XCOLD GASS: The Complete IRAM 30 m Legacy Survey of Molecular Gas for Galaxy Evolution Studies

Amélie Saintonge, Barbara Catinella, Linda J. Tacconi, Guinevere Kauffmann, Reinhard Genzel, Luca Cortese, Romeel Davé, Thomas J. Fletcher, Javier Graciá-Carpio, Carsten Kramer, Timothy M. Heckman, Steven Janowiecki, Katharina Lutz, David Rosario, David Schiminovich, Karl Schuster, Jing Wang, Stijn Wuyts, Sanchayeeta Borthakur, Isabella LampertiGuido W. Roberts-Borsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations


We introduce xCOLD GASS, a legacy survey providing a census of molecular gas in the local universe. Building on the original COLD GASS survey, we present here the full sample of 532 galaxies with CO (1-0) measurements from the IRAM 30 m telescope. The sample is mass-selected in the redshift interval 0.01 < z < 0.05 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and therefore representative of the local galaxy population with M > 109 M. The CO (1-0) flux measurements are complemented by observations of the CO (2-1) line with both the IRAM 30 m and APEX telescopes, H I observations from Arecibo, and photometry from SDSS, WISE, and GALEX. Combining the IRAM and APEX data, we find that the ratio of CO (2-1) to CO (1-0) luminosity for integrated measurements is r21 = 0.79 ± 0.03, with no systematic variations across the sample. The CO (1-0) luminosity function is constructed and best fit with a Schechter function with parameters LCO = (7.77 ± 2.11) × 109 K km s-1 pc2, φ = (9.84 ± 5.41) × 10-4 Mpc-3, and α = -1.19 ± 0.05.With the sample now complete down to stellar masses of 109M, we are able to extend our study of gas scaling relations and confirm that both molecular gas fractions ( fH2) and depletion timescale (tdep (H2)) vary with specific star formation rate (or offset from the star formation main sequence) much more strongly than they depend on stellar mass. Comparing the xCOLD GASS results with outputs from hydrodynamic and semianalytic models, we highlight the constraining power of cold gas scaling relations on models of galaxy formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • ISM: general
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: star formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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