Galaxy Cluster Mass Reconstruction Project - II. Quantifying scatter and bias using contrasting mock catalogues

L. Old, R. Wojtak, G. A. Mamon, R. A. Skibba, F. R. Pearce, D. Croton, S. Bamford, P. Behroozi, R. de Carvalho, J. C. Muñoz-Cuartas, D. Gifford, M. E. Gray, A. von der Linden, M. R. Merrifield, S. I. Muldrew, V. Müller, R. J. Pearson, T. J. Ponman, E. Rozo, E. RykoffA. Saro, T. Sepp, C. Sifón, E. Tempel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This paper is the second in a series in which we perform an extensive comparison of various galaxy-based cluster mass estimation techniques that utilize the positions, velocities and colours of galaxies. Our aim is to quantify the scatter, systematic bias and completeness of cluster masses derived from a diverse set of 25 galaxy-based methods using two contrasting mock galaxy catalogues based on a sophisticated halo occupation model and a semi-analytic model. Analysing 968 clusters, we find a wide range in the rms errors in log M200c delivered by the different methods (0.18-1.08 dex, i.e. a factor of ~1.5-12), with abundance-matching and richness methods providing the best results, irrespective of the input model assumptions. In addition, certain methods produce a significant number of catastrophic cases where the mass is under- or overestimated by a factor greater than 10. Given the steeply falling high-mass end of the cluster mass function, we recommend that richness- or abundance-matching-based methods are used in conjunction with these methods as a sanity check for studies selecting high-mass clusters. We see a stronger correlation of the recovered to input number of galaxies for both catalogues in comparison with the group/cluster mass, however, this does not guarantee that the correct member galaxies are being selected.We do not observe significantly higher scatter for either mock galaxy catalogues. Our results have implications for cosmological analyses that utilize the masses, richnesses, or abundances of clusters,which have different uncertainties when different methods are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1920
Number of pages24
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 11 2015


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: haloes
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Methods: statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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