Dynamical Gaseous Rings in Global Simulations of Protoplanetary Disk Formation

Global numerical simulations of protoplanetary disk formation and evolution were conducted in the thin-disk limit, where the model included a magnetically layered disk structure, a self-consistent treatment for the infall from cloud core, and the smallest possible inner computational boundary. We compared the evolution of a layered disk with a fully magnetically active disk. We also studied how the evolution depends on the parameters of the layered disk model—the MRI triggering temperature and active layer thickness—as well as the mass of the prestellar cloud core. With the canonical values of parameters a dead zone formed within the inner ≈15 au region of the magnetically layered disk. The dead zone was not a uniform structure, and long-lived, axisymmetric, gaseous rings ubiquitously formed within this region owing to the action of viscous torques. The rings showed a remarkable contrast in the disk environment as compared to a fully magnetically active disk and were characterized by high surface density and low effective viscosity. Multiple gaseous rings could form simultaneously in the dead zone region, which were highly dynamical and showed complex, time-dependent behavior such as inward migration, vortices, gravitational instability, and large-scale spiral waves. An increase in MRI triggering temperature had only marginal effects, while changes in active layer thickness and the initial cloud core mass had significant effects on the structure and evolution of the inner disk. Dust with large fragmentation barrier could be trapped in the rings, which may play a key role in planet formation.