3D MHD Simulations of Stratified Accretion Disks

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Session 41 -- Circumstellar Disks
Display presentation, Thursday, January 13, 9:30-6:45, Salons I/II Room (Crystal Gateway)

[41.01] 3D MHD Simulations of Stratified Accretion Disks

James M. Stone (U. Maryland), John F. Hawley, Charles Gammie (U. Virginia)

We investigate the growth and nonlinear saturation of a powerful local shear instability in weakly magnetised accretion disks using three dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. To achieve a sufficiently high numerical resolution, we use a local approximation for the disk and carry out the simulations on massively parallel supercomputers. Here we investigate the linear growth and nonlinear saturation of the instability in a vertically stratified, intially isothermal disk. A variety of initial field configurations and strengths are considered. The simulations allow a quantitative analysis of the role of bouyancy as a saturation mechanism, and possible dynamo action in the disk.

This work is partially supported by NSF grant PHY-9018251 and NASA grants NAGW-1510 and NAGW-2376. Code development is supported by the NASA HPCC Initiative through grant NAG5-2202. Computations were carried out on the CM200 system of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

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