SDSS-IV Manga: Environmental dependence of gas metallicity gradients in local star-forming galaxies

Jianhui Lian, Daniel Thomas, Cheng Li, Zheng Zheng, Claudia Maraston, Dmitry Bizyaev, Richard R. Lane, Renbin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within the standard model of hierarchical galaxy formation in a Δ cold dark matter universe, the environment of galaxies is expected to play a key role in driving galaxy formation and evolution. In this paper, we investigate whether and how the gas metallicity and the star formation surface density (ΣSFR) depend on galaxy environment. To this end, we analyse a sample of 1162 local, star-forming galaxies from the galaxy survey Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO (MaNGA). Generally, both parameters do not show any significant dependence on environment. However, in agreement with previous studies, we find that low-mass satellite galaxies are an exception to this rule. The gas metallicity in these objects increases while their ΣSFR decreases slightly with environmental density. The present analysis of MaNGA data allows us to extend this to spatially resolved properties. Our study reveals that the gas metallicity gradients of low-mass satellites flatten and their ΣSFR gradients steepen with increasing environmental density. By extensively exploring a chemical evolution model, we identify two scenarios that are able to explain this pattern: metal-enriched gas accretion or pristine gas inflow with varying accretion time-scales. The latter scenario better matches the observed ΣSFR gradients, and is therefore our preferred solution. In this model, a shorter gas accretion time-scale at larger radii is required. This suggests that 'outside-in quenching' governs the star formation processes of low-mass satellite galaxies in dense environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1436-1450
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume489
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the SDSS-IV has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and the Participating Institutions. SDSS acknowledges support and resources from the Center for High-Performance Computing at the University of Utah. The SDSS web site is www.sdss.org.

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to the referee, Rolf Kudritzki, for the insightful report that helped improve the paper considerably. The Science, Technology and Facilities Council is acknowledged for support through the Consolidated Grant 'Cosmology and Astrophysics at Portsmouth', ST/N000668/1. Numerical computations were done on the Sciama High Performance Compute (HPC) cluster which is supported by the ICG, SEPnet and the University of Portsmouth. Funding for the SDSS-IV has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and the Participating Institutions. SDSS acknowledges support and resources from the Center for High-Performance Computing at the University of Utah. The SDSS web site is www.sdss.org. SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS Collaboration including the Brazilian Participation Group, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Mellon University, the Chilean Participation Group, the French Participation Group, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, The Johns Hopkins University, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU)/University of Tokyo, the Korean Participation Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA Heidelberg), Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik (MPA Garching), Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), National Astronomical Observatories of China, New Mexico State University, New York University, University of Notre Dame, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, United Kingdom Participation Group, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, University of Arizona, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Oxford, University of Portsmouth, University of Utah, University of Virginia, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and Yale University.

Funding Information:
The Science, Technology and Facilities Council is acknowledged for support through the Consolidated Grant ‘Cosmology and Astrophysics at Portsmouth’, ST/N000668/1. Numerical computations were done on the Sciama High Performance Compute (HPC) cluster which is supported by the ICG, SEPnet and the University of Portsmouth.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: star formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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