Linear gyrokinetic simulations of microinstabilities within the pedestal region of H-mode NSTX discharges in a highly shaped geometry

M. Coury, W. Guttenfelder, D. R. Mikkelsen, J. M. Canik, G. P. Canal, A. Diallo, S. Kaye, G. J. Kramer, R. Maingi, NSTX-U team

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Linear (local) gyrokinetic predictions of edge microinstabilities in highly shaped, lithiated and non-lithiated NSTX discharges are reported using the gyrokinetic code GS2. Microtearing modes dominate the non-lithiated pedestal top. The stabilization of these modes at the lithiated pedestal top enables the electron temperature pedestal to extend further inwards, as observed experimentally. Kinetic ballooning modes are found to be unstable mainly at the mid-pedestal of both types of discharges, with unstable trapped electron modes nearer the separatrix region. At electron wavelengths, electron temperature gradient (ETG) modes are found to be unstable from mid-pedestal outwards for ηe, exp ∼2.2ηe, exp ∼2.2, with higher growth rates for the lithiated discharge. Near the separatrix, the critical temperature gradient for driving ETG modes is reduced in the presence of lithium, reflecting the reduction of the lithiated density gradients observed experimentally. A preliminary linear study in the edge of non-lithiated discharges shows that the equilibrium shaping alters the electrostatic modes stability, which was found more unstable at high plasma shaping.
Original languageEnglish
Article number062520
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016


  • linear (local) gyrokinetic predictions
  • microinstabilities
  • electron temperature gradient modes
  • high plasma shaping

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