The three-dimensional (3D) flow below the interface of an evaporating liquid at a low pressure is visualized and quantified using scanning particle image velocimetry. The technique presented highlights the use of a single camera and a relatively fast moving laser sheet to image the flow for an application where using more than one camera is difficult. The technique allows collection of the full three-dimensional velocity vector map over the whole liquid volume. The out-of-plane component of the velocity has been determined using two different processing approaches: (i) deriving the full vector from a 3D cross-correlation of the particle volumes and (ii) applying the continuity equation to determine out-of-plane velocities from the calculated in-plane velocity vector fields. The results obtained from both methods showed good agreement with each other. The 3D velocity field reveals the existence of a torus shaped vortex below the evaporating meniscus that was induced by the exposure of the cold liquid to the warmer solid walls. The velocity data also shows that the maximum velocity occurs below the interface, not at the interface which highlights that the observed vortex is not driven by thermocapillary forces that usually govern the flow during evaporation at smaller scales.
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