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  Sub-damped Lyman α systems in the XQ-100 survey - I. Identification and contribution to the cosmological H I budget

Berg, T. A. M., Ellison, S. L., Sánchez-Ramírez, R., López, S., D'Odorico, V., Becker, G. D., et al. (2019). Sub-damped Lyman α systems in the XQ-100 survey - I. Identification and contribution to the cosmological H I budget. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 488, 4356-4369.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-D1D6-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-D1D7-C
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Berg, Trystyn A. M.1, Author
Ellison, Sara L.1, Author
Sánchez-Ramírez, Rubén1, Author
López, Sebastián1, Author
D'Odorico, Valentina1, Author
Becker, George D.1, Author
Christensen, Lise1, Author
Cupani, Guido1, Author
Denney, Kelly D.1, Author
Worseck, Gábor1, Author
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Max Planck Society and Cooperation Partners, ou_2421692              

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Free keywords: galaxies: high-redshift galaxies: ISM quasars: absorption lines Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
 Abstract: Sub-damped Lyman α systems (subDLAs; H I column densities of 19.0 ≤ logN(H I) < 20.3) are rarely included in the cosmic H I census performed at redshifts zabs ≳ 1.5, yet are expected to contribute significantly to the overall H I mass budget of the Universe. In this paper, we present a blindly selected sample of 155 subDLAs found along 100 quasar sightlines (with a redshift path-length ∆X = 475) in the XQ-100 legacy survey to investigate the contribution of subDLAs to the H I mass density of the Universe. The impact of X-Shooter's spectral resolution on Ly α absorber identification is evaluated, and found to be sufficient for reliably finding absorbers down to a column density of logN(H I) ≥ 18.9. We compared the implications of searching for subDLAs solely using H I absorption versus the use of metal lines to confirm the identification, and found that metal-selection techniques would have missed 75 subDLAs. Using a bootstrap Monte Carlo simulation, we computed the column density distribution function (f(N, X)) and the cosmological H I mass density (Ω _{H I) of subDLAs and compared with our previous work based on the XQ-100 damped Lyman α systems. We do not find any significant redshift evolution in f(N, X) or Ω _{H I for subDLAs. However, subDLAs contribute 10-20 per cent of the total Ω _{H I measured at redshifts 2 < z < 5, and thus have a small but significant contribution to the H I budget of the Universe.

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 Dates: 2019
 Publication Status: Published in print
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Title: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 488 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 4356 - 4369 Identifier: -