Dependence of nebular heavy-element abundance on hi content for spiral galaxies

Paul Robertson, Gregory A. Shields, Romeel Davé, Guillermo A. Blanc, Audrey Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We analyze the galactic H I content and nebular log (O/H) for 60 spiral galaxies in the Moustakas et al. (2006a) spectral catalog. After correcting for the mass-metallicity relationship, we show that the spirals in cluster environments show a positive correlation for log (O/H) on DEF, the galactic H I deficiency parameter, extending the results of previous analyses of the Virgo and Pegasus I clusters. Additionally, we show for the first time that galaxies in the field obey a similar dependence. The observed relationship between H I deficiency and galactic metallicity resembles similar trends shown by cosmological simulations of galaxy formation including inflows and outflows. These results indicate the previously observed metallicity-DEF correlation has a more universal interpretation than simply a cluster's effects on its member galaxies. Rather, we observe in all environments the stochastic effects of metal-poor infall as minor mergers and accretion help to build giant spirals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2013


  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: spiral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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