Feedback of zonal flows on wave turbulence driven by small-scale instability in the Charney-Hasegawa-Mima model (2011)

First Author: Connaughton C
Attributed to:  Network: Wave-flow interactions funded by EPSRC


We demonstrate theoretically and numerically the zonal-flow/drift-wave feedback mechanism in an idealised 2-dimensional model of plasma turbulence driven by a small-scale instability. Zonal flows are generated by a secondary modulational instability of the modes which are directly driven by the primary instability. The zonal flows then suppress the small scales thereby arresting the energy injection into the system, a process which can be described using nonlocal (in scale) wave turbulence theory. Finally, the arrest of the energy input results in saturation of the zonal flows at a level which can be estimated from the theory and the system reaches stationarity without large-scale dissipation. © Europhysics Letters Association 2011.

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Type: Journal Article/Review

Volume: 96

Parent Publication: EPL (Europhysics Letters)

Issue: 2