The dance of snow-lines
Snow-lines are thought to play a vital role in the evolution of protoplanetary discs and planet formation at all scales. Snow-lines occur in regions of the protoplanetary discs where the temperature reaches the sublimation temperature and volatiles transition from the solid phase to the vapour phase (or vice-versa). However, in the outer region of protoplanetary discs (beyond a few AU), the temperature is set by the distribution of solids and their ability to absorb stellar light. Thus, the thermodynamics of the disc and the volatile phases are inextricably linked. In this talk, I will show this coupling is thermally unstable, and snow-lines continually evolve in regions of the disc that are marginally optically thick. Patches of the disc proceeding through a limit cycle, where volatiles in a region of the disc continually condense and then sublimate. Using numerical simulations of the CO snow-line I will show it can move 10s AU over 10,000 years, repeatedly. I will use these simulations to discuss how this new process may effect measured Carbon abundances, solid evolution and ultimately planet formation, making connections to high-resolution images of protoplanetary discs.
How to cite: Owen, J.: The dance of snow-lines, Europlanet Science Congress 2020, online, 21 September–9 Oct 2020, EPSC2020-207, https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2020-207, 2020