Study of the parametric dependence of linear and nonlinear microtearing modes in conventional tokamak discharges
Journal article, 2018
A reduced transport model for microtearing modes is developed for use in integrated predictive modeling studies, employing a unified fluid/kinetic approach to derive the nonlinear dispersion relation. This approach advances the kinetic description and allows the inclusion of nonlinear effects due to magnetic fluctuations. In this numerical study, the dependence of the microtearing mode real frequency and growth rate on plasma parameters and on DIII-D like L-mode and H-mode plasma profiles is examined. The magnetic fluctuation strength as well as electron thermal diffusivity due to microtearing modes is computed. The saturated amplitude of the magnetic fluctuations is calculated utilizing numerically determined microtearing mode eigenvalues in the nonlinear microtearing modes envelope equation. It is found that the electron temperature gradient in the presence of moderate collision frequency is required for the microtearing mode to become unstable. The effects of small and large collisionality and small and large wavenumbers on microtearing modes are found to be stabilizing, while the effects of density gradient, plasma beta, low current density, and large magnetic shear are found to be destabilizing. The microtearing mode growth rate, magnetic fluctuation strength, as well as electron thermal diffusivity is found to be larger in the H-mode plasma than in the L-mode plasma.