Volume 589, May 2016
|Number of page(s)||21|
|Published online||20 April 2016|
Metal enrichment in a semi-analytical model, fundamental scaling relations, and the case of Milky Way galaxies⋆
Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de
Marseille) UMR 7326,
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS, CPT, UMR 7332, 13288 Marseille, France
Received: 12 November 2015
Accepted: 24 February 2016
Context. Gas flows play a fundamental role in galaxy formation and evolution, providing the fuel for the star formation process. These mechanisms leave an imprint in the amount of heavy elements that enrich the interstellar medium. Thus, the analysis of this metallicity signature provides additional constraint on the galaxy formation scenario.
Aims. We aim to discriminate between four different galaxy formation models based on two accretion scenarios and two different star formation recipes. We address the impact of a bimodal accretion scenario and a strongly regulated star formation recipe on the metal enrichment process of galaxies.
Methods. We present a new extension of the eGalICS model, which allows us to track the metal enrichment process in both stellar populations and in the gas phase. Based on stellar metallicity bins from 0 to 2.5 Z⊙, our new chemodynamical model is applicable for situations ranging from metal-free primordial accretion to very enriched interstellar gas contents. We use this new tool to predict the metallicity evolution of both the stellar populations and gas phase. We compare these predictions with recent observational measurements. We also address the evolution of the gas metallicity with the star formation rate (SFR). We then focus on a sub-sample of Milky Way-like galaxies. We compare both the cosmic stellar mass assembly and the metal enrichment process of such galaxies with observations and detailed chemical evolution models.
Results. Our models, based on a strong star formation regulation, allow us to reproduce well the stellar mass to gas-phase metallicity relation observed in the local Universe. The shape of our average stellar mass to stellar metallicity relations is in good agreement with observations. However, we observe a systematic shift towards high masses. Our M⋆ − Zg −SFR relation is in good agreement with recent measurements: our best model predicts a clear dependence with the SFR. Both SFR and metal enrichment histories of our Milky Way-like galaxies are consistent with observational measurements and detailed chemical evolution models. We finally show that Milky Way progenitors start their evolution below the observed main sequence and progressively reach this observed relation at z ≃ 0.
Key words: galaxies: formation / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: fundamental parameters
Outputs from all models and FITS files are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/589/A109
© ESO, 2016
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