Nowadays image acquisition in materials science allows the resolution of grains at atomic scale. Grains are material regions with different lattice orientation which are frequently in addition elastically stressed.
At the same time, new microscopic simulation tools allow to study the dynamics of such grain structures.
Single atoms are resolved experimentally as well as in simulation results on the data microscale, whereas lattice orientation and elastic deformation describe corresponding physical structures mesoscopically.
A qualitative study of experimental images and simulation results and the comparison of simulation and experiment requires the robust and reliable extraction of mesoscopic properties from the microscopic image data.
Based on a Mumford--Shah type functional, grain boundaries are described as free discontinuity sets at which the orientation parameter for the lattice jumps. The lattice structure itself is encoded in a suitable integrand depending on a local lattice orientation and an elastic displacement.
For each grain a lattice orientation and one global elastic displacement function are considered as unknowns implicitly described by the image microstructure. In addition the approach incorporates solid-- liquid interfaces.
The resulting Mumford--Shah functional is approximated with a level set active contour model following the approach by Chan and Vese. The implementation is based on a finite element discretization in space and a step size controlled, regularized gradient descent algorithm.