Thermodynamics of the dead-zone inner edge in protoplanetary disks


International audienceContext. In protoplanetary disks, the inner boundary between the turbulent and laminar regions could be a promising site for planet formation, thanks to the trapping of solids at the boundary itself or in vortices generated by the Rossby wave instability. At the interface, the disk thermodynamics and the turbulent dynamics are entwined because of the importance of turbulent dissipation and thermal ionization. Numerical models of the boundary, however, have neglected the thermodynamics, and thus miss a part of the physics.Aims. The aim of this paper is to numerically investigate the interplay between thermodynamics and dynamics in the inner regions of protoplanetary disks by properly accounting for turbulent heating and the dependence of the resistivity on the local temperature.Methods. Using the Godunov code RAMSES, we performed a series of 3D global numerical simulations of protoplanetary disks in the cylindrical limit, including turbulent heating and a simple prescription for radiative cooling.Results. We find that waves excited by the turbulence significantly heat the dead zone, and we subsequently provide a simple theoretical framework for estimating the wave heating and consequent temperature profile. In addition, our simulations reveal that the dead-zone inner edge can propagate outward into the dead zone, before stalling at a critical radius that can be estimated from a mean-field model. The engine driving the propagation is in fact density wave heating close to the interface. A pressure maximum appears at the interface in all simulations, and we note the emergence of the Rossby wave instability in simulations with extended azimuth.Conclusions. Our simulations illustrate the complex interplay between thermodynamics and turbulent dynamics in the inner regions of protoplanetary disks. They also reveal how important activity at the dead-zone interface can be for the dead-zone thermodynamic structure

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Last time updated on November 12, 2016

This paper was published in HAL-CEA.

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