Open Access

Collisional evolution and the resulting mass distribution of interplanetary dust

Earth, Planets and Space201450:BF03352144

DOI: 10.1186/BF03352144

Received: 8 October 1997

Accepted: 13 March 1998

Published: 6 June 2014


On the basis of numerical approaches for the collisional and orbital evolution of dust particles, the number density distribution of interplanetary dust with the mass range of m ≥ 10−12g is investigated. The slope of the mass distribution of dust particles strongly depends on the radial dependence of dust production by their parent bodies, and the collisional interaction between particles. Specifically, the m −7/3 dependence of the number density distribution at 1 AU for m ≥ 10−6g can be explained through the balance between the collisional loss of particles and the dust supply, whereas the m −4/3 dependence for 10−12g ≤ m ≥ 10−6g particles is derived from simple Poynting-Robertson orbital decay. A possible model of the dust populations of asteroidal, cometary, and Edgeworth-Kuiper belt origin that is consistent with the observed dust flux at a solar distance of 1 AU is presented.