Hydrodynamic Photoevaporation of Protoplanetary Disks with Consistent Thermochemistry

Lile Wang, Jeremy Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Photoevaporation is an important dispersal mechanism for protoplanetary disks. We conduct hydrodynamic simulations coupled with ray-tracing radiative transfer and consistent thermochemistry to study photoevaporative winds driven by ultraviolet and X-ray radiation from the host star. Most models have a three-layer structure: a cold midplane, warm intermediate layer, and hot wind, the last having typical speeds ∼40 km s-1 and mass-loss rates 10-9 M yr -1when driven primarily by ionizing UV radiation. Observable molecules, including CO, OH, and H2O re-form in the intermediate layer and survive at relatively high wind temperatures due to reactions being out of equilibrium. Mass-loss rates are sensitive to the intensity of radiation in energy bands that interact directly with hydrogen. Comparison with previous works shows that mass-loss rates are also sensitive to the treatment of both the hydrodynamics and thermochemistry. Divergent results concerning the efficiency of X-ray photoevaporation are traced in part to differing assumptions about dust and other coolants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • astrochemistry
  • circumstellar matter
  • methods: numerical
  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: formation


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