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Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Anders Johansen


Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Thermal processing of primordial pebbles in evolving protoplanetary disks


  • María José Colmenares
  • Michiel Lambrechts
  • Elishevah Van Kooten
  • Anders Johansen

Summary, in English

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 nucleosynthetic 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 both 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 (<1 Myr) will be isotopically ureilite-like, while later-formed bodies will be increasingly admixed with the signature of the lateincoming, 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, and μ58Ni), but further work may be needed to explain the role of isotopically anomalous refractory inclusions and anomaly trends in other elements. Our findings further support an early thermal processing of ice mantles via stellar outbursts that are common around young Sun-like stars.


  • Astrophysics

Publishing year





Astronomy and Astrophysics



Document type

Journal article


EDP Sciences


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • Meteorites, meteors, meteoroids
  • Minor planets, asteroids: general
  • Planets and satellites: composition
  • Planets and satellites: formation
  • Protoplanetary disks




  • ISSN: 0004-6361