Journal Article

A comparison of local simulations and reduced models of MRI-induced turbulence

Pierre Lesaffre, Steven A. Balbus and Henrik Latter

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 396, issue 2, pages 779-787
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14798.x
A comparison of local simulations and reduced models of MRI-induced turbulence

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We run mean-field shearing-box numerical simulations with a temperature-dependent resistivity and compare them to a reduced dynamical model. Our simulations reveal the co-existence of two quasi-steady states, a ‘quiet’ state and an ‘active’ turbulent state, confirming the predictions of the reduced model. The initial conditions determine on which state the simulation ultimately settles. The active state is strongly influenced by the geometry of the computational box and the thermal properties of the gas. Cubic domains support permanent channel flows, bar-shaped domains exhibit eruptive behaviour, and horizontal slabs give rise to infrequent channels. Meanwhile, longer cooling time-scales lead to higher saturation amplitudes.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; MHD; turbulence; methods: numerical; planetary systems: protoplanetary discs

Journal Article.  6353 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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