Low-mass planet migration in three-dimensional wind-driven inviscid discs: A negative corotation torque

Colin P. McNally, Richard P. Nelson, Sijme Jan Paardekooper, Pablo Benitez-Llambay, Oliver Gressel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We present simulations of low-mass planet-disc interactions in inviscid three-dimensional discs. We show that a wind-driven laminar accretion flow through the surface layers of the disc does not significantly modify the migration torque experienced by embedded planets. More importantly, we find that 3D effects lead to a dramatic change in the behaviour of the dynamical corotation torque compared to earlier 2D theory and simulations. Although it was previously shown that the dynamical corotation torque could act to slow and essentially stall the inward migration of a low-mass planet, our results in 3D show that the dynamical corotation torque has the complete opposite effect and speeds up inward migration. Our numerical experiments implicate buoyancy resonances as the cause. These have two effects: (i) they exert a direct torque on the planet, whose magnitude relative to the Lindblad torque is measured in our simulations to be small; (ii) they torque the gas librating on horseshoe orbits in the corotation region and drive evolution of its vortensity, leading to the negative dynamical corotation torque. This indicates that at low turbulent viscosity, the detailed vertical thermal structure of the protoplanetary disc plays an important role in determining the migration behaviour of embedded planets. If this result holds up under a more refined treatment of disc thermal evolution, then it has important implications for understanding the formation and early evolution of planetary systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4382-4399
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Planet-disc interactions
  • Planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
  • Protoplanetary discs


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