Journal Article

Hydrodynamical simulations of Galactic fountains – I. Evolution of single fountains

C. Melioli, F. Brighenti, A. D'Ercole and E. M. De Gouveia Dal Pino

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 2, pages 573-586
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Hydrodynamical simulations of Galactic fountains – I. Evolution of single fountains

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The ejection of the gas out of the disc in late-type galaxies is related to star formation and is due mainly to Type II supernovae. In this paper, we studied in detail the development of the Galactic fountains in order to understand their dynamical evolution and their influence on the redistribution of the freshly delivered metals over the disc. To this aim, we performed a number of 3D hydrodynamical radiative cooling simulations of the gas in the Milky Way where the whole Galaxy structure, the Galactic differential rotation and the supernova explosions generated by a single OB association are considered. A typical fountain powered by 100 Type II supernovae may eject material up to ∼2 kpc which than collapses back mostly in the form of dense, cold clouds and filaments. The majority of the gas lifted up by the fountains falls back on the disc remaining within a radial distance ΔR= 0.5 kpc from the place where the fountain originated. This localized circulation of disc gas does not influence the radial chemical gradients on large scale, as required by the chemical models of the Milky Way which reproduce the metallicity distribution without invoking large fluxes of metals. Simulations of multiple fountains fuelled by Type II supernovae of different OB associations will be presented in a companion paper.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; methods: numerical; ISM: bubbles; ISM: clouds; Galaxy: disc; Galaxy: general

Journal Article.  10555 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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