Shear Alfvén waves (SAW) are electromagnetic oscillations prevalent in laboratory and nature magnetized plasmas. Due to their anisotropic nature, it is well known that the linear wave propagation and dispersiveness of SAW are fundamentally affected by plasma nonuniformities and magnetic field geometries, such as the existence of continuous spectrum, spectral gaps, and discrete eigenmodes in toroidal plasmas. This work discusses the pure Alfvénic state and demonstrates the crucial roles that finite ion compressibility, non-ideal kinetic effects, and geometry play in breaking it and, thereby, the nonlinear physics of SAW wave-wave interactions. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
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