The oxygen abundance gradients in the gas discs of galaxies in the EAGLE simulation

Patricia B. Tissera, Yetli Rosas-Guevara, Richard G. Bower, Robert A. Crain, Claudia del P. Lagos, Matthieu Schaller, Joop Schaye, Tom Theuns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


We use the EAGLE simulations to study the oxygen abundance gradients of gas discs in galaxies within the stellar mass range [10(9.5), 10(10.8)] similar to M-circle dot at z = 0. The estimated median oxygen gradient is -0.011 +/- 0.002 dex kpc(-1), which is shallower than observed. No clear trend between simulated disc oxygen gradient and galaxy stellar mass is found when all galaxies are considered..However, the oxygen gradient shows a clear correlation with gas disc size so that shallower abundance slopes are found for increasing gas disc sizes. Positive oxygen gradients are detected for approximate to 40 per cent of the analysed gas discs, with a slight higher frequency in low-mass galaxies. Galaxies that have quiet merger histories show a positive correlation between oxygen gradient and stellar mass, so that more massive galaxies tend to have shallower metallicity gradients. At high stellar mass, there is a larger fraction of rotational dominated galaxies in low-density regions. At low stellar mass, non-merger galaxies show a large variety of oxygen gradients and morphologies. The normalization of the disc oxygen gradients in non-merger galaxies by the effective radius removes the trend with stellar mass. Conversely, galaxies that experienced mergers show a weak relation between oxygen gradient and stellar mass. Additionally, the analysed EAGLE discs show no clear dependence of the oxygen gradients on local environment, in agreement with current observational findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2208-2221
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


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