The infrared line-emitting regions of T Tauri protoplanetary disks

A. J. Greenwood, I. Kamp, L. B. F. M. Waters, P. Woitke, W.-F. Thi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Mid-infrared molecular line emission detected with the Spitzer Space Telescope is often interpreted using slab models. However, we need to understand the mid-infrared line emission in 2D disk models, such that we gain information about from where the lines are being emitted and under which conditions, such that we gain information about number densities, temperatures, and optical depths in both the radial and vertical directions. In this paper, we introduce a series of 2D thermochemical models of a prototypical T Tauri protoplanetary disk, in order to examine how sensitive the line-emitting regions are to changes in the UV and X-ray fluxes, the disk flaring angle, dust settling, and the dust-to-gas ratio. These all affect the heating of the inner disk, and thus can affect the mid-infrared spectral lines. Using the ProDiMo and FLiTs codes, we produce a series of 2D thermochemical disk models. We find that there is often a significant difference between the gas and dust temperatures in the line emitting regions, and we illustrate that the size of the line emitting regions is relatively robust against changes in the stellar and disk parameters (namely, the UV and X-ray fluxes, the flaring angle, and dust settling). These results demonstrate the potential for localized variations in the line-emitting region to greatly affect the resulting spectra and line fluxes, and the necessity of allowing for such variations in our models.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA81
Number of pages37
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date24 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Radiative transfer
  • Astrochemistry
  • Line: formation


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