Abstract : The segmentation of directed networks is an important problem in many domains, e.g. medical imaging (vascular networks) and remote sensing (river networks). Directed networks carry a unidirectional flow in each branch, which leads to characteristic geometric properties. In this paper, we present a nonlocal phase field model of directed networks. In addition to a scalar field representing a region by its smoothed characteristic function and interacting non-locally so as to favour network configurations, the model contains a vector field representing the ‘flow' through the network branches. The vector field is strongly encouraged to be zero outside, and of unit magnitude inside the region; and to have zero divergence. This prolongs network branches; controls width variation along a branch; and produces asymmetric junctions for which total incoming branch width approximately equals total outgoing branch width. In conjunction with a new interaction function, it also allows a broad range of stable branch widths. We analyse the energy to constrain the parameters, and show geometric experiments confirming the above behaviour. We also show a segmentation result on a synthetic river image.