Evidence for strong evolution in galaxy environmental quenching efficiency between z = 1.6 and z = 0.9
van der Burg, R.F.J.
PublisherOxford University Press
MetadataShow full item record
We analyse the evolution of environmental quenching efficiency, the fraction of quenched cluster galaxies which would be star forming if they were in the field, as a function of redshift in 14 spectroscopically confirmed galaxy clusters with 0.87 < z < 1.63 from the Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-Sequence Cluster Survey. The clusters are the richest in the survey at each redshift. Passive fractions rise from 42-13 +10 per cent at z ~ 1.6 to 80-9 +12 per cent at z ~ 1.3 and 88-3 +4 per cent at z < 1.1, outpacing the change in passive fraction in the field. Environmental quenching efficiency rises dramatically from 16-19 +15 per cent at z ~ 1.6 to 62-15 +21 per cent at z~1.3 and 73-7 +8 per cent at z ≲ 1.1. This work is the first to show direct observational evidence for a rapid increase in the strength of environmental quenching in galaxy clusters at z ~ 1.5, where simulations show cluster-mass haloes undergo non-linear collapse and virialization.