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Cold-mode accretion: driving the fundamental mas-metallicity relation at z~2

Kacprzak, Glenn G., van de Voort, Freeke ORCID:, Glazebrook, Karl, Tran, Kim-Vy H., Yuan, Tiantian, Nanayakkara, Themiya, Allen, Rebecca J., Alcorn, Leo, Cowley, Michael, Labbé, Ivo, Spitler, Lee, Straatman, Caroline and Tomczak, Adam 2016. Cold-mode accretion: driving the fundamental mas-metallicity relation at z~2. Astrophysical Journal Letters 826 (1) , L11. 10.3847/2041-8205/826/1/L11

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We investigate the star formation rate (SFR) dependence on the stellar mass and gas-phase metallicity relation at z = 2 with MOSFIRE/Keck as part of the ZFIRE survey. We have identified 117 galaxies (1.98 ≤ z ≤ 2.56), with 8.9 ≤ log(M/M ⊙) ≤ 11.0, for which we can measure gas-phase metallicities. For the first time, we show a discernible difference between the mass–metallicity relation, using individual galaxies, when dividing the sample by low (<10 M ⊙ yr−1) and high (>10 M ⊙ yr−1) SFRs. At fixed mass, low star-forming galaxies tend to have higher metallicity than high star-forming galaxies. Using a few basic assumptions, we further show that the gas masses and metallicities required to produce the fundamental mass–metallicity relation and its intrinsic scatter are consistent with cold-mode accretion predictions obtained from the OWLS hydrodynamical simulations. Our results from both simulations and observations are suggestive that cold-mode accretion is responsible for the fundamental mass–metallicity relation at z = 2 and it demonstrates the direct relationship between cosmological accretion and the fundamental properties of galaxies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 2041-8205
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 24 June 2016
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 14:07

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