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Title: A closer look at turbulence spreading: How bistability admits intermittent, propagating turbulence fronts

Abstract

In magnetic fusion plasmas, mounting evidence indicates the possibility of sustained turbulence below the linear stability threshold or more generally global turbulence bistability. The usual reduced models for turbulence spreading are unistable/supercritical and incompatible with this result. The older models further cannot realistically support fronts connecting laminar and turbulent domains. In this work, a minimal model for “subcritical” turbulence spreading is introduced and analyzed. The model may be viewed as phenomenological or derived directly by considering the effect of profile corrugations in an E×B staircase. The model, which is related to the FitzHugh–Nagumo system, supports the robust coexistence of multiple turbulence levels via bistability. We show that this model predicts stronger penetration of turbulence into a linearly stable region as well as the formation of intermittent turbulence fronts that resemble avalanches. We derive the critical size that a localized slug of turbulence must exceed in order to spread. Lastly, we make a prediction of global hysteretic behavior associated with the bistability, which should be testable via experiment.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
OSTI Identifier:
1603366
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1603189
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-04ER54738
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 27; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Heinonen, Robin A., and Diamond, P. H. A closer look at turbulence spreading: How bistability admits intermittent, propagating turbulence fronts. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5138129.
Heinonen, Robin A., & Diamond, P. H. A closer look at turbulence spreading: How bistability admits intermittent, propagating turbulence fronts. United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5138129
Heinonen, Robin A., and Diamond, P. H. Thu . "A closer look at turbulence spreading: How bistability admits intermittent, propagating turbulence fronts". United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5138129. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1603366.
@article{osti_1603366,
title = {A closer look at turbulence spreading: How bistability admits intermittent, propagating turbulence fronts},
author = {Heinonen, Robin A. and Diamond, P. H.},
abstractNote = {In magnetic fusion plasmas, mounting evidence indicates the possibility of sustained turbulence below the linear stability threshold or more generally global turbulence bistability. The usual reduced models for turbulence spreading are unistable/supercritical and incompatible with this result. The older models further cannot realistically support fronts connecting laminar and turbulent domains. In this work, a minimal model for “subcritical” turbulence spreading is introduced and analyzed. The model may be viewed as phenomenological or derived directly by considering the effect of profile corrugations in an E×B staircase. The model, which is related to the FitzHugh–Nagumo system, supports the robust coexistence of multiple turbulence levels via bistability. We show that this model predicts stronger penetration of turbulence into a linearly stable region as well as the formation of intermittent turbulence fronts that resemble avalanches. We derive the critical size that a localized slug of turbulence must exceed in order to spread. Lastly, we make a prediction of global hysteretic behavior associated with the bistability, which should be testable via experiment.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5138129},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1603366}, journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 3,
volume = 27,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

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