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Paper: The Galaxy Merger Rate History (GMRH) since z ≃ 3
Volume: 477, Galaxy Mergers in an Evolving Universe
Page: 133
Authors: F‘evre, O. L.; Sanjuan, C.; Tasca, L.; VVDS Team; MASSIV Team; VUDS Team
Abstract: Here we present new measurements of the pair fraction at redshifts from z=1 to z ≃ 3 using physical pairs identified from spectroscopic redshift measurements, and we derive the evolution of the galaxy merger rate combining these data with our previous measurements at z < 1. We use 3D spectroscopy from the MASSIV survey at z ∼ 1.05 – 1.55, the VVDS ultra-deep survey at z ∼ 2.3 and the new VUDS survey at z ∼ 2.7 to identify major mergers (μ > 1/4) and measure the merger fraction. The Galaxy Merger Rate History (GMRH) shows an increase from z=0 to z ∼ 1 with a peak at z ≃ 1.5 followed by a plateau or a slight decrease to z∼3, reminiscent of the Star Formation Rate History. From the GMRH we infer that major mergers contribute more than ∼30% of the mass increase of a galaxy with M ≥ 1010.5M since z ∼ 3. Combined with estimates of the contribution of minor mergers, merging processes are therefore a major contributor to mass assembly in galaxies.
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