Efficiency of radial transport of ices in protoplanetary disks probed with infrared observations: the case of CO$_2$

11 Dec 2017  ·  Bosman Arthur D., Tielens Alexander G. G. M., van Dishoeck Ewine F. ·

The efficiency of radial transport of icy solid material from outer disk to the inner disk is currently unconstrained. Efficient radial transport of icy dust grains could significantly alter the composition of the gas in the inner disk... Our aim is to model the gaseous CO$_2$ abundance in the inner disk and use this to probe the efficiency of icy dust transport in a viscous disk. Features in the simulated CO$_2$ spectra are investigated for their dust flux tracing potential. We have developed a 1D viscous disk model that includes gas and grain motions as well as dust growth, sublimation and freeze-out and a parametrisation of the CO$_2$ chemistry. The thermo-chemical code DALI was used to model the mid-infrared spectrum of CO$_2$, as can be observed with JWST-MIRI. CO$_2$ ice sublimating at the iceline increases the gaseous CO$_2$ abundance to levels equal to the CO$_2$ ice abundance of $\sim 10^{-5}$, which is three orders of magnitude more than the gaseous CO$_2$ abundances of $\sim 10^{-8}$ observed by Spitzer. Grain growth and radial drift further increase the gaseous CO$_2$ abundance. A CO$_2$ destruction rate of at least $10^{-11}$ s$^{-1}$ is needed to reconcile model prediction with observations. This rate is at least two orders of magnitude higher than the fastest known chemical destruction rate. A range of potential physical mechanisms to explain the low observed CO$_2$ abundances are discussed. Transport processes in disks can have profound effects on the abundances of species in the inner disk. The discrepancy between our model and observations either suggests frequent shocks in the inner 10 AU that destroy CO$_2$, or that the abundant midplane CO$_2$ is hidden from our view by an optically thick column of low abundance CO$_2$ in to the disk surface XDR/PDR. Other molecules, such as CH$_4$ or NH$_3$, can give further handles on the rate of mass transport. read more

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics Solar and Stellar Astrophysics