Turbulent transport near the critical gradient in toroidal plasmas is studied based on global Landau-fluid simulations and an extended predator-prey theoretical model of ion temperature gradient turbulence. A new type of intermittent transport associated with the emission and propagation of a geodesic acoustic mode (GAM) is found near the critical gradient regime, which is referred to as GAM intermittency. The intermittency is characterized by new time scales of trigger, damping, and recursion due to GAM damping. During the recursion of intermittent bursts, stationary zonal flow increases with a slow time scale due to the accumulation of undamped residues and eventually quenches the turbulence, suggesting that a nonlinear upshift of the critical gradient, i.e., Dimits shift, is established through such a dynamical process.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- October 2007
- Transport properties;
- Nonlinear phenomena: waves wave propagation and other interactions;
- Plasma turbulence;
- Gyrofluid and gyrokinetic simulations