AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 195 Kinematics of the ISM
Oral, Thursday, 10:00-11:30am, January 12, 2006, Salon 3

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[195.05] Supernova-Driven Interstellar Medium Simulations: Turbulent Pressure Distribution and Kinetic Energy Spectrum

M. K. R. Joung (Columbia Univ.), M.-M. Mac Low (AMNH)

We construct three-dimensional models of stratified interstellar medium stirred by discrete supernova explosions, including vertical gravitational field and parameterized heating and cooling, with sufficient spatial resolution to follow detailed gas dynamics using a grid-based adaptive mesh refinement code, Flash. The models reproduce observed characteristics of the Galaxy such as the galactic fountain and cold dense clouds in the galactic disk. We find: (1) Kinetic energy is distributed over a broad range of lengths, but 90% of the total kinetic energy is contained in wavelengths shortward of 150 pc; (2) Turbulent velocity dispersion is inversely proportional to the square root of the local density, making the turbulent pressure nearly constant; (3) The global gas structure depends sensitively on the assumed background diffuse heating rate. We discuss how these high-resolution models can be used as a subgrid model for supernova feedback in global simulations of galaxies.

MKRJ was supported by an AMNH Graduate Student Fellowship. M-MML acknowledges support by NSF Career grant AST99-85392, and NSF grants AST03-07793, AST03-07854. The software used in this work was in part developed by the DOE-supported ASCI/Alliance Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes at the University of Chicago. Computations were performed at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center supported by the NSF.

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