Saturday, January 2, 2016

Viscous Instability Triggered by Layered Accretion in Protoplanetary Disks

Viscous Instability Triggered by Layered Accretion in Protoplanetary Disks


Hasegawa et al


Layered accretion is one of the inevitable ingredients in protoplanetary disks when disk turbulence is excited by magnetorotational instabilities (MRIs). In the accretion, disk surfaces where MRIs fully operate have a high value of disk accretion rate (M˙), while the disk midplane where MRIs are generally quenched ends up with a low value of M˙. Significant progress on understanding MRIs has recently been made by a number of dedicated MHD simulations, which requires improvement of the classical treatment of α in 1D disk models. To this end, we obtain a new expression of α by utilizing an empirical formula that is derived from recent MHD simulations of stratified disks with Ohmic diffusion. It is interesting that this new formulation can be regarded as a general extension of the classical α. Armed with the new α, we perform a linear stability analysis of protoplanetary disks that undergo layered accretion, and find that a viscous instability can occur around the outer edge of dead zones. Disks become stable in using the classical α. We identify that the difference arises from Σ−dependence of M˙; whereas Σ is uniquely determined for a given value of M˙ in the classical approach, the new approach leads to M˙ that is a multi-valued function of Σ. We confirm our finding both by exploring a parameter space as well as by performing the 1D, viscous evolution of disks. We finally discuss other non-ideal MHD effects that are not included in our analysis, but may affect our results.

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