Nonlinear coupling induced toroidal structure of edge localized modes

A. F. Mink, M. Hoelzl, E. Wolfrum, F. Orain, M. Dunne, A. Lessig, S. Pamela, P. Manz, M. Maraschek, G.T.A. Huijsmans, M. Becoulet, F. M. Laggner, M. Cavedon, K. Lackner, S. Günter, U. Stroth

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Edge localized modes (ELMs) are magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities that cause fast periodic relaxations of the strong edge pressure gradient in tokamak fusion plasmas. A novel diagnostic method allows the extraction of toroidal mode numbers, rotation velocities and spatial information during the ELM cycle including the crash. While mode number branches n = 3-6 and n = 8-10 are dominant just before the ELM crash, during the ELM crash n = 2-5 are observed in typical discharges with type-I ELMs in the tokamak experiment. These findings are compared to results from nonlinear MHD simulations. Although n = 6 is linearly dominant, nonlinear coupling in which n = 1 is particularly important leads to the dominance of n = 3-5 during the ELM crash, in excellent agreement with experimental observations. The simultaneous occurrence of these modes over a wide radial region leads to high stochasticity and thus increased transport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026011
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Edge localized mode
  • Mode number
  • Nonlinear
  • Plasma


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