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Published March 10, 2017 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Evolution of Interstellar Medium, Star Formation, and Accretion at High Redshift


ALMA observations of the long wavelength dust continuum are used to estimate the interstellar medium (ISM) masses in a sample of 708 galaxies at z = 0.3 to 4.5 in the COSMOS field. The galaxy sample has known far-infrared luminosities and, hence, star formation rates (SFRs) and stellar masses (M∗) from the optical–infrared spectrum fitting. The galaxies sample SFRs from the main sequence (MS) to 50 times above the MS. The derived ISM masses are used to determine the dependence of gas mass on redshift, M∗, and specific SFR (sSFR) relative to the MS. The ISM masses increase approximately with the 0.63 power of the rate of increase in SFRs with redshift and the 0.32 power of the sSFR/sSFRMS. The SF efficiencies also increase as the 0.36 power of the SFR redshift evolution and the 0.7 power of the elevation above the MS; thus the increased activities at early epochs are driven by both increased ISM masses and SF efficiency. Using the derived ISM mass function, we estimate the accretion rates of gas required to maintain continuity of the MS evolution (> 100 M⊙ yr^(−1) at z > 2.5). Simple power-law dependencies are similarly derived for the gas accretion rates. We argue that the overall evolution of galaxies is driven by the rates of gas accretion. The cosmic evolution of total ISM mass is estimated and linked to the evolution of SF and active galactic nucleus activity at early epochs.

Additional Information

© 2017 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 December 2; revised 2017 February 15; accepted 2017 February 16; published 2017 March 15. We thank Zara Scoville for proofreading the manuscript, and we thank the referee for a number of constructive suggestions. In addition, several useful references on the Galactic GMCs were provided by John Carpenter and John Bally, and good suggestions were provided by Fabian Walter. 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. We plan to release the images used here via the IPAC/IRSA COSMOS archive at http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/data/COSMOS/ in 2017. 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. R.J.I. acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) in the form of Advanced Grant 321302, COSMICISM. S.T. acknowledges support from the European Research Council in the form of Consolidator Grant 648179, ConTExt. B.D. acknowledges financial support from NASA through the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP), grant number NNX12AE20G.

Attached Files

Published - Scoville_2017_ApJ_837_150.pdf

Submitted - 1702.04729.pdf


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