Friday, April 8, 2016

Dust Clumping via Vortices in Protoplanetary Disks

Dust capture and long-lived density enhancements triggered by vortices in 2D protoplanetary disks


Surville et al


We study dust capture by vortices and its long-term consequences in global two-fluid inviscid disk simulations using a new polar grid code RoSSBi. We perform the longest integrations so far, several hundred disk orbits, at the highest resolution attainable in global simulations of disks with dust, namely 2048x4096 grid points. This allows to study the dust evolution well beyond vortex dissipation. We vary a wide range of parameters, most notably the dust-to-gas ratio in the initial setup varies in the range 10−3 to 0.1. Irrespective of the initial dust-to-gas ratio we find rapid concentration of the dust inside vortices, reaching dust-to-gas ratios of order unity inside the vortex. We present an analytical model that describes very well the dust capture process inside vortices, finding consistent results for all dust-to-gas ratios. A vortex streaming instability develops which causes invariably vortex destruction. After vortex dissipation large-scale dust-rings encompassing a disk annulus form in most cases, which sustain very high dust concentration, approaching ratios of order unity. The rings are long lived lasting as long as the duration of the simulations. They also develop a streaming instability, which manifests itself in eddies at various scales within which the dust forms compact high density clumps. Such clumps would be unstable to gravitational collapse in absence of strong dissipation by viscous forces. When vortices are particularly long lived, rings do not form but dust clumps inside vortices become then long lived features and would likely undergo collapse by gravitational instability. Rings encompass almost an Earth mass of solid material, while even larger masses of dust do accumulate inside vortices in the earlier stage. We argue that rapid planetesimal formation would occur in the dust clumps inside the vortices as well as in the post-vortex ring.

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