VIRIAL ANALYSIS OF MOLECULAR CLUMPS FORMING IN COLLIDING FLOWS
Understanding the structural and chemical evolution of turbulent
molecular clouds is an essential part in understanding the star formation process.
The formation and evolution of molecular clouds is investigated in a setup of magnetized
colliding flows modelled by the 3D AMR code FLASH.
The setup includes a basic chemistry model (Nelson & Langer 1997),
which allows us to track the chemical evolution
of important gas species (H1, H+, H2, C+, CO) involved in the formation process.
We then identify molecular clumps in a set of simulations differing in the initial magnetic field strength
by applying a CO abundance threshold and a friends-of-friends alike neighborhood
linking algorithm suited to process adaptive mesh refined data (top figure).
Full evaluation of the components of the Eulerian virial theorem (Dib et al. 2007)
allows us to assess the virial balance of the clumps.
This involves the calculation of their kinetic-, thermal- and magnetic volume
energies and the corresponding surface energies, their potential energy
and the time dependence of the flux of inertia through their surface.
The results show that the surface energy terms plays an important role,
as they are often of the same order of magnitude compared to the corresponding volume energy terms.
Furthermore, it indicates that the total virial balance of the molecular clumps in our simulations
is often dominated by the time dependent $\Phi$-term, which hints at the evolution of their
radial mass distribution to be influenced by accretion onto their surface (bottom figure).