EDP Sciences
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Volume 383, Number 3, March I 2002
Page(s) 813 - 822
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011807

A&A 383, 813-822 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011807

Metal abundances and kinematics of quasar absorbers

I. Absorption systems toward J2233-606
S. A. Levshakov1, I. I. Agafonova2, M. Centurión3 and I. E. Mazets2

1  Division of Theoretical Astrophysics, National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
2  Department of Theoretical Astrophysics, Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, 194021 St. Petersburg, Russia
3  Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Via G. B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy

(Received 4 October 2001 / Accepted 18 December 2001)

The metal line profiles of different ions observed in high $\ion{H}{i}$ column density systems [ N( $\ion{H}{i}$) > 1016 cm -2] in quasar spectra can be used to constrain the ionization structure and kinematic characteristics of the absorbers. For these purposes, a modified Monte Carlo Inversion (MCI) procedure was applied to the study of three absorption systems in the spectrum of the HDF-South quasar J2233-606 obtained with the UVES spectrograph at the VLT/Kueyen telescope. The MCI does not confirm variations of metal abundances within separate systems which were discussed in the literature. Instead, we found that an assumption of a homogeneous metal content and a unique photoionizing background is sufficient to describe the observed complex metal profiles. It was also found that the linear size L and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion $\sigma_{\rm v}$ measured within the absorbers obey a scaling relation, namely, $\sigma_{\rm v}$ increases with increasing L, and that metal abundance is inversely proportional to the linear size of the system: the highest metallicity was measured in the system with the smallest L.

Key words: cosmology: observations -- line: formation -- line: profiles -- galaxies: abundances -- quasars: absorption lines -- quasars: individual: J2233-606

Offprint request: S. A. Levshakov, lev@yso.mtk.nao.ac.jp

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