Shear flow generation and energetics in electromagnetic turbulence

V. Naulin, A. Kendl, O.E. Garcia, A.H. Nielsen, J. Juul Rasmussen

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    Zonal flows are recognized to play a crucial role for magnetized plasma confinement. The genesis of these flows out of turbulent fluctuations is therefore of significant interest. Here the relative importance of zonal flow generation mechanisms via the Reynolds stress, Maxwell stress, and geodesic acoustic mode (GAM) transfer in drift-Alfvén turbulence is investigated. By means of numerical computations the energy transfer into zonal flows owing to each of these effects is quantified. The importance of the three driving ingredients in electrostatic and electromagnetic turbulence for conditions relevant to the edge of fusion devices is revealed for a broad range of parameters. The Reynolds stress is found to provide a flow drive, while the electromagnetic Maxwell stress is in the cases considered a sink for the flow energy. In the limit of high plasma β, where electromagnetic effects and Alfvén dynamics are important, the Maxwell stress is found to cancel the Reynolds stress to a high degree. The geodesic oscillations, related to equilibrium pressure profile modifications due to poloidally asymmetric transport, can act as both sinks as drive terms, depending on the parameter regime. For high-β cases the GAMs are the main drive of the flow. This is also reflected in the frequency dependence of the zonal flows, showing a distinct peak at the GAM frequency in that regime.

    © 2005 American Institute of Physics
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysics of Plasmas
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)052515
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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    Copyright (2005) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics

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