Based on this visual study, we highlight that raising awareness of established visual guidelines may have a higher impact on improving the visual quality of publications in oceanography than the vigorous development of more general-purpose visualisation tools.