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Galaxy And Mass Assembly: resolving the role of environment in galaxy evolution

Brough, S.; Croom, S.; Sharp, R.; Hopkins, A.M.; Taylor, E.N.; Baldry, I.K.; Gunawardhana, M.L.P.; Liske, J.; Norberg, P.; Robotham, A.S.G.; Bauer, A.E.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Colless, M.; Foster, C.; Kelvin, L.S.; Lara-Lopez, M.A.; López-Sánchez, Á.R.; Loveday, J.; Owers, M.; Pimbblet, K.A.; Prescott, M.

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S. Brough

S. Croom

R. Sharp

A.M. Hopkins

E.N. Taylor

I.K. Baldry

M.L.P. Gunawardhana

J. Liske

A.S.G. Robotham

A.E. Bauer

J. Bland-Hawthorn

M. Colless

C. Foster

L.S. Kelvin

M.A. Lara-Lopez

Á.R. López-Sánchez

J. Loveday

M. Owers

K.A. Pimbblet

M. Prescott


We present observations of 18 galaxies from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey made with the SPIRAL optical integral field unit (IFU) on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The galaxies are selected to have a narrow range in stellar mass (6 × 109 < M* < 2 × 1010 M⊙) in order to focus on the effects of environment. Local galaxy environments are measured quantitatively using fifth nearest neighbour surface densities. We find that the total star formation rates (SFR) measured from the IFU data are consistent with total SFRs measured from aperture correcting either GAMA or Sloan Digital Sky Survey single-fibre observations. The mean differences are SFRGAMA/SFRIFU = 1.26 ± 0.23, σ = 0.90 and for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey we similarly find SFRBrinchmann/SFRIFU = 1.34 ± 0.17, σ = 0.67. Examining the relationships with environment, we find that off-centre and clumpy Hα emission is not significantly dependent on environment, being present in 2/7 (29+20−11 per cent) galaxies in high-density environments (>0.77 Mpc−2), and 5/11 (45+15−13 per cent) galaxies in low-density environments (<0.77 Mpc−2). We find a weak but not significant relationship of the total SFRs of star-forming galaxies with environment. Due to the size of our sample and the scatter observed we do not draw a definitive conclusion about a possible SFR dependence on environment. Examining the spatial distribution of the Hα emission, we find no evidence for a change in shape or amplitude of the radial profile of star-forming galaxies with environment. If these observations are borne out in larger samples, this would infer that any environment-driven star formation suppression must either act very rapidly (the ‘infall-and-quench’ model) or that galaxies must evolve in a density-dependent manner (an ‘in situ evolution’ model).


Brough, S., Croom, S., Sharp, R., Hopkins, A., Taylor, E., Baldry, I., …Prescott, M. (2013). Galaxy And Mass Assembly: resolving the role of environment in galaxy evolution. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 435(4), 2903-2917.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2013
Deposit Date Jun 3, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2014
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 435
Issue 4
Pages 2903-2917
Keywords Galaxies: clusters: general, Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics.


Published Journal Article (3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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