Nonideal MHD Simulation of HL Tau Disk: Formation of Rings

Xiao Hu, Zhaohuan Zhu, Satoshi Okuzumi, Xue Ning Bai, Lile Wang, Kengo Tomida, James M. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Recent high-resolution observations unveil ring structures in circumstellar disks. The origin of these rings has been widely investigated under various theoretical scenarios. In this work we perform global 3D nonideal MHD simulations including effects from both ohmic resistivity and ambipolar diffusion (AD) to model the HL Tau disk. The nonideal MHD diffusion profiles are calculated based on the global dust evolution calculation including sintering effects. Disk ionization structure changes dramatically across the snow line due to the change of dust size distribution close to the snow line of major volatiles. We find that accretion is mainly driven by disk wind. Gaps and rings can be quickly produced from different accretion rates across the snow line. Furthermore, AD leads to highly preferential accretion at the midplane, followed by magnetic reconnection. This results in a local zone of decretion that drains the mass in the field reconnection area, which leaves a gap and an adjacent ring just outside of it. Overall, under favorable conditions, both snow lines and nonideal MHD effects can lead to gaseous gaps and rings in protoplanetary disks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • accretion
  • accretion disks
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • protoplanetary disks


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