Journal Article

The clustering and host haloes of galaxy mergers at high redshift

Andrew R. Wetzel, J. D. Cohn and Martin White

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 4, pages 2182-2190
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The clustering and host haloes of galaxy mergers at high redshift

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High-resolution simulations of cosmological structure formation indicate that dark matter substructure in dense environments, such as groups and clusters, may survive for a long time. These dark matter subhaloes are the likely hosts of galaxies. We examine the small-scale spatial clustering of subhalo major mergers at high redshift using high-resolution N-body simulations of cosmological volumes. Recently merged, massive subhaloes exhibit enhanced clustering on scales ∼100–300 h−1 kpc, relative to all subhaloes of the same infall mass, for a short time after a major merger (<500 Myr). The small-scale clustering enhancement is smaller for lower mass subhaloes, which also show a deficit on scales just beyond the excess. Haloes hosting recent subhalo mergers tend to have more subhaloes; for massive subhaloes, the excess is stronger and it tends to increase for the most massive host haloes. The subhalo merger fraction is independent of halo mass for the scales we probe. In terms of satellite and central subhaloes, the merger increase in small-scale clustering for massive subhaloes arises from recently merged massive central subhaloes having an enhanced satellite population. Our mergers are defined via their parent infall mass ratios. Subhaloes experiencing major mass gains also exhibit a small-scale clustering enhancement, but these correspond to two-body interactions leading to two final subhaloes, rather than subhalo coalescence.

Keywords: methods: N-body simulations; galaxies: haloes; galaxies: interactions; cosmology: theory

Journal Article.  7365 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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