The description of coherent features of fluid flow is essential to our understanding of fluid-dynamical and transport processes. A method is introduced that is able to extract dynamic information from flow fields that are either generated by a (direct) numerical simulation or visualized/measured in a physical experiment. The extracted dynamic modes, which can be interpreted as a generalization of global stability modes, can be used to describe the underlying physical mechanisms captured in the data sequence or to project large-scale problems onto a dynamical system of significantly fewer degrees of freedom. The concentration on subdomains of the flow field where relevant dynamics is expected allows the dissection of a complex flow into regions of localized instability phenomena and further illustrates the flexibility of the method, as does the description of the dynamics within a spatial framework. Demonstrations of the method are presented consisting of a plane channel flow, flow over a two-dimensional cavity, wake flow behind a flexible membrane and a jet passing between two cylinders.
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