A unified theory of zonal flow shears and density corrugations in drift wave turbulence
- Author(s): Singh, Rameswar;
- Diamond, PH
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6587/abd618
Abstract A unified theory of zonal flow shears and density corrugations in drift wave turbulence is presented. Polarization and density advection beat excitation are studied in combination with modulational response. Noise is driven by two-time flux correlation. While the effective zonal flow eddy viscosity can go negative, the zonal diffusivity is positive definite. There is no inverse cascade of density corrugation. The connection between avalanches and corrugations is discussed. The zonal cross-correlation is identified and calculated. Conditions for alignment of zonal shears and corrugation gradients are determined, and the implications for staircase structure are discussed. We show that the synergy of beat noise and modulational effects is stronger than either alone. Strong zonal flows can be excited well below the modulational instability threshold. In the context of L–H transition, zonal noise quenches turbulence overshoot by eliminating the threshold for zonal flow excitation. The power threshold for L–H transition is lowered.