Simulating the large-scale structure of HI intensity maps

Sebastian Seehars, Aseem Paranjape, Amadeus Witzemann, Alexandre Refregier, Adam Amara, Joel Akeret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intensity mapping of neutral hydrogen (HI) is a promising observational probe of cosmology and large-scale structure. We present wide field simulations of HI intensity maps based on N-body simulations of a 2.6 Gpc / h box with 20483 particles (particle mass 1.6 × 1011 Mȯ / h). Using a conditional mass function to populate the simulated dark matter density field with halos below the mass resolution of the simulation (108 Mȯ / h < Mhalo < 1013 Mȯ / h), we assign HI to those halos according to a phenomenological halo to HI mass relation. The simulations span a redshift range of 0.35 ≲ z ≲ 0.9 in redshift bins of width Δ z ≈ 0.05 and cover a quarter of the sky at an angular resolution of about 7′. We use the simulated intensity maps to study the impact of non-linear effects and redshift space distortions on the angular clustering of HI. Focusing on the autocorrelations of the maps, we apply and compare several estimators for the angular power spectrum and its covariance. We verify that these estimators agree with analytic predictions on large scales and study the validity of approximations based on Gaussian random fields, particularly in the context of the covariance. We discuss how our results and the simulated maps can be useful for planning and interpreting future HI intensity mapping surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • cosmic web
  • cosmological simulations
  • dark matter simulations
  • power spectrum


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