Buzzard to Cardinal: Improved Mock Catalogs for Large Galaxy Surveys

Chun Hao To, Joseph DeRose, Risa H. Wechsler, Eli Rykoff, Hao Yi Wu, Susmita Adhikari, Elisabeth Krause, Eduardo Rozo, David H. Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present the Cardinal mock galaxy catalogs, a new version of the Buzzard simulation that has been updated to support ongoing and future cosmological surveys, including the Dark Energy Survey (DES), DESI, and LSST. These catalogs are based on a one-quarter sky simulation populated with galaxies out to a redshift of z = 2.35 to a depth of m r = 27. Compared to the Buzzard mocks, the Cardinal mocks include an updated subhalo abundance matching model that considers orphan galaxies and includes mass-dependent scatter between galaxy luminosity and halo properties. This model can simultaneously fit galaxy clustering and group-galaxy cross-correlations measured in three different luminosity threshold samples. The Cardinal mocks also feature a new color assignment model that can simultaneously fit color-dependent galaxy clustering in three different luminosity bins. We have developed an algorithm that uses photometric data to further improve the color assignment model and have also developed a novel method to improve small-scale lensing below the ray-tracing resolution. These improvements enable the Cardinal mocks to accurately reproduce the abundance of galaxy clusters and the properties of lens galaxies in the DES data. As such, these simulations will be a valuable tool for future cosmological analyses based on large sky surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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