Insights into type-I edge localized modes and edge localized mode control from JOREK non-linear magneto-hydrodynamic simulations

M. Hölzl, G.T.A. Huijsmans, F. Orain, F.J. Artola, S. Pamela, M. Bécoulet, D. van Vugt, F. Liu, S. Futatani, A. Lessig, E. Wolfrum, F. Mink, E. Trier, M. Dunne, E. Viezzer, T. Eich, B. Vanovac, L. Frassinetti, S. Guenter, K. LacknerI. Krebs

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Edge localized modes (ELMs) are repetitive instabilities driven by the large pressure gradients and current densities in the edge of H-mode plasmas. Type-I ELMs lead to a fast collapse of the H-mode pedestal within several hundred microseconds to a few milliseconds. Localized transient heat fluxes to divertor targets are expected to exceed tolerable limits for ITER, requiring advanced insights into ELM physics and applicable mitigation methods. This paper describes how non-linear magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) simulations can contribute to this effort. The JOREK code is introduced, which allows the study of large-scale plasma instabilities in tokamak X-point plasmas covering the main plasma, the scrape-off layer, and the divertor region with its finite element grid. We review key physics relevant for type-I ELMs and show to what extent JOREK simulations agree with experiments and help reveal the underlying mechanisms. Simulations and experimental findings are compared in many respects for type-I ELMs in ASDEX Upgrade. The role of plasma flows and non-linear mode coupling for the spatial and temporal structure of ELMs is emphasized, and the loss mechanisms are discussed. An overview of recent ELM-related research using JOREK is given, including ELM crashes, ELM-free regimes, ELM pacing by pellets and magnetic kicks, and mitigation or suppression by resonant magnetic perturbation coils (RMPs). Simulations of ELMs and ELM control methods agree in many respects with experimental observations from various tokamak experiments. On this basis, predictive simulations become more and more feasible. A brief outlook is given, showing the main priorities for further research in the field of ELM physics and further developments necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-528
Number of pages11
JournalContributions to Plasma Physics
Issue number6-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Event16th International Workshop on Plasma Edge Theory in Fusion Devices - Marseill, France
Duration: 27 Sept 201729 Sept 2017


  • Ballooning mode
  • ELM control
  • ELMs
  • MHD
  • Mode coupling
  • Stochastic field
  • Tokamak
  • mode coupling
  • tokamak
  • stochastic field
  • ballooning mode


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