Continuous-in-time approach to flow shear in a linearly implicit local δf gyrokinetic code

Nicolas Christen, Michael Barnes, Felix I. Parra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A new algorithm for toroidal flow shear in a linearly implicit, local δf gyrokinetic code is described. Unlike the current approach followed by a number of codes, it treats flow shear continuously in time. In the linear gyrokinetic equation, time-dependences arising from the presence of flow shear are decomposed in such a way that they can be treated explicitly in time with no stringent constraint on the time step. Flow shear related time dependences in the nonlinear term are taken into account exactly, and time dependences in the quasineutrality equation are interpolated. Test cases validating the continuous-in-time implementation in the code GS2 are presented. Lastly, nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations of a JET discharge illustrate the differences observed in turbulent transport compared with the usual, discrete-in-time approach. The continuous-in-time approach is shown, in some cases, to produce fluxes that converge to a different value than with the discrete approach. The new approach can also lead to substantial computational savings by requiring radially narrower boxes. At fixed box size, the continuous implementation is only modestly slower than the previous, discrete approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number905870230
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • fusion plasma
  • plasma simulation


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