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Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 164-183; doi:10.3390/galaxies3040164

The CALIFA Survey: Exploring the Oxygen Abundance in the Local Universe

1
Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, A.P. 70-264, 04510 México, Mexico
2
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, Aptdo. 3004, E-18080 Granada, Spain
3
Dpto. de Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Facultad de Ciencias (Edificio Mecenas), E-18071 Granada, Spain
4
EI Campus Moncloa, UCM-UPM, Departamento de Astrofísica y CC: de la Atmósfera, Facultad de CC: Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda. Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
5
Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Luis E. Erro 1, 72840 Tonantzintla, Puebla, Mexico
6
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: José Alfonso López Aguerri, Enrichetta Iodice and Alexei Moiseev
Received: 23 September 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
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Abstract

We present here a review of the latest results on the spatially-resolved analysis of the stellar populations and ionized gas of disk-dominated galaxies based on Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area (CALIFA) data. CALIFA is an ongoing integral field spectroscopy (IFS) survey of galaxies in the Local Universe (0.005 < z < 0.03) that has already obtained spectroscopic information up to \(\sim\)2.5 \(r_e\) with a spatial resolution better than \(\sim\)1 kpc for a total number of more than 600 galaxies of different morphological types, covering the color-magnitude diagram up to M\(_{\rm R}<-\)18 mag. With nearly 2000 spectra obtained for each galaxy, CALIFA offers one of the best IFU datasets to study the star formation histories and chemical enrichment of galaxies. In this article, we focus on the main results from the analysis of the oxygen abundances based on the study of ionized gas in H II regions and individual spaxels and their relation to the global properties of galaxies, using an updated/revised dataset with more galaxies and ionized regions. In summary, we have confirmed previous published results indicating that: (1) the M-Z relation does not present a secondary relation to the star formation rate, when the abundance is measured at the effective radius; (2) the oxygen abundance presents a strong correlation with the stellar surface density (∑-Z relation); (3) the oxygen abundance profiles present three well-defined regimes: (i) an overall negative radial gradient between 0.5 and 2 \(r_e\), with a characteristic slope of \(\alpha_{O/H}\) \(\sim\)\(-\)0.1 dex/\(r_e\); (ii) a universal flattening beyond \(>\)2 \(r_e\); and (iii) an inner drop at \(<\)0.5 \(r_e\) that depends on mass; (4) the presence of bending in the surface brightness profile of disk galaxies is not clearly related to either the change in the shape of the oxygen abundance profile or the properties of the underlying stellar population. All of these results indicate that disk galaxies present an overall inside-out growth, with chemical enrichment and stellar mass growth tightly correlated and dominated by local processes and limited effects of radial mixing or global outflows. However, clear deviations are shown with respect to this simple scenario, which affect the abundance profiles in both the innermost and outermost regions of galaxies. View Full-Text
Keywords: ISM; galaxies; oxygen abundance ISM; galaxies; oxygen abundance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sánchez, S.F.; Sánchez-Menguiano, L.; Marino, R.; Rosales-Ortega, F.F.; Pérez, I.; de Paz, A.G.; Pérez, E.; Walcher, C.J.; López-Cobá, C. The CALIFA Survey: Exploring the Oxygen Abundance in the Local Universe. Galaxies 2015, 3, 164-183.

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