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The evolution of galaxy metallicity scaling relations in cosmological hydrodynamical simulations.

De Rossi, M. E. and Theuns, T. and Font, A. S. and McCarthy, I. G. (2015) 'The evolution of galaxy metallicity scaling relations in cosmological hydrodynamical simulations.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 452 (1). pp. 486-501.

Abstract

The evolution of the metal content of galaxies and its relations to other global properties [such as total stellar mass (M*), circular velocity, star formation rate (SFR), halo mass, etc.] provides important constraints on models of galaxy formation. Here we examine the evolution of metallicity scaling relations of simulated galaxies in the Galaxies-Intergalactic Medium Interaction Calculation suite of cosmological simulations. We make comparisons to observations of the correlation of gas-phase abundances with M* (the mass–metallicity relation, MZR), as well as with both M* and SFR or gas mass fraction (the so-called 3D fundamental metallicity relations, FMRs). The simulated galaxies follow the observed local MZR and FMRs over an order of magnitude in M*, but overpredict the metallicity of massive galaxies (log M* ≳ 10.5), plausibly due to inefficient feedback in this regime. We discuss the origin of the MZR and FMRs in the context of galactic outflows and gas accretion. We examine the evolution of MZRs defined using different elements that probe the three enrichment channels [SNII, SNIa, and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars]. Relations based on elements produced mainly by SNII evolve weakly, whereas those based on elements produced preferentially in SNIa/AGB exhibit stronger evolution, due to the longer time-scales associated with these channels. Finally, we compare the relations of central and satellite galaxies, finding systematically higher metallicities for satellites, as observed. We show that this is due to the removal of the metal-poor gas reservoir that normally surrounds galaxies and acts to dilute their gas-phase metallicity (via cooling/accretion on to the disc), but is lost due to ram-pressure stripping for satellites.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Methods: numerical, Galaxies: abundances, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: haloes, Galaxies: high-redshift, Galaxies: star formation.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1287
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:08 June 2015
Date deposited:19 February 2016
Date of first online publication:September 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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