Turbulence simulations of blob formation and radial propagation in toroidally magnetized plasmas

  • Garcia O
  • Naulin V
  • Nielsen A
 et al. 
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Two-dimensional numerical fluid turbulence simulations demonstrating the formation and radial propagation of blob structures in toroidally magnetized plasmas are presented and analysed in detail. A salient feature of the model is a linearly unstable edge plasma region with localized sources of particles and heat, which is coupled to a scrape-off layer with linear damping terms for all dependent variables corresponding to transport along open magnetic field lines. The formation of blob structures is related to profile variations caused by bursting in the global turbulence level, which is due to a dynamical regulation by self-sustained differential rotation of the plasma layer. Radial propagation of the blob structures follows from a vertical charge polarization due to magnetic guiding centre drifts in the toroidally magnetized plasma. Statistical analysis of the particle density, radial electric drift and the radial turbulent particle flux reveals asymmetric conditional waveforms with a steep front and a trailing wake and positively skewed and flattened probability distributions, in agreement with recent experimental investigations. Coarse graining and spectral analysis further indicate the presence of long-range correlations in the particle density fluctuations. Finally, conditional statistics of the particle flux demonstrates the intermittency of the turbulent plasma transport and the quasi-periodic apparency of blob structures due to bursting in the global turbulence level.

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