The impact of environment and mergers on the H I content of galaxies in hydrodynamic simulations
Rafieferantsoa, Mika Harisetry
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We quantitatively examine the effects of merger and environment within a cosmological hydrodynamic simulation. We show that our simulation model broadly reproduces the observed scatter in H I at a given stellar mass as quantified by the HI mass function in bins of stellar mass, as well as the H I richness versus local galaxy density. The predicted H I fluctuations and environmental effects are roughly consistent with data, though some discrepancies are present at group scales. For satellite galaxies in & 1012Mhalos, the H I richness distribution is bimodal and drops towards the largest halo masses. The depletion rate of H I once a galaxy enters a more massive halo is more rapid at higher halo mass, in contrast to the specific star formation rate which shows much less variation in the attenuation rate versus halo mass. This suggests that, up to halo mass scales probed here (. 1014M), star formation is mainly attenuated by starvation, but H I is additionally removed by stripping once a hot gaseous halo is present. In low mass halos, the H I richness of satellites is independent of radius, while in high mass halos they become gas-poor towards the center, confirming the increasing strength of the stripping with halo mass. By tracking the progenitors of galaxies, we show that the gas fraction of satellite and central galaxiesdecreases from z =5 ! 0, tracking each other until z⇠1 after which the satellites’ H I content drops much more quickly, particularly for the highest halo masses. Mergers somewhat increase the H I richness and its scatter about the mean relation, but these variations are consistent with arising form inflow fluctuations, unlike in the case of star formation where mergers boost it above that expected from inflow fluctuations. In short, our simulations suggest that the H I content in galaxies is determined by their ability to accrete gas from their surroundings, with stripping effects playing a driving role once a hot gaseous halo is present.