Thermal processing of primordial pebbles in evolving protoplanetary disksOPEN ACCESS 

Maria Jose Colmenares, Michiel Lambrechts, Elishevah van Kooten, Anders Johansen

Accepted for publication in A&A


During protoplanetary disk formation, dust grains located in the outer disk retain their pristine icy composition, while solids in the inner stellar-heated disk undergo volatile loss. This process may have left a fossil record in Solar System material showing different nucelosynthetic imprints that have been attributed to different degrees of thermal processing. However, it remains unclear how a large mass fraction of thermally-processed inner-disk pebbles is produced and how these grains are subsequently transported throughout the disk. In this work we numerically investigate the evolution in time of a two-component pebble disk, consisting of pristine pebbles and those that underwent ice sublimation. We find that stellar outbursts exceeding 1000 times the solar luminosity are efficient in thermally altering, through ice sublimation, a large mass fraction of pebbles (around 80%). After the establishment of this initial radial dust composition gradient throughout the disk, the subsequent mixing and inward drift of pristine outer-disk pebbles alter the inner disk bulk composition from processed to more unprocessed in time. Therefore, if processed pebbles without ice mantles have an isotopic composition similar to ureilite meteorites from the inner Solar System, inner-disk minor bodies forming from the early pebble flux (<1Myr) will be isotopically ureilite-like, while later-formed bodies will be increasingly admixed with the signature of the late incoming CI chondrite-like unprocessed pebbles. This appears to be largely consistent with the trend seen between the accretion age of different meteoric classes and their different stable isotope composition anomalies (in μ54Cr, μ48Ca, μ30Si, μ58Ni), but further work may be needed to explain the role of isotopically anomalous refractory inclusions and anomaly trends in other elements.