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Redshift evolution of the hot intracluster gas metallicity in the C-EAGLE cluster simulations

Pearce, Francesca A and Kay, Scott T and Barnes, David J and Bahé, Yannick M and Bower, Richard G (2021) 'Redshift evolution of the hot intracluster gas metallicity in the C-EAGLE cluster simulations.', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 507 (2). pp. 1606-1622.


The abundance and distribution of metals in galaxy clusters contain valuable information about their chemical history and evolution. By looking at how metallicity evolves with redshift, it is possible to constrain the different metal production channels. We use the C-EAGLE clusters, a sample of 30 high-resolution (mgas ≃ 1.8 × 106 M⊙) cluster zoom simulations, to investigate the redshift evolution of metallicity, with particular focus on the cluster outskirts. The early enrichment model, in which the majority of metals are produced in the core of cluster progenitors at high redshift, suggests that metals in cluster outskirts have not significantly evolved since z = 2. With the C-EAGLE sample, we find reasonable agreement with the early enrichment model as there is very little scatter in the metallicity abundance at large radius across the whole sample, out to at least z = 2. The exception is Fe for which the radial dependence of metallicity was found to evolve at low redshift as a result of being mainly produced by Type Ia supernovae, which are more likely to be formed at later times than core-collapse supernovae. We also found considerable redshift evolution of metal abundances in the cores of the C-EAGLE clusters that has not been seen in other simulations or observation-based metallicity studies. Since we find this evolution to be driven by accretion of low-metallicity gas, it suggests that the interaction between outflowing, AGN-heated material and the surrounding gas is important for determining the core abundances in clusters.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:27 July 2021
Date deposited:08 October 2021
Date of first online publication:30 July 2021
Date first made open access:08 October 2021

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