We report evidence of a new mechanism able to damp very efficiently geodesic acoustic mode (GAM) in the presence of a nonuniform temperature profile in a toroidally confined plasma. This represents a particular case of a general mechanism that we have found and that can be observed whenever the phase-mixing acts in the presence of a damping effect that depends on the wave number kr. Here, in particular, the combined effect of the Landau and continuum damping is found to quickly redistribute the GAM energy in phase-space, due to the synergy of the finite orbit width of the passing ions and the cascade in wave number given by the phase-mixing. This damping mechanism is investigated analytically and numerically by means of global gyrokinetic simulations. When realistic parameter values of plasmas at the edge of a tokamak are used, damping rates up to 2 orders of magnitude higher than the Landau damping alone are obtained. We find in particular that, for temperature and density profiles characteristic of the high confinement mode, the so-called H-mode, the GAM decay time becomes comparable to or lower than the nonlinear drive time, consistently with experimental observations (Conway G. D. et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 106 (2011) 065001).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
Palermo, F., Biancalani, A., Angioni, C., Zonca, F., & Bottino, A. (2016). Combined action of phase-mixing and Landau damping causing strong decay of geodesic acoustic modes. Europhysics Letters, 115(1), -. . https://doi.org/10.1209/0295-5075/115/15001