We show that the recently introduced two-field flux-balanced Hasegawa-Wakatani (BHW) model captures the key features of drift-wave turbulent transport mediated by zonal flows observed in more complete and accurate gyrokinetic simulations, such as the existence of a nonlinear upshift of the threshold for drift wave turbulence driven transport, often called the Dimits shift, as well as non-local transport with avalanche bursts and solitary propagating structures. Because of the approximations made in the BHW model, these observations are made for the particle flux instead of the heat flux more commonly studied in ion temperature gradient (ITG) driven turbulence in fluid or gyrokinetic codes. Many of these features are not seen in other Hasegawa-Wakatani models, which confirm the critical role of the electron dynamics parallel to the magnetic field lines. To address questions regarding the role of boundary conditions on the drift-wave zonal flow dynamics, we apply our model to both a channel domain geometry and the more typical doubly periodic geometry. We only observe strong soliton-like solutions in the particle flux for the channel geometry, in the vicinity of the boundaries, where strong velocity shear and density gradients are generated, which are absent in the doubly periodic simulations. Changing the aspect ratio of the simulation domain also has a significant effect. In domains which are elongated in the radial direction, more complex multi-scale dynamics takes place, with multiple zonal jets interacting with each other, and large scale avalanches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics