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Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Anders Johansen


Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

How planetary growth outperforms migration


  • Anders Johansen
  • Shigeru Ida
  • Ramon Brasser

Summary, in English

Planetary migration is a major challenge for planet-formation theories. The speed of type-I migration is proportional to the mass of a protoplanet, while the final decade of growth of a pebble-accreting planetary core takes place at a rate that scales with the mass to the two-thirds power. This results in planetary growth tracks (i.e., the evolution of the mass of a protoplanet versus its distance from the star) that become increasingly horizontal (migration dominated) with the rising mass of the protoplanet. It has been shown recently that the migration torque on a protoplanet is reduced proportional to the relative height of the gas gap carved by the growing planet. Here we show from 1D simulations of planet-disc interaction that the mass at which a planet carves a 50% gap is approximately 2.3 times the pebble isolation mass. Our measurements of the pebble isolation mass from 1D simulations match published 3D results relatively well, except at very low viscosities (α < 10
) where the 3D pebble isolation mass is significantly higher, possibly due to gap edge instabilities that are not captured in 1D. The pebble isolation mass demarks the transition from pebble accretion to gas accretion. Gas accretion to form gas-giant planets therefore takes place over a few astronomical units of migration after reaching first the pebble isolation mass and, shortly after, the 50% gap mass. Our results demonstrate how planetary growth can outperform migration both during core accretion and during gas accretion, even when the Stokes number of the pebbles is small, St ∼ 0.01, and the pebble-to-gas flux ratio in the protoplanetary disc is in the nominal range of 0.01-0.02. We find that planetary growth is very rapid in the first million years of the protoplanetary disc and that the probability for forming gas-giant planets increases with the initial size of the protoplanetary disc and with decreasing turbulent diffusion.


  • Lund Observatory - Undergoing reorganization
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration

Publishing year





Astronomy and Astrophysics



Document type

Journal article


EDP Sciences


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • Planet-disk interactions
  • Planets and satellites: Formation
  • Planets and satellites: Gaseous planets




  • ISSN: 0004-6361