Progenitor-mass-dependent yields amplify intrinsic scatter in dwarf-galaxy elemental abundance ratios
ABSTRACT We explore the effect of including progenitor mass- and metallicity-dependent yields, supernova rates and energetics on variations in elemental abundance ratios (particularly [α/Fe]) in dwarf galaxies. To understand how the scatter and overall trends in [α/Fe] are affected by including variable metal yields from a discretely sampled initial mass function, we run FIRE simulations of a dwarf galaxy (M⋆(z = 0$) \sim 10^6\rm \, M_{\odot })$ using nucleosynthetic yields from the NuGrid data base that depend on the stellar progenitor mass and metallicity. While NuGrid exhibits lower aggregate α-element production than default FIRE yields, we find that its explicit mass dependence, even when including turbulent metal diffusion, substantially widens the intrinsic scatter in the simulated [Fe/H]-[α/Fe] – a phenomenon visible in some observations of dwarf galaxies.
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NSF-PAR ID:
10322449
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
508
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0035-8711
2. ABSTRACT We present an analysis of spatially resolved gas-phase metallicity relations in five dwarf galaxies ($\rm \mathit{M}_{halo} \approx 10^{11}\, {\rm M}_\odot$, $\rm \mathit{M}_\star \approx 10^{8.8}{-}10^{9.6}\, {\rm M}_\odot$) from the FIRE-2 (Feedback in Realistic Environments) cosmological zoom-in simulation suite, which include an explicit model for sub-grid turbulent mixing of metals in gas, near z ≈ 0, over a period of 1.4 Gyr, and compare our findings with observations. While these dwarf galaxies represent a diverse sample, we find that all simulated galaxies match the observed mass–metallicity (MZR) and mass–metallicity gradient (MZGR) relations. We note that in all five galaxies, the metallicities are effectively identical between phases of the interstellar medium (ISM), with 95 ${{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the gas being within ±0.1 dex between the cold and dense gas (T < 500 K and nH > 1 cm−3), ionized gas (near the H αT ≈ 104 K ridge-line), and nebular regions (ionized gas where the 10 Myr-averaged star formation rate is non-zero). We find that most of the scatter in relative metallicity between cold dense gas and ionized gas/nebular regions can be attributed to either local starburst events or metal-poor inflows. We also note the presence of a major merger in one of our galaxies,more »