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Title: Effect of Equation of State and Cutoff Density in Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Simulations of the Moon-forming Giant Impact

The amount of vapor in the impact-generated protolunar disk carries implications for the dynamics, devolatilization, and moderately volatile element isotope fractionation during lunar formation. The equation of state (EoS) used in simulations of the giant impact is required to calculate the vapor mass fraction (VMF) of the modeled protolunar disk. Recently, a new version of M-ANEOS (Stewart M-ANEOS) was released with an improved treatment of heat capacity and expanded experimental Hugoniot. Here, we compare this new M-ANEOS version with a previous version (N-SPH M-ANEOS) and assess the resulting differences in smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations. We find that Stewart M-ANEOS results in cooler disks with smaller values of VMF and in differences in disk mass that are dependent on the initial impact angle. We also assess the implications of the minimum “cutoff” density (ρc), similar to a maximum smoothing length, that is set as a fast-computing alternative to an iteratively calculated smoothing length. We find that the low particle resolution of the disk typically results in >40% of disk particles falling toρc, influencing the dynamical evolution and VMF of the disk. Our results show that the choice of EoS,ρc, and particle resolution can cause the VMF and disk mass to vary by tens of percent. Moreover, small values ofρcproduce disks that are prone to numerical instability and artificial shocks. We recommend that future giant impact SPH studies review smoothing methods and ensure the thermodynamic stability of the disk over simulated time.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Planetary Science Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 9
["Article No. 9"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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