A link between nonlinear self-organization and dissipation in drift-wave turbulence

P. Manz, G. Birkenmeier, M. Ramisch, U. Stroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Structure formation and self-organization in two-dimensional drift-wave turbulence show up in many different faces. Fluctuation data from a magnetized plasma are analyzed and three mechanisms transferring kinetic energy to large-scale structures are identified. Beside the common vortex merger, clustering of vortices constituting a large-scale strain field and vortex thinning, where due to the interactions of vortices of different scales larger vortices are amplified by the smaller ones, are observed. The vortex thinning mechanism appears to be the most efficient one to generate large scale structures in drift-wave turbulence. Vortex merging as well as vortex clustering are accompanied by strong energy transfer to small-scale noncoherent fluctuations (dissipation) balancing the negative entropy generation due to the self-organization process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number082318
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


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