Journal Article

Environmental dependence of dark matter halo growth – I. Halo merger rates

Onsi Fakhouri and Chung-Pei Ma

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 4, pages 1825-1840
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Environmental dependence of dark matter halo growth – I. Halo merger rates

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In an earlier paper, we quantified the mean merger rate of dark matter haloes as a function of redshift z, descendant halo mass M0, and progenitor halo mass ratio ξ using the Millennium simulation of the Λ cold dark matter cosmology. Here, we broaden that study and investigate the dependence of the merger rate of haloes on their surrounding environment. A number of local mass overdensity variables, both including and excluding the halo mass itself, are tested as measures of a halo's environment. The simple functional dependence on z, M0, and ξ of the merger rate found in our earlier work, is largely preserved in different environments, but we find that the overall amplitude of the merger rate has a strong positive correlation with the environmental densities. For galaxy-mass haloes, we find mergers to occur ∼2.5 times more frequently in the densest regions than in voids at both z= 0 and higher redshifts. Higher mass haloes show similar trends. We present a fitting form for this environmental dependence that is a function of both mass and local density and valid out to z= 2. The amplitude of the progenitor (or conditional) mass function shows a similar correlation with local overdensity, suggesting that the extended Press–Schechter model for halo growth needs to be modified to incorporate environmental effects.

Keywords: galaxy: formation; galaxy: halo; cosmology: theory; dark matter; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  11501 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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