Ideal ballooning modes in the tokamak scrape-off layer
A drift-reduced Braginskii fluid model is used to carry out a linear and non-linear study of ideal ballooning modes in the tokamak scrape-off layer. First, it is shown that the scrape-off layer finite connection length and boundary conditions modify the ideal stability limit with respect to the closed flux-surface result. Then, in a two-fluid description, it is found that magnetic induction effects can destabilize long wavelength resistive ballooning modes below marginal ideal stability. Non-linear simulations confirm a gradual transition from small scale quasi-electrostatic interchange turbulence to longer wavelength modes as the plasma beta is increased. The transition to global ideal ballooning modes occurs, roughly, at the linearly obtained stability threshold. The transport levels and the pressure gradient as a function of plasma beta obtained in non-linear simulations can be predicted using the non-linear flattening of the pressure profile from the linear modes as a turbulent saturation mechanism.