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Formation and long-term evolution of 3D vortices in protoplanetary discs

Abstract

In the context of planet formation, anticyclonic vortices have recently received lots of attention for the role they can play in planetesimals formation. Radial migration of intermediate size solids toward the central star may prevent their growth to larger solid grains. On the other hand, vortices can trap the dust and accelerate this growth, counteracting fast radial transport. Multiple effects have been shown to affect this scenario, such as vortex migration or decay. The aim of this paper is to study the formation of vortices by the Rossby wave instability and their long term evolution in a full three dimensional protoplanetary disc. We use a robust numerical scheme combined with adaptive mesh refinement in cylindrical coordinates, allowing to affordably compute long term 3D evolutions. We consider a full disc stratified both radially and vertically that is prone to formation of vortices by the Rossby wave instability. We show that the 3D Rossby vortices grow and survive over hundreds of years without migration. The localized overdensity which initiated the instability and vortex formation survives the growth of the Rossby wave instability for very long times. When the vortices are no longer sustained by the Rossby wave instability, their shape changes toward more elliptical vortices. This allows them to survive shear-driven destruction, but they may be prone to elliptical instability and slow decay. When the conditions for growing Rossby wave-related instabilities are maintained in the disc, large-scale vortices can survive over very long timescales and may be able to concentrate solids.Comment: Accepted for publication in A&

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