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Metal flows of the circumgalactic medium, and the metal budget in galactic haloes

Muratov, Alexander L. and Kereš, Dušan and Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André and Hopkins, Philip F. and Ma, Xiangcheng and Anglés-Alcázar, Daniel and Chan, T. K. and Torrey, Paul and Hafen, Zachary H. and Quataert, Eliot and Murray, Norman (2017) Metal flows of the circumgalactic medium, and the metal budget in galactic haloes. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 468 (4). pp. 4170-4188. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stx667.

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We present an analysis of the flow of metals through the circumgalactic medium (CGM) in the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) simulations of galaxy formation, ranging from isolated dwarfs to L* galaxies. We find that nearly all metals produced in high-redshift galaxies are carried out in winds that reach 0.25R_(vir). When measured at 0.25R_(vir) the metallicity of outflows is slightly higher than the interstellar medium (ISM) metallicity. Many metals thus reside in the CGM. Cooling and recycling from this reservoir determine the metal budget in the ISM. The outflowing metal flux decreases by a factor of ∼2–5 between 0.25R_(vir) and R_(vir). Furthermore, outflow metallicity is typically lower at R_(vir) owing to dilution of the remaining outflow by metal-poor material swept up from the CGM. The inflow metallicity at R_(vir) is generally low, but outflow and inflow metallicities are similar in the inner halo. At low redshift, massive galaxies no longer generate outflows that reach the CGM, causing a divergence in CGM and ISM metallicity. Dwarf galaxies continue to generate outflows, although they preferentially retain metal ejecta. In all but the least massive galaxy considered, a majority of the metals are within the halo at z = 0. We measure the fraction of metals in CGM, ISM and stars, and quantify the thermal state of CGM metals in each halo. The total amount of metals in the low-redshift CGM of two simulated L* galaxies is consistent with estimates from the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph haloes survey, while for the other two it appears to be lower.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kereš, Dušan0000-0002-1666-7067
Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André0000-0002-4900-6628
Hopkins, Philip F.0000-0003-3729-1684
Ma, Xiangcheng0000-0001-8091-2349
Anglés-Alcázar, Daniel0000-0001-5769-4945
Chan, T. K.0000-0003-2544-054X
Torrey, Paul0000-0002-5653-0786
Hafen, Zachary H.0000-0001-7326-1736
Quataert, Eliot0000-0001-9185-5044
Additional Information:© 2017 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2017 March 15. Received 2017 February 26; in original form 2016 June 29. Published: 17 March 2017. We would like to thank the Simons Foundation and the participants of the Galactic Super Winds II symposium for stimulating discussions. DK was supported by NSF grant AST-1412153 and the Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. CAFG was supported by NSF through grants AST-1412836 and AST-1517491, by NASA through grant NNX15AB22G and by STScI through grants HST-AR-14293.001-A and HST-GO-14268.022-A. Support for PFH was provided by an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, NASA ATP grant NNX14AH35G and NSF Collaborative Research Grant #1411920 and CAREER grant #1455342. DAA acknowledges support by a CIERA Postdoctoral Fellowship. EQ was supported by NASA ATP grant 12-APT12-0183, a Simons Investigator award from the Simons Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The simulation presented here used computational resources granted by the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation grant no. OCI-1053575, specifically allocations TG-AST120025, TG-AST130039 and TG-AST1140023.
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Cottrell Scholar of Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
CIERA Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: formation – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: formation – cosmology: theory
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170629-101035094
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Alexander L. Muratov, Dušan Kereš, Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, Philip F. Hopkins, Xiangcheng Ma, Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, T. K. Chan, Paul Torrey, Zachary H. Hafen, Eliot Quataert, Norman Murray; Metal flows of the circumgalactic medium, and the metal budget in galactic haloes. Mon Not R Astron Soc 2017; 468 (4): 4170-4188. doi: 10.1093/mnras/stx667
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:78689
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Jun 2017 23:34
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:42

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