Resolution Dependence of Magnetorotational Turbulence in the Isothermal Stratified Shearing Box

Benjamin R. Ryan, Charles F. Gammie, Sebastien Fromang, Pierre Kestener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Magnetohydrodynamic turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability can provide diffusive transport of angular momentum in astrophysical disks, and a widely studied computational model for this process is the ideal, stratified, isothermal shearing box. Here we report results of a convergence study of such boxes up to a resolution of N = 256 zones per scale height, performed on blue waters at NCSA with ramses-gpu. We find that the time and vertically integrated dimensionless shear stress α N-1/3, i.e., the shear stress is resolution dependent. We also find that the magnetic field correlation length decreases with resolution, λ ∼ N-1/2. This variation is strongest at the disk midplane. We show that our measurements of are consistent with earlier studies, and we discuss possible reasons for the lack of convergence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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