Herschel-ATLAS/GAMA: How does the far-IR luminosity function depend on galaxy group properties?

Qi Guo*, Cedric Lacey, Peder Norberg, Shaun Cole, Carlton Baugh, Carlos Frenk, Asantha Cooray, Simon Dye, N. Bourne, L. Dunne, S. Eales, R. J. Ivison, S. J. Maddox, M. Alpasan, I. Baldry, J. Bland-Hawthorn, S. P. Driver, A. Robotham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) Phase I data to study the conditional luminosity function of far-IR (250 μm) selected galaxies in optically selected galaxy groups from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) spectroscopic survey, as well as environmental effects on the far-IR-to-optical colour.We applied two methods, which gave consistent results for the far-IR conditional luminosity functions. The direct matching method matches H-ATLAS sources to GAMA/SDSS (Sloan Digital Sky Survey) galaxies, then links the optical counterparts to GAMA groups. The stacking method counts the number of far-IR sources within the projected radii of GAMA groups, subtracting the local background. We investigated the dependence of the far-IR (250 μm) luminosity function on group mass in the range 1012 < Mh < 1014 h-1M and on redshift in the range 0 < z<0.4, using a sample of 3000 groups containing H-ATLAS sources with GAMA redshifts over an area of 126 deg2. We find that the characteristic 250 μm luminosity, L*(250), increases with group mass up to Mh ~ 1013 h-1M, but is roughly constant above this, while it increases with redshift at high group masses, but less so at low masses.We also find that the group far-IR luminosity-to-mass ratio L(250)/Mh increases with redshift and is higher in low-mass groups. We estimate that around 70 per cent of the 250 μm luminosity density in the local Universe is contributed by groups with Mh > 1012 h-1M. We also find that the far-IR-to-optical colours of H-ATLAS galaxies are independent of group mass over the range 1012 < Mh < 1014 h-1M in the local Universe.We also compare our observational results with recent semi-analytical models, and find that none of these galaxy formation models can reproduce the conditional far-IR luminosity functions of galaxy groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2253-2270
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2014


  • Clusters
  • Formation - galaxies
  • Galaxies
  • General - galaxies
  • Haloes - galaxies
  • Luminosity function
  • Mass function - cosmology
  • Theory - infrared


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