An ALMA/NOEMA survey of the molecular gas properties of high-redshift star-forming galaxies

Birkin, Jack E. and Weiss, Axel and Wardlow, J. L. and Smail, Ian and Swinbank, A. M. and Dudzevičiūtė, U. and An, Fang Xia and Ao, Y. and Chapman, S. C. and Chen, Chian-Chou and da Cunha, E. and Dannerbauer, H. and Gullberg, B. and Hodge, J. A. and Ikarashi, S. and Ivison, R. J. and Matsuda, Y. and Stach, S. M. and Walter, F. and Wang, W.-H. and van der Werf, P. (2021) An ALMA/NOEMA survey of the molecular gas properties of high-redshift star-forming galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 501 (3). 3926–3950. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We have used ALMA and NOEMA to study the molecular gas reservoirs in 61 ALMA-identified submillimetre galaxies (SMGs) in the COSMOS, UDS and ECDFS fields. We detect 12CO (Jup = 2-5) emission lines in 50 sources, and [C I](3P1 - 3P0) emission in eight, at z = 1.2-4.8 and with a median redshift of 2.9 ± 0.2. By supplementing our data with literature sources we construct a statistical CO spectral line energy distribution and find that the 12CO line luminosities in SMGs peak at Jup ∼ 6, consistent with similar studies. We also test the correlations of the CO, [C I] and dust as tracers of the gas mass, finding the three to correlate well, although the CO and dust mass as estimated from the 3-mm continuum are preferable. We estimate that SMGs lie mostly on or just above the star-forming main sequence, with a median gas depletion timescale, tdep = Mgas/SFR, of 210 ± 40 Myr for our sample. Additionally, tdep declines with redshift across z ∼ 1-5, while the molecular gas fraction, μgas = Mgas/M*, increases across the same redshift range. Finally, we demonstrate that the distribution of total baryonic mass and dynamical line width, Mbaryon-σ, for our SMGs is consistent with that followed by early-type galaxies in the Coma cluster, providing strong support to the suggestion that SMGs are progenitors of massive local spheroidal galaxies. On the basis of this we suggest that the SMG populations above and below an 870-μm flux limit of S870 ∼ 5 mJy may correspond to the division between slow- and fast-rotators seen in local early-type galaxies.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Information:
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Jack E Birkin, Axel Weiss, J L Wardlow, Ian Smail, A M Swinbank, U Dudzevičiūtė, Fang Xia An, Y Ao, S C Chapman, Chian-Chou Chen, E da Cunha, H Dannerbauer, B Gullberg, J A Hodge, S Ikarashi, R J Ivison, Y Matsuda, S M Stach, F Walter, W-H Wang, P van der Werf, An ALMA/NOEMA survey of the molecular gas properties of high-redshift star-forming galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 501, Issue 3, March 2021, Pages 3926–3950 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/501/3/3926/6041042
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912
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ID Code:
150673
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Deposited On:
12 Jan 2021 16:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
27 Nov 2021 05:56