Coherent structure phenomena in drift wave-zonal flow turbulence
- Author(s): Smolyakov, AI;
- Diamond, PH;
- Malkov, M
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.84.491
Zonal flows are azimuthally symmetric plasma potential perturbations spontaneously generated from small-scale drift-wave fluctuations via the action of Reynolds stresses. We show that, after initial linear growth, zonal flows can undergo further nonlinear evolution leading to the formation of long-lived coherent structures which consist of self-bound wave packets supporting stationary shear layers. Such coherent zonal flow structures constitute dynamical paradigms for intermittency in drift-wave turbulence that manifests itself by the intermittent distribution of regions with a reduced level of anomalous transport.