The Dynamics of Small-Scale Turbulence Driven Flows

M. A. Beer and G. W. Hammett

APS DPP meeting, November 1997

The dynamics of small-scale fluctuation driven flows are of great interest for micro-instability driven turbulence, since nonlinear toroidal simulations have shown that these flows play an important role in the regulation of the turbulence and transport levels. The gyrofluid treatment of these flows was shown to be accurate for times shorter than a bounce time[1].Since the decorrelation times of the turbulence are generally shorter than a bounce time, our original hypothesis was that this description was adequate. Recent work[2] pointed out possible problems with this hypothesis, emphasizing the existence of a linearly undamped component of the flow which could build up in time and lower the final turbulence level. While our original gyrofluid model reproduces some aspects of the linear flow, there are differences between the long time gyrofluid and kinetic linear results in some cases. On the other hand, if the long time behavior of these flows is dominated by nonlinear damping (which seems reasonable), then the existing nonlinear gyrofluid simulations may be sufficiently accurate. We test these possibilities by modifying the gyrofluid description of these flows and diagnosing the flow evolution in nonlinear simulations.

1. Beer, M. A., Ph. D. thesis, Princeton University (1995).

2. Hinton, F. L., Rosenbluth, M. N., and Waltz, R. E., Sherwood (1997).