Gyrofluid Modeling of Turbulent, Kinetic Physics

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Gyrofluid models to describe plasma turbulence combine the advantages of fluid models, such as lower dimensionality and well-developed intuition, with those of gyrokinetics models, such as finite Larmor radius (FLR) effects. This allows gyrofluid models to be more tractable computationally while still capturing much of the physics related to the FLR of the particles.

We present a gyrofluid model derived to capture the behavior of slow solar wind turbulence and describe the computer code developed to implement the model. In addition, we describe the modifications we made to a gyrofluid model and code that simulate plasma turbulence in tokamak geometries. Specifically, we describe a nonlinear phase mixing phenomenon, part of the E∙B term, that was previously missing from the model. An inherently FLR effect, it plays an important role in predicting turbulent heat flux and diffusivity levels for the plasma. We demonstrate this importance by comparing results from the updated code to studies done previously by gyrofluid and gyrokinetic codes. We further explain what would be necessary to couple the updated gyrofluid code, gryffin, to a turbulent transport code, thus allowing gryffin to play a role in predicting profiles for fusion devices such as ITER and to explore novel fusion configurations. Such a coupling would require the use of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) to make the modeling process fast enough to be viable. Consequently, we also describe our experience with GPU computing and demonstrate that we are poised to complete a gryffin port to this innovative architecture.