Drift wave versus interchange turbulence in tokamak geometry: Linear versus nonlinear mode structure

Bruce D. Scott
2005 Physics of Plasmas  
The competition between drift wave and interchange physics in general E-cross-B drift turbulence is studied with computations in three dimensional tokamak flux tube geometry. For a given set of background scales, the parameter space can be covered by the plasma beta and drift wave collisionality. At large enough plasma beta the turbulence breaks out into ideal ballooning modes and saturates only by depleting the free energy in the background pressure gradient. At high collisionality it finds a
more » ... ore gradual transition to resistive ballooning. At moderate beta and collisionality it retains drift wave character, qualitatively identical to simple two dimensional slab models. The underlying cause is the nonlinear vorticity advection through which the self sustained drift wave turbulence supersedes the linear instabilities, scattering them apart before they can grow, imposing its own physical character on the dynamics. This vorticity advection catalyses the gradient drive, while saturation occurs solely through turbulent mixing of pressure disturbances. This situation persists in the whole of tokamak edge parameter space. Both simplified isothermal models and complete warm ion models are treated.
doi:10.1063/1.1917866 fatcat:3ofxwnqfpfa6fbe6e4homqsimq