Journal article

Low-frequency linear-mode regimes in the tokamak scrape-off layer

Motivated by the wide range of physical parameters characterizing the scrape-off layer (SOL) of existing tokamaks, the regimes of low-frequency linear instabilities in the SOL are identified by numerical and analytical calculations based on the linear, drift-reduced Braginskii equations, with cold ions. The focus is put on ballooning modes and drift wave instabilities, i.e., their resistive, inertial, and ideal branches. A systematic study of each instability is performed, and the parameter space region where they dominate is identified. It is found that the drift waves dominate at high R/L-n, while the ballooning modes at low R/L-n; the relative influence of resistive and inertial effects is discussed. Electromagnetic effects suppress the drift waves and, when the threshold for ideal stability is overcome, the ideal ballooning mode develops. Our analysis is a first stage tool for the understanding of turbulence in the tokamak SOL, necessary to interpret the results of non-linear simulations. []

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