University of Sussex
Schinnerer_2016_ApJ_833_112.pdf (861.29 kB)

Gas fraction and depletion time of massive star forming galaxies at z~3.2: no change in global star formation process out to z>3

Download (861.29 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-12, 08:37 authored by Mark Sargent, E Schinnerer, B Groves, A Karim, P A Oesch, B Magnelli, O LeFevre, L Tasca, F Civano, P Cassata, V Smolcic
The observed evolution of the gas fraction and its associated depletion time in main sequence (MS) galaxies provides insights on how star formation proceeds over cosmic time. We report ALMA detections of the rest-frame ~300µm continuum observed at 240 GHz for 45 massive (hlog(M?(M?))i = 10.7), normal star forming (hlog(sSFR(yr-1 ))i = -8.6), i.e. MS, galaxies at z ˜ 3.2 in the COSMOS field. From an empirical calibration between cold neutral, i.e. molecular and atomic, gas mass Mgas and monochromatic (rest-frame) infrared luminosity, the gas mass for this sample is derived. Combined with stellar mass M? and star formation rate (SFR) estimates (from MagPhys fits) we obtain a median gas fraction of µgas = Mgas/M? = 1.65+0.18 -0.19 and a median gas depletion time tdepl.(Gyr) = Mgas/SFR = 0.68+0.07 -0.08; correction for the location on the MS will only slightly change the values. The reported uncertainties are the 1s error on the median. Our results are fully consistent with the expected flattening of the redshift evolution from the 2-SFM (2 star formation mode) framework that empirically prescribes the evolution assuming a universal, log-linear relation between SFR and gas mass coupled to the redshift evolution of the specific star formation rate (sSFR) of main sequence galaxies. While tdepl. shows only a mild dependence on location within the MS, a clear trend of increasing µgas across the MS is observed (as known from previous studies). Further we comment on trends within the MS and (in)consistencies with other studies.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Published version


Astrophysical Journal




American Astronomical Society / IOP Publishing





Department affiliated with

  • Physics and Astronomy Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Astronomy Centre Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


First Open Access (FOA) Date


First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected