On the effect of neoclassical flows on intrinsic momentum in ASDEX Upgrade Ohmic L-mode plasmas

W. A. Hornsby, C. Angioni, E. Fable, P. Manas, R. McDermott, A. G. Peeters, M. Barnes, F. Parra

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19 Scopus citations


A gyro-kinetic analysis of intrinsic rotation is presented for the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak. The gyro-kinetic turbulence code, GKW and the neoclassical transport code, NEO are coupled so that the neoclassical equilibrium distribution function is included in the background distribution function in the gyro-kinetic turbulence simulation. This implementation is benchmarked against a similar implementation in the gyro-kinetic code, GS2 (Dorland et al 2000 Phys. Rev. Lett. 85 5579) and against analytical predictions. A quasi-linear and non-linear gyro-kinetic turbulence analysis is performed on Ohmic L-mode ASDEX Upgrade plasmas showing that the symmetry breaking effects due to neoclassical background flows can produce significant toroidal momentum transport. While its magnitude is of the order of other symmetry breaking mechanisms, such as the Coriolis pinch, up-down asymmetry in the magnetic flux surfaces and E x B flow shear, the flow gradients it can sustain are appreciably smaller than the maximum gradients measured at the mid-radius of the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak core, which can be up to an order of magnitude larger. It is found that the gradient of the diamagnetic flow, and therefore the second derivatives of the density and temperature gradients are critical to the production of residual toroidal momentum flux. A quasi-linear estimate indicated that the second derivatives required to match the experimental flow gradient are up to an order of magnitude higher than the measured second derivatives. This analysis suggests that turbulent transport driven by neoclassical flows is not sufficient to explain the maximum flow gradients observed in ASDEX Upgrade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046008
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 17 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • intrinsic rotation
  • tokamak
  • turbulence


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