Impact of resonant magnetic perturbations on zonal flows and microturbulence

Z. R. Williams, M. J. Pueschel, P. W. Terry, T. Nishizawa, D. M. Kriete, M. D. Nornberg, J. S. Sarff, G. R. McKee, D. M. Orlov, S. H. Nogami

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Results from a joint experimental and computational effort studying the effect of resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) on microturbulence levels and their connection to zonal flows in the DIII-D tokamak L-mode are presented. Beam emission spectroscopy measurements show a direct increase in density fluctuations at microturbulent scales with increasing RMP amplitude, suggesting that magnetic activity introduced by the RMP affects the regulation of microturbulence on DIII-D. This is analogous to how MHD-scale magnetic fluctuations arising from tearing modes have been observed in simulations to increase microturbulence levels in the reversed-field pinch (RFP). In the RFP, this is attributed to magnetic fluctuations eroding turbulence-limiting zonal flows; this work examines if a similar mechanism is present for DIII-D microturbulence. Gyrokinetic simulations find that the application of an RMP corresponds directly to a decrease in zonal flow levels, producing a similar increase of turbulent fluctuation levels over a range of RMP amplitudes as observed in the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number096004
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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