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Published June 20, 2018 | Published + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Similar Scaling Relations for the Gas Content of Galaxies Across Environments to z ~ 3.5


We study the effects of the local environment on the molecular gas content of a large sample of log(M*/M⊙) ≳ 10 star-forming and starburst galaxies with specific star formation rates (sSFRs) on and above the main sequence (MS) to z ~ 3.5. ALMA observations of the dust continuum in the COSMOS field are used to estimate molecular gas masses at z ≈ 0.5–3.5. We also use a local universe sample from the ALFALFA H I survey after converting it into molecular masses. The molecular mass (M_(ISM)) scaling relation shows a dependence on z, M *, and sSFR relative to the MS, but no dependence on environmental overdensity Δ(M_(ISM) ∝ Δ^(0.03)). Similarly, gas mass fraction (f_(gas)) and depletion timescale (τ) show no environmental dependence to z ~ 3.5. At〈z〉~ 1.8, the average〈M_(ISM) 〉,〈f_(gas) 〉, and〈τ〉in densest regions is (1.6 ± 0.2) × 10^(11) M⊙, 55 ± 2%, and 0.8 ± 0.1 Gyr, respectively, similar to those in the lowest density bin. Independent of the environment, f_(gas) decreases and τincreases with increasing cosmic time. Cosmic molecular mass density (ρ) in the lowest density bins peaks at z ~ 1–2, and this peak happens at z < 1 in densest bins. This differential evolution of ρ across environments is likely due to the growth of the large-scale structure with cosmic time. Our results suggest that the molecular gas content and the subsequent star formation activity of log(M*/M⊙) ≳ 10 star-forming and starburst galaxies is primarily driven by internal processes, and not by their local environment since z ~ 3.5.

Additional Information

© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2017 November 18; revised 2018 May 22; accepted 2018 May 25; published 2018 June 19. We are immensely grateful to the anonymous referee for their useful comments and suggestions that significantly improved the quality of this paper. B.D. acknowledges financial support from NASA through the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP), grant number NNX12AE20G, and the National Science Foundation, grant number 1716907. B.D. is grateful to Alexandra Pope for her constructive comments and suggestions on the manuscript. B.D. is grateful to Shoubaneh Hemmati, Kirsten Larson, and Iary Davidzon for their thoughtful comments. B.D. wishes to thank Nicola Malavasi for providing their data. T.D.-S. acknowledges support from ALMA-CONICYT project 31130005 and FONDECYT regular project 1151239. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA 2011.0.00097.S, 2012.1.00076.S, 2012.1.00523.S, 2013.1.00034.S, 2013.1.00111.S, 2015.1.00137.S, 2013.1.00118.S, and 2013.1.00151.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The ALFALFA team at Cornell is supported by NSF grants AST-0607007 and AST-1107390 and by grants from the Brinson Foundation. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Mendez-Universidad Metropolitana, and the Universities Space Research Association. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III web site is http://www.sdss3.org/. SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, Harvard University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame/JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, New Mexico State University, New York University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University. Based on data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under ESO programme ID 179.A-2005 and on data products produced by TERAPIX and the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit on behalf of the UltraVISTA consortium.

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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023