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Abstract

In this paper, the influence of the parallel nonlinearity on zonal flows and heat transport in global particle-in-cell ion-temperature-gradient simulations is studied. Although this term is in theory orders of magnitude smaller than the others, several authors [L. Villard, P. Angelino, A. Bottino , Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 46, B51 (2004); L. Villard, S. J. Allfrey, A. Bottino , Nucl. Fusion 44, 172 (2004); J. C. Kniep, J. N. G. Leboeuf, and V. C. Decyck, Comput. Phys. Commun. 164, 98 (2004); J. Candy, R. E. Waltz, S. E. Parker , Phys. Plasmas 13, 074501 (2006)] found different results on its role. The study is performed using the global gyrokinetic particle-in-cell codes TORB (theta-pinch) [R. Hatzky, T. M. Tran, A. Koumlnies , Phys. Plasmas 9, 898 (2002)] and ORB5 (tokamak geometry) [S. Jolliet, A. Bottino, P. Angelino , Comput. Phys. Commun. 177, 409 (2007)]. In particular, it is demonstrated that the parallel nonlinearity, while important for energy conservation, affects the zonal electric field only if the simulation is noise dominated. When a proper convergence is reached, the influence of parallel nonlinearity on the zonal electric field, if any, is shown to be small for both the cases of decaying and driven turbulence.

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