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The SILCC (SImulating the LifeCycle of molecular Clouds) project - I. Chemical evolution of the supernova-driven ISM

Walch, S., Girichidis, P., Naab, T., Gatto, A., Glover, S. C. O., Wuensch, R., Klessen, R. S., Clark, Paul ORCID:, Peters, T., Derigs, D. and Baczynski, C. 2015. The SILCC (SImulating the LifeCycle of molecular Clouds) project - I. Chemical evolution of the supernova-driven ISM. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 454 (1) , pp. 238-268. 10.1093/mnras/stv1975

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The SILCC (SImulating the Life-Cycle of molecular Clouds) project aims to self-consistently understand the small-scale structure of the interstellar medium (ISM) and its link to galaxy evolution. We simulate the evolution of the multiphase ISM in a (500 pc)2 × ±5 kpc region of a galactic disc, with a gas surface density of ΣGAS=10M⊙pc−2. The flash 4 simulations include an external potential, self-gravity, magnetic fields, heating and radiative cooling, time-dependent chemistry of H2 and CO considering (self-) shielding, and supernova (SN) feedback but omit shear due to galactic rotation. We explore SN explosions at different rates in high-density regions (peak), in random locations with a Gaussian distribution in the vertical direction (random), in a combination of both (mixed), or clustered in space and time (clus/clus2). Only models with self-gravity and a significant fraction of SNe that explode in low-density gas are in agreement with observations. Without self-gravity and in models with peak driving the formation of H2 is strongly suppressed. For decreasing SN rates, the H2 mass fraction increases significantly from <10 per cent for high SN rates, i.e. 0.5 dex above Kennicutt–Schmidt, to 70–85 per cent for low SN rates, i.e. 0.5 dex below KS. For an intermediate SN rate, clustered driving results in slightly more H2 than random driving due to the more coherent compression of the gas in larger bubbles. Magnetic fields have little impact on the final disc structure but affect the dense gas (n ≳ 10 cm−3) and delay H2 formation. Most of the volume is filled with hot gas (∼80 per cent within ±150 pc). For all but peak driving a vertically expanding warm component of atomic hydrogen indicates a fountain flow. We highlight that individual chemical species populate different ISM phases and cannot be accurately modelled with temperature-/density-based phase cut-offs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 09:54

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