Monday, July 22, 2013

1307.5316 (R. A. Marino et al.)

The O3N2 and N2 abundance indicators revisited: improved calibrations based on CALIFA and Te-based literature data    [PDF]

R. A. Marino, F. F. Rosales-Ortega, S. F. Sánchez, A. Gil de Paz, J. Vílchez, D. Miralles-Caballero, C. Kehrig, E. Pérez-Montero, V. Stanishev, J. Iglesias-Páramo, A. I. Díaz, A. Castillo-Morales, R. Kennicutt, A. R. López-Sánchez, L. Galbany, R. García-Benito, D. Mast, J. Mendez-Abreu, A. Monreal-Ibero, B. Husemann, C. J. Walcher, B. García-Lorenzo, J. Masegosa, A. del Olmo Orozco, A. M. Mourão, B. Ziegler, M. Mollá, P. Papaderos, P. Sánchez-Blázquez, R. M. González Delgado, J. Falcón-Barroso, M. M. Roth, G. van de Ven, the CALIFA team
The use of IFS is since recently allowing to measure the emission line fluxes of an increasingly large number of star-forming galaxies both locally and at high redshift. The main goal of this study is to review the most widely used empirical oxygen calibrations, O3N2 and N2, by using new direct abundance measurements. We pay special attention to the expected uncertainty of these calibrations as a function of the index value or abundance derived and the presence of possible systematic offsets. This is possible thanks to the analysis of the most ambitious compilation of Te-based HII regions to date. This new dataset compiles the Te-based abundances of 603 HII regions extracted from the literature but also includes new measurements from the CALIFA survey. Besides providing new and improved empirical calibrations for the gas abundance, we also present here a comparison between our revisited calibrations with a total of 3423 additional CALIFA HII complexes with abundances derived using the ONS calibration by Pilyugin et al. (2010). The combined analysis of Te-based and ONS abundances allows us to derive their most accurate calibration to date for both the O3N2 and N2 single-ratio indicators, in terms of all statistical significance, quality and coverage of the space of parameters. In particular, we infer that these indicators show shallower abundance dependencies and statistically-significant offsets compared to those of Pettini and Pagel (2004), Nagao et al. (2006) and P\'erez-Montero and Contini (2009). The O3N2 and N2 indicators can be empirically applied to derive oxygen abundances calibrations from either direct abundance determinations with random errors of 0.18 and 0.16, respectively, or from indirect ones (but based on a large amount of data) reaching an average precision of 0.08 and 0.09 dex (random) and 0.02 and 0.08 dex (systematic; compared to the direct estimations),respectively.
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