arXiv: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics | 2019

Influence of sub- and super-solar metallicities on the compositions of solid planetary building blocks.



The composition of the protoplanetary disc is linked to the composition of the host star, where a higher overall metallicity of the host star provides more building blocks for planets. However, most planet formation simulations only link the stellar iron abundance [Fe/H] to planet formation and [Fe/H] in itself is used as a proxy to scale all elements. But large surveys of stellar abundances show that this is not true. We use here stellar abundances from the GALAH surveys to determine the average detailed abundances of Fe, Si, Mg, O, and C for a broad range of [Fe/H] spanning from -0.4 to +0.4. Using an equilibrium chemical model that features the most important rock forming molecules as well as volatile contributions of H$_2$O, CO$_2$, CH$_4$ and CO, we calculate the chemical composition of solid planetary building blocks. Solid building blocks that are formed entirely interior to the water ice line (T>150K) only show an increase in Mg$_2$SiO$_4$ and a decrease in MgSiO$_3$ for increasing host star metallicity, related to the increase of Mg/Si for higher [Fe/H]. Solid planetary building blocks forming exterior to the water ice line (T<150K) show dramatic changes in their composition. The water ice content decreases from around $\\sim$50\\% at [Fe/H]=-0.4 to $\\sim$6\\% at [Fe/H]=0.4 in our chemical model. This is mainly caused by the increasing C/O ratio with increasing [Fe/H], which binds most of the oxygen in gaseous CO and CO$_2$, resulting in a small water ice fraction. Planet formation simulations coupled with the chemical model confirm these results by showing that the water ice content of super-Earths decreases with increasing host star metallicity due to the increased C/O ratio. This decrease of the water ice fraction has important consequences for planet formation, planetary composition and the eventual habitability of planetary systems formed around these high metallicity stars.

Volume None
Pages None
DOI 10.1051/0004-6361/201936463
Language English
Journal arXiv: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

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