Anisotropic mesh adaptation offers a methodology that iteratively marches towards a mesh that equidistributes the interpolation error of scalars. In order to quantify potential improvements to a mesh that can be brought by mesh adaptation, a novel mesh descriptor and associated visualization tool are presented. The combination of the mesh descriptor, which is based on interpolation error estimation, and the associated visualization approach, aims to provide CFD analysts with a quantitative tool to guide manual or automatic mesh adaptation. The experiment of Clausen on the swirling boundary layer in a conical diffuser is used as a real world test case to assess the potential of the approach.

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