The role of gas infall in the evolution of disc galaxies

Mercedes Mollá, Ángeles I. Díaz, Brad K. Gibson, Oscar Cavichia, Ángel R. López-Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Spiral galaxies are thought to acquire their gas through a protracted infall phase resulting in the inside-out growth of their associated discs. For field spirals, this infall occurs in the lower density environments of the cosmic web. The overall infall rate, as well as the galactocentric radius at which this infall is incorporated into the star-forming disc, plays a pivotal role in shaping the characteristics observed today. Indeed, characterizing the functional form of this spatio-temporal infall in situ is exceedingly difficult, and one is forced to constrain these forms using the present day state of galaxies with model or simulation predictions. We present the infall rates used as input to a grid of chemical evolution models spanning the mass spectrum of discs observed today. We provide a systematic comparison with alternate analytical infall schemes in the literature, including a first comparison with cosmological simulations. Identifying the degeneracies associated with the adopted infall rate prescriptions in galaxy models is an important step in the development of a consistent picture of disc galaxy formation and evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1340
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2016


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