Model of intermittent zonal flow structure formation

Johan Anderson, Eun Jin Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


We present a theory the PDF tails of the zonal flow formation by assuming that a modon (a bipolar vortex) drives a zonal flow through the generalized Reynolds stress. We show that the PDF tails of zonal flow formation have exponential behavior {equation presented}, with the overall amplitude ξ severely quenched by strong flow shear. It is found that stronger zonal flows are generated in ITG turbulence than Hasegawa-Mima (HM) turbulence as well as further from marginal stability. This suggests that although ITG turbulence has a higher level of heat flux, it also more likely generates stronger zonal flows, leading to a self-regulating system. It is also shown that shear flows can significantly reduce the PDF tails of structure formation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory of Fusion Plasmas - Joint Varenna-Lausanne International Workshop
EditorsOlivier Sauter, Elio Sindoni, Xavier Garbet
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780735406001
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventJoint Varenna-Lausanne International Workshop on Theory of Fusion Plasmas - Varenna, Italy
Duration: 25 Aug 200829 Aug 2008

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


WorkshopJoint Varenna-Lausanne International Workshop on Theory of Fusion Plasmas


  • Drift waves
  • Probability Distribution Functions
  • Zonal flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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