Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1304.6037 (Serena Arena et al.)

Characterisation of global flow and local fluctuations in 3D SPH simulations of protoplanetary discs    [PDF]

Serena Arena, Jean-François Gonzalez
A complete and detailed knowledge of the structure of the gaseous component in protoplanetary discs is essential to the study of dust evolution during the early phases of pre-planetesimal formation. The aim of this paper is to determine if three-dimensional accretion discs simulated by the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method can reproduce the observational data now available and the expected turbulent nature of protoplanetary discs. The investigation is carried out by setting up a suite of diagnostic tools specifically designed to characterise both the global flow and the fluctuations of the gaseous disc. The main result concerns the role of the artificial viscosity implementation in the SPH method: in addition to the already known ability of SPH artificial viscosity to mimic a physical-like viscosity under specific conditions, we show how the same artificial viscosity prescription behaves like an implicit turbulence model. In fact, we identify a threshold for the parameters in the standard artificial viscosity above which SPH disc models present a cascade in the power spectrum of velocity fluctuations, turbulent diffusion and a mass accretion rate of the same order of magnitude as measured in observations. Furthermore, the turbulence properties observed locally in SPH disc models are accompanied by meridional circulation in the global flow of the gas, proving that the two mechanisms can coexist.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.6037

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