Observational Diagnostics of Gas Flows: Insights from Cosmological Simulations

  • Claude-André Faucher-GiguèreEmail author
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 430)


Galactic accretion interacts in complex ways with gaseous halos, including galactic winds. As a result, observational diagnostics typically probe a range of intertwined physical phenomena. Because of this complexity, cosmological hydrodynamic simulations have played a key role in developing observational diagnostics of galactic accretion. In this chapter, we review the status of different observational diagnostics of circum-galactic gas flows, in both absorption (galaxy pair and down-the-barrel observations in neutral hydrogen and metals; kinematic and azimuthal angle diagnostics; the cosmological column density distribution; and metallicity) and emission (Lyα; UV metal lines; and diffuse X-rays). We conclude that there is no simple and robust way to identify galactic accretion in individual measurements. Rather, progress in testing galactic accretion models is likely to come from systematic, statistical comparisons of simulation predictions with observations. We discuss specific areas where progress is likely to be particularly fruitful over the next few years.


Smooth Particle Hydrodynamic High Redshift Cold Stream Galactic Wind Cosmological Simulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to many colleagues and collaborators who have helped shape our views on galactic accretion, including: Chuck Steidel, Gwen Rudie, Alice Shapley, Xavier Prochaska, Joe Hennawi, Michele Fumagalli, Nicolas Lehner, Chris Howk, Lars Hernquist, Joop Schaye, Freeke van de Voort, Andrey Kravtsov, Cameron Liang, Mark Dijkstra, Norm Murray, Eliot Quataert, Dusan Kereš, Phil Hopkins, Alexander Muratov, Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, and Zach Hafen. Our research on galactic accretion has been supported by NSF and NASA.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and Astronomy and Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA)Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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