SDSS-IV MaNGA: drivers of stellar metallicity in nearby galaxies

Justus Neumann, Daniel Thomas, Claudia Maraston, Daniel Goddard, Jianhui Lian, Lewis Hill, Helena Domínguez Sánchez, Mariangela Bernardi, Berta Margalef-Bentabol, Jorge K. Barrera-Ballesteros, Dmitry Bizyaev, Nicholas F. Boardman, Niv Drory, Joseé G. Fernández-Trincado, Richard Lane

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The distribution of stellar metallicities within and across galaxies is an excellent relic of the chemical evolution across cosmic time. We present a detailed analysis of spatially resolved stellar populations based on > 2.6 million spatial bins from 7439 nearby galaxies in the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey. To account for accurate inclination corrections, we derive an equation for morphology dependent determination of galaxy inclinations. Our study goes beyond the well-known global mass-metallicity relation and radial metallicity gradients by providing a statistically sound exploration of local relations between stellar metallicity [Z/H], stellar surface mass density Σ* and galactocentric distance in the global mass-morphology plane. We find a significant resolved mass density-metallicity relation rΣ*ZR for galaxies of all types and masses above 109.8 M. Different radial distances make an important contribution to the spread of the relation. Particularly, in low and intermediate mass galaxies, we find that at fixed Σ* metallicity increases with radius independently of morphology. For high masses, this radial dependence is only observed in high Σ* regions of spiral galaxies. This result calls for a driver of metallicity, in addition to Σ* that promotes chemical enrichment in the outer parts of galaxies more strongly than in the inner parts. We discuss gas accretion, outflows, recycling and radial migration as possible scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4844–4857
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date9 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: stellar content
  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: statistics
  • techniques: spectroscopic
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/S000550/1


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