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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Richard Bower

Tissera, P. B. Rosas-Guevara, Y. Bower, R. G. , Crain, R. A. del P Lagos, C. Schaller, M. Schaye, J. & Theuns, T. (2019). The oxygen abundance gradients in the gas discs of galaxies in the EAGLE simulation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 482(2): 2208-2221.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

We use the EAGLE simulations to study the oxygen abundance gradients of gas discs in galaxies within the stellar mass range [109.5, 1010.8] ∼ M⊙ at z = 0. The estimated median oxygen gradient is −0.011 ± 0.002 dex kpc−1, which is shallower than observed. No clear trend between simulated disc oxygen gradient and galaxy stellar mass is found when all galaxies are considered. However, the oxygen gradient shows a clear correlation with gas disc size so that shallower abundance slopes are found for increasing gas disc sizes. Positive oxygen gradients are detected for ≈40 per cent of the analysed gas discs, with a slight higher frequency in low-mass galaxies. Galaxies that have quiet merger histories show a positive correlation between oxygen gradient and stellar mass, so that more massive galaxies tend to have shallower metallicity gradients. At high stellar mass, there is a larger fraction of rotational-dominated galaxies in low-density regions. At low stellar mass, non-merger galaxies show a large variety of oxygen gradients and morphologies. The normalization of the disc oxygen gradients in non-merger galaxies by the effective radius removes the trend with stellar mass. Conversely, galaxies that experienced mergers show a weak relation between oxygen gradient and stellar mass. Additionally, the analysed EAGLE discs show no clear dependence of the oxygen gradients on local environment, in agreement with current observational findings.