Monday, June 17, 2013

1306.3412 (J. Drazkowska et al.)

Planetesimal formation via sweep-up growth at the inner edge of dead zones    [PDF]

J. Drazkowska, F. Windmark, C. P. Dullemond
The early stages of planet formation are still not well understood. Coagulation models have revealed numerous obstacles to the dust growth, such as the bouncing, fragmentation and radial drift barriers. We study the interplay between dust coagulation and drift in order to determine the conditions in protoplanetary disk that support the formation of planetesimals. We focus on planetesimal formation via sweep-up and investigate whether it can take place in a realistic protoplanetary disk. We have developed a new numerical model that resolves spatial distribution of dust in the radial and vertical dimension. The model uses representative particles approach to follow the dust evolution in protoplanetary disk. The coagulation and fragmentation of solids is taken into account using Monte Carlo method. A collision model adopting the mass transfer effect, that can occur for different-sized dust aggregate collisions, is implemented. We focus on a protoplanetary disk including a pressure bump caused by a steep decline of turbulent viscosity around the snow line. Our results show that sufficient resolution of the vertical disk structure in dust coagulation codes is necessary to obtain adequately short growth timescales, especially in the case of a low turbulence region. We find that a sharp radial variation of the turbulence strength at the inner edge of dead zone promotes planetesimal formation in several ways. It provides a pressure bump that efficiently prevents the dust from drifting inwards. It also causes a radial variation in the size of aggregates at which growth barriers occur, favoring the growth of large aggregates via sweeping up of small particles. In our model, by employing an ad hoc alpha viscosity change near the snow line, it is possible to grow planetesimals by incremental growth on timescales of approximately 10^5 years.
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