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Impacts of a flaring star-forming disc and stellar radial mixing on the vertical metallicity gradient

Kawata, D, Grand, RJJ, Gibson, BK, Casagrande, L, Hunt, JAS and Brook, CB (2016) Impacts of a flaring star-forming disc and stellar radial mixing on the vertical metallicity gradient. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 464 (1). pp. 702-712. ISSN 0035-8711

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Using idealized N-body simulations of a Milky Way-sized disc galaxy, we qualitatively study how the metallicity distributions of the thin disc star particles are modified by the formation of the bar and spiral arm structures. The thin disc in our numerical experiments initially has a tight negative radial metallicity gradient and a constant vertical scaleheight. We show that the radial mixing of stars drives a positive vertical metallicity gradient in the thin disc. On the other hand, if the initial thin disc is flared, with vertical scaleheight increasing with galactocentric radius, the metal-poor stars, originally in the outer disc, become dominant in regions above the disc plane at every radii. This process can drive a negative vertical metallicity gradient, which is consistent with the current observed trend. This model mimics a scenario where the star-forming thin disc was flared in the outer region at earlier epochs. Our numerical experiment with an initial flared disc predicts that the negative vertical metallicity gradient of the mono-age relatively young thin disc population should be steeper in the inner disc, and the radial metallicity gradient of the mono-age population should be shallower at greater heights above the disc plane. We also predict that the metallicity distribution function of mono-age young thin disc populations above the disc plane would be more positively skewed in the inner disc compared to the outer disc.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 11:08
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 11:08
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/stw2363
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19347
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