Physics of GAM-initiated L-H transition in a tokamak

LG Askinazi, AA Belokurov, VV Bulanin, AD Gurchenko, EZ Gusakov, TP Kiviniemi, SV Lebedev, VA Kornev, T Korpilo, SV Krikunov, S Leerink, M Machielsen, P Niskala, AV Petrov

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Based on experimental observations using the TUMAN-3M and FT-2 tokamaks, and the results of gyrokinetic modeling of the interplay between turbulence and the geodesic acoustic mode (GAM) in these installations, a simple model is proposed for the analysis of the conditions required for L–H transition triggering by a burst of radial electric field oscillations in a tokamak. In the framework of this model, one-dimensional density evolution is considered to be governed by an anomalous diffusion coefficient dependent on radial electric field shear. The radial electric field is taken as the sum of the oscillating term and the quasi-stationary one determined by density and ion temperature gradients through a neoclassical formula. If the oscillating field parameters (amplitude, frequency, etc) are properly adjusted, a transport barrier forms at the plasma periphery and sustains after the oscillations are switched off, manifesting a transition into the high confinement mode with a strong inhomogeneous radial electric field and suppressed transport at the plasma edge. The electric field oscillation parameters required for L–H transition triggering are compared with the GAM parameters observed at the TUMAN-3M (in the discharges with ohmic L–H transition) and FT-2 tokamaks (where no clear L–H transition was observed). It is concluded based on this comparison that the GAM may act as a trigger for the L–H transition, provided that certain conditions for GAM oscillation and tokamak discharge are met.
Original languageEnglish
Article number014037
Number of pages11
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • H-mode
  • GAM
  • turbulence
  • gyrokinetic modeling
  • L-H transition


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