Gas-phase metallicity profiles of the Bluedisk galaxies: Is metallicity in a local star formation regulated equilibrium?

David Carton, Jarle Brinchmann, Jing Wang, Frank Bigiel, Diane Cormier, Thijs van der Hulst, Gyula I. G. Józsa, Paolo Serra, Marc A. W. Verheijen

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Abstract

As part of the Bluedisk survey, we analyse the radial gas-phase metallicity profiles of 50 late-type galaxies. We compare the metallicity profiles of a sample of H I-rich galaxies against a control sample of H I-`normal' galaxies. We find the metallicity gradient of a galaxy to be strongly correlated with its H I mass fraction (M(H I) / M_{*}). We note that some galaxies exhibit a steeper metallicity profile in the outer disc than in the inner disc. These galaxies are found in both the H I-rich and control samples. This contradicts a previous indication that these outer drops are exclusive to H I-rich galaxies. These effects are not driven by bars, although we do find some indication that barred galaxies have flatter metallicity profiles. By applying a simple analytical model, we are able to account for the variety of metallicity profiles that the two samples present. The success of this model implies that the metallicity in these isolated galaxies may be in a local equilibrium, regulated by star formation. This insight could provide an explanation of the observed local mass-metallicity relation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-235
Number of pages26
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume451
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2015

Keywords

  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: ISM
  • DIGITAL SKY SURVEY
  • H-II REGIONS
  • TULLY-FISHER RELATION
  • DIFFUSE IONIZED-GAS
  • ARECIBO SDSS SURVEY
  • DARK-MATTER HALOES
  • SPIRAL GALAXIES
  • FORMING GALAXIES
  • OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPY
  • SCALING RELATIONS

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