Edge-localized mode dynamics and transport in the scrape-off layer of the DIII-D tokamak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • J. A. Boedo
  • D. L. Rudakov
  • E. Hollmann
  • D. S. Gray
  • K. H. Burrell
  • R. A. Moyer
  • G. R. McKee
  • R. Fonck
  • P. C. Stangeby
  • T. E. Evans
  • P. B. Snyder
  • A. W. Leonard
  • M. A. Mahdavi
  • M. J. Schaffer
  • W. P. West
  • M. E. Fenstermacher
  • S. L. Allen
  • C. Lasnier
  • G. D. Porter
  • N. S. Wolf
  • R. J. Colchin
  • L. Zeng
  • G. Wang
  • J. G. Watkins
  • T. Takahashi
  • DIII-D Team

Research units

  • General Atomics
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • University of California at San Diego
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Toronto
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Princeton University


High temporal and spatial resolution measurements in the boundary of the DIII-D tokamak show that edge-localized modes (ELMs) are produced in the low field side, are poloidally localized and are composed of fast bursts (∼20 to 40 μs long) of hot, dense plasma on a background of less dense, colder plasma (∼5×1018 m-3, 50 eV) possibly created by the bursts themselves. The ELMs travel radially in the scrape-off layer (SOL), starting at the separatrix at ∼450 ms, and slow down to ∼150 ms near the wall, convecting particles and energy to the SOL and walls. The temperature and density in the ELM plasma initially correspond to those at the top of the density pedestal but quickly decay with radius in the SOL. The temperature decay length (∼1.2 to 1.5 cm) is much shorter than the density decay length (∼3 to 8 cm), and the latter decreases with increasing pedestal (and SOL) density. The local particle and energy flux (assuming Ti=Te) at the midplane wall during the bursts are 10% to 50% (∼1 to 2×1021 m-2 s-1) and 1% to 2% (∼20 to 30 kWm2), respectively, of the LCFS fluxes, indicating that particles are transported radially much more efficiently than heat. Evidence is presented suggesting toroidal rotation of the ELM plasma in the SOL. The ELM plasma density and temperature increase linearly with discharge/pedestal density up to a Greenwald fraction of ∼0.6, and then decrease resulting in more benign (grassier) ELMs.


Original languageEnglish
Article number072516
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 4063474