This Sankey diagram was posted as a sample on the e!Sankey Forum. It shows the gold flows in the United States in 1998. The original data is from ‘Flow Studies for Recycling Metal Commodities in the United States’ (edited by Scott F. Sibley. U.S Geological Survey, Reston, VA (2004)). Values are in metric tons of contained gold.

The left part of the diagram shows domestic supply of primary and secondary gold, as well as imports to the U.S., the right part distribution and use of gold. The U.S. is a net gold exporter. 318 metric tons gold bullion went to Fort Knox (presumably) that year. 276 metric tons were fabricated into products, mainly jewelry. At the same time 175 metric tons of new and old gold scrap were recycled. Along with the 282 metric tons out of primary production they are fed back into the production cycle.

The diagram has gold/light brown colored Sankey arrows that go along well with the topic. A text label has been forgotten in the left part.

After writing about VisioGuy’s radial Sankey diagram idea, I went through my bookmarks and collection of Sankey diagrams in search of further candidates for this special class of circular flow graphs.

Here are two goodies… 😉

Below is a black/white Sankey diagram of energy fluxes in a chemical loop combustion cycle from an Imperial College website. It is similar to the radial one Chris designed, however it is not exactly circular. Not all of the entries and exits of the cycle are shown as Sankey arrows. The exit of the arrow labeled W is to the center (would one call this anticentrifugal?). The methane input makes a U-turn before entering the loop.

The other Sankey diagram is from this website of a U.K. based company, and shows greywater recycling. The average consumption of freshwater per person / per day in the UK was 130 litres in 1996.

The water from wash-basins, shower and bathtub could go through a recycling stage and be reused for flushing and watering the garden. The designer gave it a roller coaster style loop, which sure doesn’t add to the information content of the graphic, but immediately draws the reader’s attention to the recycling. I am not sure where the third flow coming from the right goes to. It represents the potential savings of 45 litres/day, but kind of disappears behind the loop.

I’ll post more of these as I come across them.

Using e!Sankey myself, I am also a subscriber to the e!Sankey board, so that I get a toast message every time someone posts over there…

Recently they had a post with a sample Sankey diagram in Russian.

A short interpretation is difficult for me this time, as I don’t understand Russian. I can detect a copper, zinc and lead flow labeled with element names (Cu, Zn, Pb) and iron. One color is used for all flows. The quantities are in tons.

Anyone can explain more of this Sankey diagram?