Structure of ELMs in MAST and the implications for energy deposition

A. Kirk, H. R. Wilson, R. Akers, N. J. Conway, G. F. Counsell, S. C. Cowley, J. Dowling, B. Dudson, A. Field, F. Lott, B. Lloyd, R. Martin, H. Meyer, M. Price, D. Taylor, M. Walsh

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This paper presents a description of the spatial and temporal structure of edge-localized modes (ELMs) observed in the MAST tokamak. Filamentary enhancements of visible light are observed on photographic images of the plasma obtained during ELMs. Comparisons with simulations show that these filaments are consistent with following field lines at the outboard edge of the plasma. The toroidal mode number of these filaments has been extracted from a study of the discrete peaks observed in the ion saturation current recorded by a mid-plane reciprocating probe. A study of the time delay of these peaks with respect to the onset of the ELM has been used to calculate an effective radial velocity for the expansion of the filaments. A comparison of this derived radial velocity as a function of distance from the last closed flux surface with simulations indicates that the filament is accelerating away from the plasma. Evidence for the temporal evolution of the ELM comes from studies of outboard mid-plane Thomson scattering density profiles. In addition, a study of the toroidal velocity as a function of radius shows that during an ELM the strong velocity shear near the edge of the plasma, normally present in H-modes, is strongly reduced. The picture that emerges is that the ELM can be viewed as being composed of filamentary structures that are generated on a 100 μs timescale, accelerate away from the plasma edge, are extended along a field line and have a typical toroidal mode number ∼10. The implications of these filaments for the energy deposition on plasma facing components are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-333
Number of pages19
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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