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Gyrokinetic Analysis of Inter-Edge Localized Mode Transport Mechanisms in a DIII-D Pedestal

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Physics of Plasmas
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In this study, gyrokinetic simulations are used to study pedestal fluctuations for DIII-D discharge 174082 using the GENE code. Nonlinear local simulations indicate that electron heat flux has contributions from electron temperature gradient-driven transport but at levels insufficient to satisfy power balance. We show that microtearing modes (MTM) and neoclassical transport are likely to account for the remaining observed energy losses in the electron and ion channels, respectively. The MTM instabilities found in the simulations are consistent with the high-frequency fluctuations identified in the magnetic fluctuation data from Mirnov coils. The fluctuation data in this discharge also exhibit a low-frequency band of fluctuations. By modifying the equilibrium profiles and plasma β, simulations produce MHD modes, which may be responsible for these observed low-frequency fluctuations. We compare several metrics involving ratios of fluctuation amplitudes and transport quantities for both MTMs and MHD modes. This analysis suggests that the available data are consistent with the simultaneous activity of both MHD modes and MTMs provided that the former is limited largely to the particle transport channel.