A fundamental metallicity relation for galaxies at z = 0.84-1.47 from HiZELS

John P. Stott, David Sobral, Richard Bower, Ian Smail, Philip N. Best, Yuichi Matsuda, Masao Hayashi, James E. Geach, Tadayuki Kodama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We obtained Subaru FMOS observations of Hα emitting galaxies selected from the HiZELS, to investigate the relationship between stellar mass, metallicity and star formation rate (SFR) at z = 0.84-1.47, for comparison with the fundamental metallicity relation seen at low redshift. Our findings demonstrate, for the first time with a homogeneously selected sample, that a relationship exists for typical star-forming galaxies at z ˜ 1-1.5 and that it is surprisingly similar to that seen locally. Therefore, star-forming galaxies at z ˜ 1-1.5 are no less metal abundant than galaxies of similar mass and SFR at z ˜ 0.1, contrary to claims from some earlier studies. We conclude that the bulk of the metal enrichment for this star-forming galaxy population takes place in the 4 Gyr before z ˜ 1.5. We fit a new mass-metallicity-SFR plane to our data which is consistent with other high-redshift studies. However, there is some evidence that the mass-metallicity component of this high-redshift plane is flattened, at all SFR, compared with z ˜ 0.1, suggesting that processes such as star formation-driven winds, thought to remove enriched gas from low-mass haloes, are yet to have as large an impact at this early epoch. The negative slope of the SFR-metallicity relation from this new plane is consistent with the picture that the elevation in the SFR of typical galaxies at z ≳ 1 is fuelled by the inflow of metal-poor gas and not major merging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1141
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: star formation


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