Theoretical models of protoplanetary discs have shown the vertical shear instability (VSI) to be a prime candidate to explain turbulence in the dead zone of the disc. However, simulations of the VSI have yet to show consistent levels of key disc turbulence parameters like the stress-to-pressure ratio α. We aim to reconcile these different values by performing a parameter study on the VSI with focus on the disc density gradient p and aspect ratio h = H/R. We use full 2π 3D simulations of the disc for chosen set of both parameters. All simulations are evolved for 1000 reference orbits, at a resolution of 18 cells per h. We find that the saturated stress-to-pressure ratio in our simulations is dependent on the disc aspect ratio with a strong scaling of α∝h2.6, in contrast to the traditional α model, where viscosity scales as ν∝αh2 with a constant α. We also observe consistent formation of large scale vortices across all investigated parameters. The vortices show uniformly aspect ratios of χ ≍ 10 and radial widths of approximately 1.5H. With our findings we can reconcile the different values reported for the stress-to-pressure ratio from both isothermal and full radiation hydrodynamics models, and show long-term evolution effects of the VSI that could aide in the formation of planetesimals.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- December 2020
- planets and satellites: formation;
- protoplanetary discs;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 15 pages, 18 figures, submitted to MNRAS