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Turbulence spreading as a non-local mechanism of global confinement degradation and ion temperature profile stiffness

  • Author(s): Yi, S
  • Kwon, JM
  • Diamond, PH
  • Hahm, TS
  • et al.

A new non-local mechanism of the global confinement degradation and ion temperature profile stiffness is proposed based on the results of global gyrokinetic simulations. We find that turbulence spreading into a marginally stable zone can increase turbulent transport to a level exceeding the predictions of the local theories. Also, we present the first quantification of the parametric dependence of turbulence spreading and resulting confinement degradation on toroidal rotation shear and magnetic shear: turbulence spreading is significant for high magnetic shears s > 0.2, while it is slowed for low magnetic shears. The suppression of turbulence spreading by toroidal rotation shear is only effective for the low magnetic shears, which is in a good agreement with the experimental trends of core confinement improvement. Our findings suggest that the non-local mechanism is indispensable for accurate transport modeling in tokamak plasmas.

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