Kinematics and Dynamics of Multiphase Outflows in Simulations of the Star-forming Galactic Interstellar Medium

Aditi Vijayan, Chang Goo Kim, Lucia Armillotta, Eve C. Ostriker, Miao Li

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25 Scopus citations


Galactic outflows produced by stellar feedback are known to be multiphase in nature. Observations and simulations indicate that the material within several kiloparsecs of galactic disk midplanes consists of warm clouds embedded within a hot wind. A theoretical understanding of the outflow phenomenon, including both winds and fountain flows, requires study of the interactions among thermal phases. We develop a method to quantify these interactions via measurements of mass, momentum, and energy flux exchanges using temporally and spatially averaged quantities and conservation laws. We apply this method to a star-forming interstellar medium simulation based on the TIGRESS framework, for solar neighborhood conditions. To evaluate the extent of interactions among the phases, we examine the validity of the "ballistic model," which predicts the trajectories of the warm phase (5050 K < T < 2 × 104 K) treated as non-interacting clouds. This model is successful at intermediate vertical velocities ({equation presented}), but at higher velocities, we observe an excess in simulated warm outflow compared to the ballistic model. This discrepancy cannot be fully accounted for by cooling of high-velocity, intermediate-temperature (2 × 104 K < T < 5 × 105 K) gas. We examine the fluxes of mass, momentum, and energy and conclude that the warm phase gains mass via cooling of the intermediate phase and momentum from the hot (T > 5 × 105 K) phase. The large energy flux from the hot outflow, transferred to the warm and intermediate phases, is quickly radiated away. A simple interaction model implies an effective warm cloud size in the fountain flow of a few 100 pc, showing that warm-hot flux exchange mainly involves a few large clouds rather than many small ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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