Modeling Photoionized Turbulent Material in the Circumgalactic Medium. II. Effect of Turbulence within a Stratified Medium

Edward Buie, William J. Gray, Evan Scannapieco, Mohammadtaher Safarzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The circumgalactic medium (CGM) of nearby star-forming galaxies shows clear indications of O vi absorption accompanied by little to no detectable N v absorption. This unusual spectral signature, accompanied by highly nonuniform absorption from lower-ionization-state species, indicates that the CGM must be viewed as a dynamic, multiphase medium, such as occurs in the presence of turbulence. Motivated by previous isotropic turbulent simulations, we carry out chemodynamical simulations of stratified media in a Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) gravitational potential with a total mass of 1012 M o˙ and turbulence that decreases radially. The simulations assume a metallicity of 0.3 Z o˙ and a redshift-zero metagalatic UV background, and they track ionizations, recombinations, and species-by-species radiative cooling using the MAIHEM package. We compare a suite of ionic column densities with the COS-Halos sample of low-redshift star-forming galaxies. Turbulence with an average one-dimensional velocity dispersion of ≈40 km s-1, corresponding to an energy injection rate of ≈4 1049 erg yr-1, produces a CGM that matches many of the observed ionic column densities and ratios. In this simulation, the N N V /N O VI ratio is suppressed from its equilibrium value due to a combination of radiative cooling and cooling from turbulent mixing. This level of turbulence is consistent with expectations from observations of better constrained, higher-mass systems and could be sustained by energy input from supernovae, gas inflows, and dynamical friction from dark matter subhalos. We also conduct a higher resolution ≈40 km s-1 run, which yields smaller-scale structures but remains in agreement with observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number136
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling Photoionized Turbulent Material in the Circumgalactic Medium. II. Effect of Turbulence within a Stratified Medium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this