Dynamics of turbulent transport dominated by the geodesic acoustic mode near the critical gradient regime

Miki, Kazuhiro; Kishimoto, Yasuaki; Jiquan Li; Miyato, Naoaki
May 2008
Physics of Plasmas;May2008, Vol. 15 Issue 5, p052309
Academic Journal
The effects of geodesic acoustic modes (GAMs) on the toroidal ion temperature gradient turbulence and associated transport near the critical gradient regime in tokamak plasma are investigated based on global Landau-fluid simulations and extended predator-prey modeling analyses. A new type of intermittent dynamics of transport accompanied with the emission and propagation of the GAMs, i.e., GAM intermittency [K. Miki et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 145003 (2007)], has been found. The intermittent bursts are triggered by the onset of spatially propagating GAMs when the turbulent energy exceeds a critical value. The GAMs suffer collisionless damping during the propagation and nonlocally transfer local turbulence energy to wide radial region. The stationary zonal flows gradually increase due to the accumulation of non-damped residual part over many periods of quasi-periodic intermittent bursts and eventually quench the turbulence, leading to a nonlinear upshift of the linear critical gradient; namely, the Dimits shift. This process is categorized as a new class of transient dynamics, referred to as growing intermittency. The Dimits shift is found to be established through this dynamical process. An extended minimal predator-prey model with collisionless damping of the GAMs is proposed, which qualitatively reproduce the main features of the growing intermittency and approximately predict its various time scales observed in the simulations.


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