Single-precision floating point data from a simulation of barotropic turbulence is compressed with a wavelet-based method. The quantity being compressed is vorticity. The compression error is evaluated both in terms of error in the vorticity and the error in various quantities derived from the vorticity. Numerical error is evaluated in all quantities and visualizations of the vorticity and correlation of the error with the uncompressed data are evaluated. It is found that depending on the quantities of interest and the evaluation criteria, compression ratios of 4:1 to 256:1 are achievable. Under a conservative definition of acceptable error, it is possible to recover quantities of interest from data compressed 4:1 (8bpp), the data rate that in existing practice is used for visualization.

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