The evolution of turbulence of a magnetized pure electron plasma confined in a Penning-Malmberg trap is investigated by means of a two-dimensional particle-in-cell numerical code. The transverse plasma dynamics is studied both in the case of free evolution and under the influence of non-axisymmetric, multipolar radio-frequency drives applied on the circular conducting boundary. In the latter case the radio-frequency fields are chosen in the frequency range of the low-order azimuthal (diocotron) modes of the plasma in order to investigate their effect on the insurgence of azimuthal instabilities and the formation and evolution of coherent structures, possibly preventing the relaxation to a fully-developed turbulent state.

Different initial density distributions (rings and spirals) are considered, so that evolutions characterized by different levels of turbulence and intermittency are obtained. The time evolution of integral and spectral quantities of interest are computed using a multiresolution analysis based on a wavelet decomposition of density maps. Qualitative features of turbulent relaxation are found to be similar in conditions of both free and forced evolution, but the analysis allows one to highlight fine details of the flow beyond the self-similarity turbulence properties, so that the influence of the initial conditions and the effect of the external forcing can be distinguished. In particular, the presence of small inhomogeneities in the initial density configuration turns out to lead to quite different final states, especially in the presence of competing unstable diocotron modes characterized by similar growth rates.

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