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Title: ALPACA : a new semi-analytical model for metal absorption lines emerging from clumpy galactic environments

We present a new semi-analytical formalism for modelling metal absorption lines that emerge from a clumpy galactic environment, ALPACA. We predict the “down-the-barrel” (DTB) metal absorption line profiles and the equivalent width (EW) of absorption at different impact parameters (b) as a function of the clump properties, including clump kinematics, clump volume filling factor, clump number density profile, and clump ion column densities. With ALPACA, we jointly model the stacked DTB C ii λ1334 spectrum of a sample of z ∼ 3 Lyman break galaxies and the EW versus b profile of a sample of z ∼ 2 star-forming galaxy–galaxy pairs. ALPACA successfully reproduced two data sets simultaneously, and the best fit prefers a low clump volume filling factor (∼3 × 10−3). The radial velocities of the clumps are a superposition of a rapidly accelerated outflow with a maximum velocity of $\sim 400 \, {\mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}}$ and a velocity dispersion of $\sigma \sim 120 \, {\mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}}$. The joint modelling reveals a physical scenario where the absorption observed at a particular velocity is contributed by the clumps distributed over a fairly broad range of radii. We also find that the commonly adopted Sobolev approximation is at best only applicable within a narrow range of radii where the clumps are undergoing rapid acceleration in a non-volume-filling clumpy medium. Lastly, we find that the clump radial velocity profile may not be fully constrained by the joint modelling and spatially resolved Ly α emission modelling may help break the degeneracy.

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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 444-463
p. 444-463
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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