We investigate how the formation of heterogeneity and structures in flows through explicit porous microstructures depends upon the geometric and topological observables of the porous medium. Using direct numerical simulations of single-phase, isothermal, laminar fluid flow through realistic three-dimensional stochastically generated pore structures the characteristics of the resulting steady state velocity fields are related to physical characteristics of the pore spaces. The results suggest that the spatially variable resistance offered by the geometry and topology of the pore space induces a highly heterogeneous fluid velocity field therein. Focus is placed on three different length scales: macroscopic (cm), mesoscopic (mm), and microscopic (microns). This is joint work with Larry Winter (Arizona), Alberto Guadagnini (Politecnico di Milano) and Piotr Smolarkiewicz (ECMWF).